Simplifying Train Travel

8 Indian Railways rules you never knew about!

Even though millions travel by train, there are many railway rules which passengers are not aware of. At RailYatri, it is our constant endeavor to bring forth information that would help solve your travel worries. Today we bring you some such rules that you might not know.


Rule #1: Refunds on Tatkal tickets too!

Short Termination

Travel plans sometimes come knocking out of the blue. And when you have to travel by train – Tatkal tickets are your only last minute choice. Till not so long ago Tatkal tickets were non-refundable. However, with the new Railway rules all this have changed and you can now claim refunds on Tatkal tickets too. So if your train is delayed by over 3 hours or there is a change in route of your train and it misses your station – you can rightfully claim your refund. Also, if a train is short terminated due to any natural calamity or technical problem, then the full fare paid for the booked journey will be refunded. In such a case, the passengers should surrender their tickets to the Station Master of the station where the train got short terminated.

Rule #2: The rule of two stops

Rule for missing train

In case you miss the train from your designated boarding station, the TTE cannot allocate your berth to anyone else until the train passes the next two stops or during the next one hour (whichever is earliest). The rule thus allows you to board the train from the next upcoming station, if that is feasible. Once the train has passed the upcoming stop (or the time line), the TTE is free to allocate the seat only to the next person on RAC list.

  • Note: On missing the train you need to file a TDR and if sanctioned you will get a 50% refund on the base fare. You can cancel a ticket 3 hours after the train’s departure from your boarding station if the journey was for a distance of 200 KM; 6 hours after – for a journey of 201-500 KM and 12 hours if the distance is more than 500 KM.

Rule #3: Sleeping hours for middle berth occupant

Middle Berth

The rule says that any occupant of the middle berth cannot keep the berth up beyond the sleeping hours. The sleeping hours have been earmarked between 10 PM to 6 AM. The berth should be lowered after the said time to accommodate the smooth seating of co-passengers.

  • Note: The rule mandates that all the passengers should be comfortably seated in the lower berth during the day hours. So, having the middle berth up beyond the earmarked hours is actually an offence.

Rule #4: Carrying birds in train

Rules for carrying Birds

If you want to travel with your avian bird then you have to adhere to certain Indian railways rules. First of all, you cannot carry the bird along with you in the regular coach. Your bird will be treated as freight and placed in the luggage van. Chapter 10 of the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, clearly states that: “the responsibility for the well being of the bird (in this case) lies with the owner.” You have to fill up a form where the value of the bird, their number (in case you are carrying multiple birds), the number of cages and its dimensions should be clearly mentioned. It is the responsibility of owner to provide food and water for the bird while in transit. As you will not be allowed into the luggage van, so stock the cage with sufficient water and food to last the journey.

  • Note: Indian Railways does not permit the transportation of exotic bird species, and even parrots fall under such category. So seek clarification (about Bird species in question) before booking.

Rule #5: Toilets for locomotive drivers

Toilets for Drivers

It has been 163 years since the first train chugged in India, but till date, the locomotive pilots (drivers) have to ignore their nature’s call for hours as there is no toilet in the engine. The logic against providing such a basic facility, is to avoid unnecessary train delays (as trains have to be stopped while the driver uses toilet).

  • Note: In the last Rail Budget some special engines were commissioned with the provision for lavatories. But none are in action till date!

Rule #6: Prices of packed food within the station premise

Price of Packed Foods

The Railways Act of 1989 clearly states that the IRCTC authorized food vendors selling packed food items or water bottles cannot sell their goods over the MRP. Any vendor if caught in the act, would be punished with a hefty fine and may have the license cancelled. Railways have a toll free number of 1800111321  to register complains in this regard.

Rule #7: Refund policy for lost tickets

Lost train ticket

Suppose you have an upcoming journey, and find that somehow you have lost or misplaced the ticket/s, there is still a way to go ahead with the journey. You can approach the Chief Reservation Supervisor at the boarding station and submit an application requesting the issuance of a duplicate ticket. Alongside the application you would be asked to submit a xerox copy of identity card.This request would be entertained only until 24 hours before the journey time. After inspection, the duplicate ticket would be provided on payment of a nominal processing fee. In case, you find the original ticket, you can claim refund on processing charge for the duplicate ticket. To get such refund you need to furnish the original as well as duplicate ticket to the same official.

