Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation

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Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)
Subsidiary of the Indian Railway
Industry Railways
Headquarters New Delhi, NCT, India
Area served
Products e-ticketing, offline booking, online booking
Services Catering, Tourism and Online Ticketing
Revenue Rs 1,506 crore (2016[1])
Members 30 million registered users[2] (2015)
Parent Indian 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 Indian railways, with around 5,50,000 to 6,00,000 bookings everyday is the world's second busiest.[2] It's tagline is "Lifeline of the nation".


Online ticketing[edit]

It is known for changing the face of railway ticketing 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 a hassle-free e-ticket booking scheme allowing passengers to reserve seats against advance money kept with the corporation.[3] It has also added flights and hotels booking facilities to their line of online reservation services.[4]

Passengers are allowed to book tickets through e-ticketing all the day except from 11:45pm to 12:30am, following which IRCTC shut down it's main server for 45 minutes for maintenance.[2]

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.[5] 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 onwards for AC coach and 11:00 AM onwards for NON-AC.[6] 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.[7]


Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation also organizes catering on many important trains. Catering managed by IRCTC has a higher record of quality consistency. To give a freedom to passengers from conventional food (ecatering and Android App[1] ) service has been launched. Passengers can book food of their choice from vendors like Dominos to Halidram at select stations. Food is delivered at the seat . This project has the potential to become big.


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 operation.[8]

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.

Air ticketing[edit]

IRCTC has its presence in the air ticket booking also, Through its website. IRCTC provides air ticket booking facility for the Domestic and International travel. IRCTC is also an authorized agency to book LTC tickets. IRCTC provides solution to all your queries regarding Air travel through its round the clock customer care.


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

  • On 2 September 2013, nearly 5,82,000 tickets booked in a day.
  • On 19 March 2014, nearly 5,80,000 tickets booked in a day.[9]
  • 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.[10]
  • On 2 April 2015, nearly 11,00,000 tickets booked in a day.[11]
  • In April 2015, nearly 13,40,000 tickets booked in a day.[12]
  • The inaugural of Tejas Express was on 24th May 2017 from Mumbai CST to Karmali, Goa[13]
  • Extension of Scheme of Alternate Train Accommodation System aka VIKALP for the benefit of Waitlisted Passengers with effect from 1st April, 2017 in all Mail/Express trains.[14][15]
  • From 03 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.[16][17][18]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Within short span of its going online, it had become the largest and the fastest-growing e-commerce website in the Asia-Pacific region, with about six lakh registered users as of 2013.

Some of the other awards won by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation are:

  • Won Website of the Year India Award 2014
  • Won Dalal Street Investment Journal (DSIJ) PSU award 2014 for the Biggest E-Commerce portal in India
  • Won News Ink legend PSU Shining Awards 2014 in the category – Legend PSU of the year for Customer Friendly Operations
  • Conferred with Indian e-Retail Awards 2015, in the category “Leisure and Travel eRetailer of the Year”

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Malviya, Sagar; Arora, Rajat (22 November 2016). "IRCTC net profit jumps 44% to Rs 189 crore in FY16". The Economic Times. 
  2. ^ a b c "IRCTC Booking Time Window Extended by 15 Minutes". NDTV Retrieved 15 August 2018. 
  3. ^ Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation to launch 'Rolling Deposit Scheme' for e-ticket - Economic Times. (28 August 2012). Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Indian Railways to introduce Rolling Deposit Scheme for E-Ticketing". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Welcome to Indian Railway Passenger reservation Enquiry. (30 June 2006). Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". 
  7. ^ "IRCTC Lite Version For Tatkal Launched". 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2017-05-15. 
  8. ^ Gupta, Jayanta (19 March 2010). "Rs 1 lakh a night on Maharajas' Express". Times of India. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "IRCTC record: 5.8 lakh etickets sold in a day". The Times of India. 21 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Record Number of Train Tickets Booked As New Reservation Rule Kicks In". NDTV. 2 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "4-month advance railway booking: Record 11 lakh tickets sold online". The Times of India. 2 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Malviya, Sagar (27 November 2015). "IRCTC rakes in Rs 20,000 crore from online ticketing, revenue double of Flipkart's". Indiatimes. 
  13. ^ "India's first ever high-speed Tejas Express to be inaugurated today". The New Indian Express. 22 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "VIKALP Terms and Conditions". 
  15. ^ "Railways' new Vikalp scheme to help waiting-list passengers to travel in premium trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani". Business Today. 22 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Welcome to Indian Railway Passenger reservation Enquiry". 
  17. ^ "Sms Service Code". 
  18. ^ "Now get SMS delay alerts at halt stations; service extended to 1,104 more trains". The Economic Times. 3 June 2018. 

External links[edit]