In a major relief for passengers amid the festive season, Indian Railways has allowed booking and cancellation of tickets till 5 minutes before departure of the train. The new rule will come into effect from tomorrow i.e October 10. The new rule will be applicable for all special trains being run by Indian Railways, along with Tejas Express, which will start from October 17th.
The Indian Railways has decided to restore the pre-Covid system of preparing the second reservation chart 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains from stations. The system had been modified to two hours in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic for the last few months.
“As per the request of Zonal Railways for ensuring convenience of rail passengers, the matter has been examined and it has been decided that the second reservation chart shall be prepared at least 30 minutes before scheduled or rescheduled time of departure of train,” the statement said.
“Accordingly, the ticket booking facility — both online and on PRS ticket counters — shall be available, before preparation of the second chart. CRIS will make necessary modifications in the software accordingly so as to restore this provision with effect from October 10,” it said.
Railways have also started running special trains. However, the regular train services still remain suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Booking or cancellation of tickets 5 minutes before departure:
Just like pre-COVID times, the 1st reservation chart will be prepared 4 hours before the departure of the train while the 2nd reservation chart will be prepared between 30 minutes to 5 minutes before departure of the train.
This means, ntil the second reservation chart is prepared, passengers can book train tickets. Tickets can also be cancelled during this time, as per the provisions of the refund rules.
If a seat, which was booked in the first chart of reservation, become vacant owing to cancellation, can be booked through PRS counters and online till the second chart is prepared.
The Railways had suspended all passenger trains services due to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown from March 25. However, it resumed services in a staggered manner beginning with Shramik Special trains to help stranded migrant workers reach their home states from May 1.