India: Train Ticket Booking Hacks below and cheer youself with long holidays. India is big and versatile. Every state has so much to offer like – different culutre, language, food and geography. And to see everything, nothing can beat but the Indian trains. Trains are the lifeline of India and the best part, it has connectivity in very part of the country. Summer Vacations are here and Families go out on holidays. Some go to long holidays. But there is not one but three hacks that very less people know about the booking of tickets. We all know that long journey means less fare, thats how Indian railway system works. But you can also pay less for small journeys and save some more money. How? Take a look to all the Hacks below:
India: Train Booking Hacks
Hack 1: Through Journey TicketWhen there is no direct train running from your intended location to final destination then you can book a through ticket which can save you a significant amount of money. Let’s take an example: Suppose my friend and I want to travel from Rourkela(ROU) to New Bongaigaon (NBQ, a town in lower part of Assam) in sleeper class(SL). There is no daily direct train service from these two places and we have decided to travel on the following train- 1. Rourkela to Howrah- Koraput Howrah Express(18006) 2. Howrah to New Bongaigaon – Saraighat Express(12345) In that situation either I can buy two separate tickets for each train or a through ticket. If I buy separate tickets then I will need to pay- INR (250*2) + (435*2)= 1370. But, if I buy a through ticket then I need to pay only INR 1110 for the whole journey. Thereby, I can save INR 260, a saving of nearly 18.79%. Note: You cannot take break less than/more than 2 days. Excluding the day of arrival and departure of other train you are permissible to break the jorney for 2 days. Breaking the journey less/more than 2 days will not e considered a break journey ticket.
How to book Through Ticket : Click Here
Hack 2: Break Journey TicketIf you have a journey ticket for a fairly long distance, the railways allow you to “break journey” enroute – that is, stop at an enroute station for a couple of days and do whatever you want there – sightsee, meet family and friends etc. The rules for break journeys are:
- They cannot be issued for trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani, Duronto, Garib Rath and Jan Shatabdi Expresses,
- You need to travel for more than 500 km to be eligible for a break of journey,
- You cannot break your journey at a station less than 500 km from your origin,
- If you have a ticket for more than 500 km but less than 1,000 km, you can break journey once; if your journey exceeds 1,000 km, you can break journey twice,
- You must indicate that you want to break journey en-route at the time of booking your ticket,
- You need to get your ticket endorsed by the station master of the station at which you break your journey. If you fail to do this and are caught later on, you will be treated as a ticketless traveller and fined accordingly,
- You do not need to take the same train onwards after breaking journey,
- You can break journey for a maximum of two days excluding the day you arrive and leave the break journey station,
- A halt of less than 24 hours at a station to catch a connecting train is not treated as a break of journey (it then becomes a through ticket)
Hack 3: Circuit Tour TicketIf you’re planning a long trip with several stops along the way, such as a pilgrimage, or a really intense backpacking trip, a circular journey ticket can save you an incredible amount on your tickets. However, there is an incredible amount of bureaucracy involved in getting one, and unless you have plenty of time to make many trips to the railway station (and subsequently, to the reservation office), you might want to just buy tickets the normal way instead and buy each ticket separately online or at a reservation office. What exactly is a circular journey ticket? As the name suggests, it is for a trip that is roughly circular in nature, where no station (apart from the origin) is touched twice during the journey. An example of such a trip is one I made recently around India: Barring a few short – and unavoidable – sections, I didn’t repeat any section on my trip, making this itinerary valid for a circular journey ticket. How does a circular journey save money? It works on the same principle as a through journey ticket; that is, you are charged a single fare for the entire trip, rather than separate fares for each journey. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the longer your journey, the more economical the fare per kilometre. For example, a 100 km journey by Second AC Sleeper costs INR 665 (INR 6.65 per kilometre), whereas a 3,000 km journey by the same class costs INR 3,065 (INR 1.02 per kilometre). For my trip, I paid INR 7,600 for 8,420 km of travel by Second AC Sleeper, which worked out to a very economical INR 0.90 per kilometre and a saving of more than INR 3,000 per passenger over buying regular point-to-point tickets. Circular Journey Tickets – Basic Rules
- Circular journey tickets cannot be purchased online.
- Circular journey tickets can be issued for any class of travel.
- Railway zones issue both standard as well as non-standard circular journey tickets. Standard circular journey tickets are pre-decided routes that include popular attractions within and outside the zone, and if any of these itineraries appeal to you, you can apply for one and save out on a lot of the bureaucracy that is involved in applying for a customised route (a non-standard circular journey ticket).
- A maximum of eight breaks of journey (stopovers) are permitted on a single circular journey ticket. However, a halt of less than 24 hours at a station to catch a connecting train is not treated as a break of journey, and you can take advantage of this rule by maximising the permissible gap between the arrival of your first train and the departure of your connecting train. On my trip, I managed to get a whole day in Jaipur through this rule. Unlike a regular break journey ticket, you do not need the endorsement of the station master at every break of journey.
- You cannot repeat any section during your trip (for example, you cannot travel Delhi – Kalka, followed by a Kalka – Delhi journey later). Exceptions are made for branch lines and sections where no alternate route is possible. If, for example, you wish to travel to Kanyakumari, you will have to traverse the Nagercoil – Kanyakumari stretch, followed by a Kanyakumari – Nagercoil journey, as there is no other route out of Kanyakumari.
- Every circular journey ticket has a specific validity period, determined by the total distance travelled. My circular journey ticket of 8,420 km had a validity of 63 days. There is no restriction on the number of days you spend at each stopover, as long as your entire trip is completed within the validity period of the ticket.
- As per the instructions laid down by the railway board, you can upgrade your ticket to a higher class for a portion of your journey by paying the difference in fare – see this link. However, the reservation system cannot do this automatically, which means the reservation clerk has to manually calculate the difference in fares and issue you an Excess Fare Ticket for the same. Most railway staffers are unaware of this rule, and in many cases, might flat out refuse your request.
- Some zones allow you to travel on Shatabdi, Rajdhani, Duronto and Jan Shatabdi Expresses with a circular journey ticket on payment of the difference in fares.
How To apply for Circular Journey Ticket? – Click Here