  • Note: When a duplicate ticket is issued, your ticket gets blocked. You can no longer cancel or alter this ticket any further. This is done to protect railways from fake claims, where another person finds the ticket and pockets all the refunds from cancellation.

Rule #8: Extending the journey

Journey extension

During the peak seasons, many passengers have to book tickets to an earlier station than their original destination (dictated by unavailability of tickets). In such instances, there is a provision to extend the journey upon informing the TTE before reaching the destination station. In such case, the TTE will collect the extra fare and issue a ticket for forward journey. You might be provided a different berth though for this forward journey.

  • Note: You might have to carry on the remainder of journey in chair car if a vacant berth cannot be found.


ALSO READ: Suvidha train rules, Patient concession

63 thoughts on “8 Indian Railways rules you never knew about!


    Thank you for the information. I want to clarify one doubt which the railway officials do not. Is it necessary for me to take the ticket for the electric trains from tambaram to St.thomas mount when I travel in the train from Trichy to EGMORE under reservation.

    1. Kannan.V.

      Yes.You can board or alight from those stations the train scheduled
      to stop.For instance if you have booked to board from Tambaram,you can travel from egmore after buying a separate ticket in the same fare from The or counter.but not in a suburban train with subsidized fare.

  2. Sunil Kumar

    All the staff of our Indian railways are fraud and cheap they only make rules but none of them obey the rules….
    Once my friend missed the the train only because the supporting train was late actually all trains was blocked going to asansol to birth the booked train, after time lapse we informed the counter madhupur jn to cancel the ticket and take refund but those bastards didn’t refund a penny….

  3. Ritesh Bhansali

    Why Bed Roll is not provided for RAc Tickets. Their sud also be concession for Tatkal n Premium Tatkal Tickets for Senior Citizens. In Rail App you are telling it is cheaper if booked by Your Agent but is Actually Costlier by as much as 15% It’s like instead of Outside Agents have setting with Reservation Counter Staff unofficially you are doing it Officially by fulling Citizens of India very very Dishonesty Even Behaviour of Agents are very Rude I hope will solve this problems n accept my suggestion

  4. Shrikant sabnees

    Where to complain if TTE doesn’t listen and cancel my ticket since I was unable to board train from booked destination and boarded train on next stop.

  5. KIRAN Joshi

    How much early a train can leave station by law? What if I miss a train even if came on or before time? Where to complain?

  6. GL Sharma

    Confirmed Tatkal Tkt can be boarded at any place without advance intimation. Since no refund is allowed on tatkal confirmed tkt railway can’t reallot my confirmed tatkal tkt to any one. Railway can’t make undue profits by allotting confirmed tatkal tkt since no refund is permissible on confirmed tatkal tkt.


    My colleague had booked 3 tickets in SL class. As one of his family members was not in travelling condition, so he decided to take another friend along with a wait list ticket. TTE came into the compartment and asked this friend to get down. My colleague asked the TTE to charge a fine, but he refused. Is this the right practice?

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Vijay,

      Sorry to hear about your friend’s ordeal. But the TTE was just following the rule. And the rule states that no person without a confirmed or RAC ticket can travel in a train. As for replacing one family member with a friend is concerned, sadly that is not how it works according to the Railways rules.

  8. Mitram Bera

    I have a confirmed tatkal ticket for 15/06/18 from ajmer but i want to board from jaipur.. In boarding station section i put the station jaipur and it rejected thrice in the booking time… Somebody says that new circular is just arrived today.
    So please tell me the best possible way of boarding without any offences
    Please its very urgent

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Mitram,

      You can reserve an additional ticket in General Coach to travel between Jaipur to Ajmer. This will validate your journey. You can request the TTE to allow you inside the compartment (in which you have reservation from Ajmer onwards). You would be allowed to stand in the corridor, and if you are really lucky even get a seat. Once the train reaches Ajmer you can of course move to your confirmed berth for the forward journey. Again, please make sure you have a General ticket with you before boarding the train from Jaipur.

