Online Train Booking: Everything You Need to Know

In a world where everything is going digital, and people like to plan things, booking train tickets online has become extremely popular. Even though you can still buy train tickets at various counters on the Railway Stations, IRCTC has introduced online train booking for passengers looking to reserve their seats in advance and avoid any last-minute hassle at the railway station or during the journey. Similarly, passengers can also purchase train tickets via authorised ticketing partners of IRCTC. 


What is an Online Train Booking or e-Ticket?

A train ticket is a pass for your journey containing all the information about the passenger, boarding time, station, destination, seat number etc. After confirming the online train booking, passengers can get their PNR number and access their e-train ticket online or print it like any other travel ticket. 

Online Train booking lets the passengers book the tickets according to their convenience and enables them to cancel them online itself. 


How to book e-tickets on the IRCTC website? 

For online train booking via the IRCTC website, it is important to have an account on their official website. To make your account, register yourself with a valid email and password and follow the steps as mentioned below: 

1. Login to the IRCTC website with the registered email id and password. 

2. Enter your start and end destination by selecting the section "From-To" on the homepage. 

3. Select the dates you want to travel to your desired destination. 

4. Check the availability of the train seats and click on " Book Now." 

5. After this, select the class and quota you want to book the tickets in. 

6. Fill in the details on the passengers as mentioned on the website and select the seat or berth preference. Then click on "continue booking".

7. Proceed with the payment and choose your preferred mode of payment- debit card, credit card, net banking, digital wallets etc. 

8. After the success of your payment, the ticket will be booked.

9. You will be redirected to the IRCTC confirmation page.

10. At the page end, you can also find the "Print Ticket" option to carry your e-ticket during your journey! 


Ways to carry e-Tickets while Travelling


Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS)

To access: Go to IRCTC Website> My Account> My Transactions> Booked Ticket History. You can print this e-ticket and carry it as proof. 


Virtual Reservation Message (VRM)

You can take a screenshot of the confirmation mail that will be sent on your registered e-mail id and show it as proof of your train booking. This is accepted by Indian Railways as proof of online train booking. 


SMS Confirmation

The SMS Confirmation or the PNR number sent on your registered mobile number is also accepted as proof by Indian Railways. 

Note: It is important to carry a valid photo id proof like Aadhar Card, Pan Card, Driving Licence along with the e-ticket to validate your online train booking. 


Is there a difference between Online Train Booking and Bookings at a Station?

After online train bookings, the passenger gets an e-ticket, whereas paper tickets are issued after booking the ticket at the Railway Station. E-tickets can be printed or digital and hold equal validity as the paper tickets provided at the Railway Station.

However, passengers must carry valid photo proof to show and confirm their booking during their journey for both the tickets.