The Indian Railways have always strived to improve the ease and accessibility of booking a ticket for any train you want. E-ticketing service was a big step in that direction. Indian Railways also offer I-Ticket’s which is a normal train ticket that is booked online. Millions of people across the country use these services because they are so user-friendly and easy.
Indian Railways has gone one step ahead and announced the service of Train Ticket Booking Through SMS. This service won’t need an internet connection and will work just with a simple SMS. India’s rural population still don’t have an internet service but they do have phones (mostly feature phones). The idea is to help these people book a ticket from any place and at any time.
How To Book A Train Ticket Via SMS
Only registered users, means users who have a valid account on IRCTC Website, would be able to book train tickets through SMS. If you don’t have an account, then go to the IRCTC Website and “Sign Up” to create your account.
1. SMS Based Booking
Remember, only registered mobile number can be used to book a ticket. The number must be registered with both IRCTC as well as your Bank. If your number is registered then follow the below-given steps to book a ticket.
1] Use your registered mobile number to send an SMS to 139. The SMS format should be as given below
BOOK <TrainNo> <FromCity> <ToCity> <TravelDate(DDMM)> <Class> <Passenger1-Name> <Age> <Gender> <Passenger2-Name> <Age> <Gender> (up to 6 passengers)
For example BOOK 12110 NK KYN 1806 Akshay 25 M Ankit 26 M
If the format is valid, a reply will be received from 139. This message will contain the following data
- Transaction ID
- Amount of Ticket
- Additional Service Charges
- Total Amount
- Seat Availability
2] Using the above parameters, send SMS to 139 regarding payment in the following format
SMS PAY <Transaction ID as received> <NEFT mode of payment)> <Your MMID as received from the bank> <OTP received for this transaction> <IRCTCUserID>
For Example: SMS PAY 1589057 NEFT <MMID> <OTP> Akshay
If everything is right, then you will get a reply from 139 that your transaction is successful and your tickets have been booked. You will get details of your ticket like PNR number, booking status etc in the message.
Check Your PNR Status (Click Here)
2. Cancellation Process Via SMS
A] The whole ticket is to be canceled – Follow the given steps to cancel ticket via SMS
B] When the ticket is partially canceled – Follow the steps given below
So, in this way, you can book a railway ticket without an internet connection or need to go to the railway counter. This service cannot be used to book Tatkal Tickets. Therefore, if you want to book a Tatkal Ticket then click here to know how you can do that.