Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation

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Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)
Central Public Sector Enterprise
Traded as
Founded27 September 1999;
20 years ago
Area served
PAN India
Key people
Mahendra Pratap Mall, IRAS
(Chairman & MD)
Hospitality services and Online Ticketing
RevenueIncrease 2,353.53 crore (US$330 million) (2020)[1]
Increase 752.62 crore (US$110 million) (2020)[1]
Increase 528.57 crore (US$74 million) (2020)[1]
Total assetsIncrease 3,249.83 crore (US$460 million) (2020)[1]
Total equityIncrease 1,327.81 crore (US$190 million) (2020)[1]
OwnerGovernment of India (87.40%)
Members20 million registered users[2] (2019)
ParentIndian Railways

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the latter, with around 5,50,000 to 6,00,000 bookings everyday.[2]

IRCTC held an initial public offering on the National Stock Exchange on 30 September 2019, the IPO got oversubscription of 112 times.[3] The base price of shares was set between 315 and 320 (US$4.60) per share for the IPO.[4] When the listing went live on 14 October 2019, the share price opened at a 625 and 646 on NSE and BSE respectively and rose massively from there.[5] The IPO has reduced Indian Railway's shareholding in the company to 87.40%.[6]

IRCTC started running private trains, and "Tejas Express" become India's first private train on 4th Oct 2019. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagged off the first Tejas Express, the country's first "private" train run by its subsidiary IRCTC, on the Lucknow-New Delhi route.


Online ticketing[edit]

It is one of the Miniratna companies of Central Indian government. Prior to its inception, Indian railway passengers had little options for quality food while travelling. Passengers have to get off from trains at stations and buy sub-standard and unhygienic food available. The short halt at stations and the sudden surge in crowd at the stalls added to the travelers' panic. After the advent of IRCTC, pantry cars were introduced inside long or medium distance trains which catered to passengers by serving freshly cooked quality food, thus revolutionizing train travel in India. It pioneered internet-based rail ticket booking through its website, as well as from the mobile phones via WiFi, GPRS or SMS. It also provides SMS facility to check PNR status and Live Train Status as well. In addition to e-tickets, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation also offers I-tickets that are basically like regular tickets except that they are booked online and delivered by post. The tickets PNR status is also made available. Commuters on the suburban rail can also book season tickets through the website. It has also launched a loyalty program called Shubh Yatra for frequent travelers. Through this program, passengers can avail of discounts on all tickets booked round the year by paying an upfront annual fee.

Seeking to make it easier to book e-tickets, It launched a scheme called Rolling Deposit Scheme (RDS). RDS is an e-ticket booking scheme allowing passengers to reserve seats against advance money kept with the corporation.[7] It has also added flights and hotels booking facilities to their line of online reservation services. The website is managed by TCS. Also, TCS manage Indian passports.[8]

Tatkal scheme[edit]

Under the Tatkal scheme, passengers who plan their journey at short notice can book their tickets in almost all Mail/Express trains through the Indian railways internet portal. The booking starts at 10:00 AM daily for AC coach reservation and for Non-AC timing is residual to 11.00 AM, one day prior to the departure of the train from source station.[9] Tatkal E-ticket can be booked for selected trains one day in advance excluding date of journey from the train originating station. It can be booked on the opening day from 10:00 AM for AC coach and 11:00 AM for NON-AC.[10] Passengers travelling on Tatkal tickets should carry a photo ID proof along with them to be shown to the ticket checker. Earlier this year, the website has launched Lite version which doesn't include ads, pop ups, etc. and check PNR status.[11]


Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation also organises budget and deluxe package tours for domestic and foreign tourists. A popular tourism package for budget tourists covering important tourist destinations across India is called "Bharat Darshan". Luxury tourism packages are also available, that involve special luxury trains such as Buddhist Circuit Train and Maharajas' Express operations.[12]

Apart from conventional tourism, it also offers adventure tourism packages that include water sports, adventure and wildlife treks, etc. A provision for customising tours as per specific requirements is also an added attraction. Recently a new venture of Indian Railways, named as Rail Tourism India has been launched to provide direct catering and tourism packages to users.

Train operations[edit]

Mainly IRCTC provides catering and e-ticketing services but it also runs India's first semi-high speed fully air-conditioned train Tejas Express.[13]


As one of the biggest e-commerce portal in India, it made a lot of records.

