Indian Railway has one of the lowest train fares in the world. Indian Railway ticket reservation system used to be manual until the late 1980's. It was only in 1986 that the first computerized reservation center was opened at New Delhi. In 1995, the whole ticketing system became internet-friendly and one could access latest information regarding status and availability. In the present day, the ticketing network has been computerized to a great extent with the exception of some far-flung areas.
The big cities provide the facility of booking tickets for any two
points throughout the country. An access to Indian Railway tickets
became easy with the advent of internet and mobile phones. However, this
means you need to pay some additional surcharges along with the basic
amount. People, who use rail services frequently can purchase a season
pass (monthly or quarterly) to enjoy unlimited travel between two
Senior citizens are allowed to get discount on the actual price of
tickets. Other categories of discounted tickets take in the disabled,
students and high ranking government officials. In the lowest class of
accommodation of passenger train, one compartment is assigned for
ladies. There are several berths or seats in second class and sleeper
class that are reserved for ladies. One can also opt for season tickets,
which permit unlimited travel on particular trains for a particular
period of time.
In case of long-distance travel, one can go for reservation of berth
two months before the actual date of journey to ensure relaxed travel.
To book an Indian Rail Ticket, details like name, age, concession (if
qualified) etc. are essential. The price of ticket generally includes
the base fare depending on the categorization of the train. In a case of
non availability of seats, a ticket is issued with a wait listed number
mentioned on it. If the ticket comprises both berth and coach number, it
suggests that ticket is confirmed.
The person, who has got a wait listed ticket, should wait until there
are adequate cancellations to permit him/ her to get a confirmed ticket.
In case, the ticket doesn't get confirmed till the day of departure, the
person is not allowed to board the train. There are some tickets under
the category of RAC or Reservation against Cancellation, which shows
they are between the waiting list and the confirmed list. With these
tickets, one gets permit to board the train and take an allotted seat
offered by the ticket collector.
Today, a person can book tickets and can even cancel them online. The
non-reserved tickets can be purchased from the platform at any time
before departure. The non-reserved ticket holders can only board the
general compartment class as per the rule. Most of the suburban networks
provide non-reserved tickets that are applicable for a limited time
period. An Indrail Pass is available for foreign tourists, to allow them
unlimited travel in India for a particular time period.