  9. Ashish

    May I know the source of information for rule#2 above described…My TTE asked for the authentic source..

  10. Mukul Patel

    I had a confirmed ticket from mumbai central to surat. Due to rains the train got short terminated at dahanu, and got revered from dahanu itself. And because of rains it was not poasible to catch the train. The journey was a no show. what is the refund rule for the same and how to claim the refund in such a case. I had booked the ticket online.

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Mukul,

      You have to visit the ticket reservation counter at the boarding station and report the same within 24 hours of the scheduled departure of the train. The Railways official would provide an application form, fill it up and submit. The details would be verified and you would get the refund.

  11. Riya

    I have confirmed tickets in 3AC from PPTA (Patliputra) Dep. 21:50 to NDLS (New Delhi) Arr. 10:20 (next day) and then in 3AC from NDLS Dep.14:10 ( the same next day) to LDH. Arr.18:25. The issue is the first train i.e. Dibrugarh Rajdhani reached NDLS more than 3 hours late due to which I am going to my next train from NDLS to LDH. Please note there is difference of more than 3 hours between arrival and departure of next train at NDLS. How to get refund? I have both e-Tickets for 2 persons throughout my journey.

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Riya,

      You can get full refund of fare only if you do not board a train (that is running late by more than 3 hrs.). Refunds cannot be claimed after the completion of journey.

  12. Eswar

    What’s the rule if a passenger having waiting list ticket and paid fine.
    Is he/she can travel in reserved coaches ?

  13. Kushi

    Actually our college area’s Railway Station donot have a scheduled railway stop. But frequently the train stops due to crossing of other train. Meanwhile we would get down .But sometime we can’t. We have to get down in the next stop . What the solution if we want to get an official stop there especially for us(students)?

  14. Jaisal

    Kindly provide the authority for the rule no. 2 mentioned in your article. Railway board order or any rule book etc.?

  15. Ratnakar Rout

    One more doubt which was regular will face that is like I’m boarding Surat station to Baroda which was 2hours journey but I’m purched super fast window ticket and travel in sleeper couch then why TTE take more charges for me ???

  16. Vilas Shirodkar

    Hello all……

    I have one query…….I have one upcoming reservation……where in my train travels as below…..

    —-> Manglore…..Udupi……Gokarna……Madgaon…..Thane

    I have a ticket from Udupi to Thane….Boarding at Madgaon.

    I want to board the train from Gokarna…..without changing the boarding station?……as i am not sure….of going to Gokarna during my trip

  17. Ankit yadav

    I have waitlisted ticket from Delhi to Mumbai(boarding point Mathura junction) in garib Rath. Chart is prepared and the ticket is not confirmed. I need to travel urgent. Should I board the train from Mathura and ask the TTE to make penalty? Is there any rule of boarding the train and ask for penalty? Somebody pls elaborate.

  18. Devan

    Hi, I want to travel from station A to station C, but there is no reservation available as it is showing waiting. But confirmed ticker is available from A to B and from B to C (station B is between station A and C). Can I legally book two tickets for the same person on the same train, one from A to B and second from B to C? If yes, since the fare of two separate reservations will be higher, can I opt for the telescopic discounted fare using the through / onward journey option for booking these two reserved tickets?

  19. Yadav

    What if the passenger is boarding from other station and The seat is alloted to other passenger, will the first passenger be declared as without ticket traveller???

  20. santosh kumar

    why train no.12875/12876 neelachal s/f exp is always average running late 5 hrs. this is great lose of money and valuable time of passengers kindly maintain the punctuality of this train because this is important train of indian railways which generate revenue for our economy

  21. Ramakrishna Pai

    I have tickets that booked to visit Goa.
    Boarding place Mangaluru central.
    The waiting list says CNF
    What does it mean?
    Will I get seat on the date of journey?