  • On 19 March 2014, nearly 5,80,000 tickets booked in a day.[14]
  • On 1 April 2015, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) created a new national record with 13,45,496 tickets booked in a day.[15]
  • On 2 April 2015, nearly 11,00,000 tickets booked in a day.[16]
  • In April 2015, nearly 13,40,000 tickets booked in a day.[17]
  • The inauguration of Tejas Express was on 24 May 2017 from Mumbai CST to Karmali, Goa[18]
  • Extension of Scheme of Alternate Train Accommodation System aka VIKALP for the benefit of Waitlisted Passengers with effect from 1 April 2017 in all Mail/Express trains.[19][20]
  • From 3 November. 2017, Service started to provide information to passengers through (SMS) regarding status of delayed trains. Initially, all Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Tejas & Gatiman Trains covered. From 15 December 2017, all Jan shatabdis, Duranto and Garib Rath trains have also been included. Now this service is available in around 250 trains.[21][22][23]
  • On 4 October 2019, started operating India's first semi-private train "Tejas" between Lucknow and Delhi.[24]
  • On 17 January 2020, started operating second semi-private train ''Tejas'' between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.[25]
  • On 16 February 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first semi-private Train ''Kashi Mahakaal'' (3rd semi-private by IRCTC) between Varanasi and Indore connecting 4 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.[26]
  • In August 2019, IRCTC launched a payment wallet names iMudra, to provide an easy way to book railway tickets, pay, send or withdraw money.[27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Balance Sheet 31.03.2020". (4 January 2019).
  2. ^ a b "IRCTC Booking Time Window Extended by 15 Minutes". NDTV Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "IRCTC IPO: Rs 645cr issue to open on Sept 30, price band at Rs 315-320 per share". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  5. ^ Mudgill, Amit (14 October 2019). "IRCTC equals D-Mart's listing feat, analysts say it's time to book partial profit". The Economic Times. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  6. ^ "IRCTC IPO off to a strong start, subscribed 81% amid strong demand from retail on Day 1". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  7. ^ IRCTC to launch 'Rolling Deposit Scheme' for e-ticket - Economic Times. (28 August 2012). Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Indian Railways to introduce Rolling Deposit Scheme for E-Ticketing". Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  9. ^ Welcome to Indian Railway Passenger reservation Enquiry. (30 June 2006). Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions".
  11. ^ "IRCTC Lite Version For Tatkal Launched". PNRStatus(The ticket for an Indian Railways train consists of a 10-digit number) 28 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  12. ^ Gupta, Jayanta (19 March 2010). "Rs 1 lakh a night on Maharajas' Express". Times of India. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  13. ^ Writer, Staff (23 September 2019). "Railways' first private train sees strong bookings. Delhi-Lucknow Tejas features". Mint. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  14. ^ "IRCTC record: 5.8 lakh etickets sold in a day". The Times of India. 21 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Record Number of Train Tickets Booked As New Reservation Rule Kicks In". NDTV. 2 April 2015.
  16. ^ "4-month advance railway booking: Record 11 lakh tickets sold online". The Times of India. 2 April 2015.
  17. ^ Malviya, Sagar (27 November 2015). "IRCTC rakes in Rs 20,000 crore from online ticketing, revenue double of Flipkart's". Indiatimes.
  18. ^ "India's first ever high-speed Tejas Express to be inaugurated today". The New Indian Express. 22 May 2017.
  19. ^ "VIKALP Terms and Conditions".
  20. ^ "Railways' new Vikalp scheme to help waiting-list passengers to travel in premium trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani". Business Today. 22 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Welcome to Indian Railway Passenger reservation Enquiry".
  22. ^ "Sms Service Code".
  23. ^ "Now get SMS delay alerts at halt stations; service extended to 1,104 more trains". The Economic Times. 3 June 2018.
  24. ^ "India's First Private Train". Economic Times.
  25. ^ Dec 28, Agencies | Updated:; 2019; Ist, 06:00. "Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas Express to roll out on Jan 17". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 15 February 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "पीएम मोदी काशी महाकाल एक्सप्रेस को दिखाएंगे हरी झंडी, हुआ सफल ट्रायल, इस स्पीड से दौड़ी ट्रेन". Amar Ujala. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  27. ^ "IRCTC iMudra payment wallet: Here's everything you need to know". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  28. ^ "IRCTC launches iMudra wallet to provide you hassle-free payment experience". Zee Business. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2020.