  22. subodh Punekar

    Rule #3: Sleeping hours for middle berth occupant

    Is the above rule too applicable to the lower berth traveler? As i have seen in many of my travel that the lower berth person sleeping up to 8:00 am.and middle berth traveler has to sit as shown in picture above.

  23. Neeraj Sancheti

    The charge for duplicate ticket is not even that nominal. It is 50% of the total fare. But yeah it’s still better than paying 100% fare again.

  24. Rajesh Kumar Meena

    Namaskar mera ticket aarawali express me 29/10/2018 ko Mumbai se reservation h aur meri boarding date Ahmedabad station se h train yaha next day pahuchati h 30/10/2018 ko mane ticket date 29/10/2018 likhi h to please mujhe batao konse din journey karni h

    1. RailYatri

      Hi Mr Roshan, that you can check with your IRCTC Account history (If you have made by your own account or else you can call the agent for PNR no and other details. Railyatri believes you have carried any of your identity prof with you during travel. Thanks

  25. Sarat Kumar Dash

    Dear Sir,
    I want to know, how many hours, the e ticket is valid. Suppose I got down from the train in between and do not want reservation further. Can I travel by the same ticket within a few hours? CAn it be 24 hours!!! thanks in advance

  26. Vaibhav Maniar

    I have confirmed ticket in 3Rd AC of 4 members having 2 middle and two upper seats.
    Now another 5 persons who have one confirmed and 4 waiting,
    As per rules one confirmed and remaining waiting can travel with same class.

    But I want to know how to accommodate remaining 3 members in seat available six?

    Tte suggested to adjust but my question is how do we adjust in long journey?

  27. Suraj

    I checked and found on 24 dec 2018 nanadan kanan express which is runnjng from delhi to Bhubaneswar, its waiting from kanpur is 20 and then the next station allahabad and there are waiting 27. Now which ticket got confirm first. Whuch one i should book?

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Suraj,

      Ideally you should have the Concession Certificate with the exact boarding and de-boarding stations mentioned. However, there might be exceptions made by Indian railways depending upon your case. So, you need to visit the booking office of the boarding station for further clarity.

  28. Sivaraman

    I have confirmed ticket , suddenly my friend also coming for the trip ,
    Whether we can travel in sleeper coach with 1 ticket and my friend taken a unreserved ticket for him

    Pl advice

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Sivaram,

      Such an arrangement can be reached only after the TTE consents. So, you have to seek his permission. Even when the TTE allows your friend inside the coach you would have to share the berth.

  29. Partha

    Dear Sir,
    I had reservation and reached station much earlier. But I was waiting at wrong platform which someone suggested to wait there . Unfortunately my train started from different platform. The 10:50 am is departure time , surprisingly at 10:49 am the announcement has come line train will start sooner. I tried to catch , but my other family members was not able to run I requested guard to hold for minute and the station as a starting point for my journey.

    Now , I would like to know that , who have authority to stop the train at last minute call and which rules can be applicable . I would like to raise a complaint that , the station employees did not announced the right platform number before train starts .

    Appreciate all your help and suggestions .

    Regards ,

    1. RailYatri

      Hi Mr Partha, so sorry for your loss. Here I would like to guide you that you should fill the complain against such problems. Also there is a rule for refund if you could not catch your train ever because of such situations. You can fill the TDR Form in the same railway station. Thanks

  30. Sairaj Gauns

    Sir .we have a confirmed ticket of Trivandrum Rajdhani from Shunoor to Goa. Can v board the same train from Ernakulam which is 2 station prior to Shunoor. If we have to pay the difference AMT what will be charged and were to pay

    1. RailYatri

      Hello Sairaj,

      As per the Indian railways rules, you can board two stations later (from your original boarding point). But railways would not allow you to board earlier than the mentioned boarding station on your travel ticket. So, if you are caught you would be deemed as Without Ticket. So, the easiest way is to board the General compartment of the same train from Ernakulam and change over to your allotted coach at Shunoor. But even for this journey you need to book a General ticket.


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