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Indian Railway (IRCTC) Refund Rules for Train Ticket cancellation

When you cancel a reserved train ticket, you are entitled to get a full or partial refund of the amount you paid for the ticket during the time of reservation. The refund process is different for counter tickets and e-Tickets booked through IRCTC. Moreover, the refund amount also varies based on the status of the ticket – that is, whether you are cancelling a Confirmed, RAC, Tatkal, or Waitlisted ticket – and also, the time you choose to cancel it. The refund process for train tickets is governed by certain rules and policies. Here’s an overview of some of the important refund rules of Indian Railways.

Refund Rules for e-Tickets Booked Through IRCTC Website/Mobile App

According to IRCTC refund rules, you can get a refund for e-Tickets booked online through the IRCTC platform (website or mobile app) by cancelling them online. Applicable cancellation fees will be deducted from the amount and the refund will be made to the account through which you had made the payment.

Railway Refund Rules for Counter Tickets

  • If you cancel the ticket through a PRS counter: Refund for counter tickets cancelled through a PRS counter can be collected from the counter itself, subject to the deduction of cancellation fees.
  • If you cancel the ticket online through IRCTC: In the event of online cancellation of counter tickets, you can collect the refund at the station from where you were supposed to board the train or from one of the neighboring satellite locations of PRS within a prescribed time limit. You must surrender your original ticket in order to collect the refund.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Confirmed Tickets before Chart Preparation

The refund amount for confirmed tickets, whether e-Tickets or counter tickets, is calculated based on when you choose to cancel the ticket with regard to the departure of the train. Indian Railways refund policies for confirmed tickets are as follows:

  • 48 hours prior to commencement of journey: Refund after deducting a minimum flat cancellation fee of
    • ₹ 240 + GST for AC First Class or Executive class
    • ₹ 200 + GST for AC 2-tier or First Class
    • ₹ 180 + GST for AC 3-tier, AC Chair Car, or AC 3-Economy
    • ₹ 120 + GST for Sleeper Class
    • ₹ 60 + GST for Second Class
  • 48 hours to 12 hours: Refund after deducting 25% of the base fare subject to minimum flat cancellation charges
  • 12 hours and up to 4 hours: Refund after deducting 50% of the base fare subject to the minimum flat cancellation charges
  • After the train has departed: No refund

Railway Refund Rules for Confirmed Tickets after Chart Preparation

  • In order to get a refund for a confirmed ticket after the chart has been prepared (that is, within 4 hours of the scheduled commencement of the journey), you have to file a TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt).
  • Refund is not applicable for a confirmed ticket if no cancellation is done or TDR is not filed up to 4 hours before the train is set to leave the station.
  • The refund of ticket fare filed through TDR will take a minimum of 60 days or more than that.

IRCTC Refund Rules of RAC Tickets 

  • You can get a refund for your RAC tickets if you cancel it up to 30 minutes before the train is set to depart from the station. The refund is subject to a cancellation charge of ₹ 60 + GST per passenger.
  • To get a refund for your RAC ticket after the chart has been made, you need to file a TDR at least 30 minutes before the train’s departure.
  • If you don’t cancel your RAC ticket or file the TDR within this stipulated timeline, you won’t get any refund.
  • If you have a RAC ticket which is confirmed at the time of cancellation, the refund rules for confirmed tickets will be applicable.

IRCTC Refund Rules of Waitlist Tickets 

  • If you cancel your Waitlisted e-Tickets up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train, you will get a refund after deducting a cancellation fee of ₹ 60 + GST per passenger.
  • As per IRCTC refund rules, if you have a Waitlisted e-Ticket (GNWL, RLWL, or PQWL) and its status remains the same even after the chart has been made, you will be refunded the fare automatically by IRCTC after deducting applicable fees.
  • In the case of Waitlisted counter tickets, you can get it cancelled at a PRS counter or IRCTC website up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train and receive a refund from the counter.
  • If you have a Waitlisted ticket which is confirmed at the time of cancellation, the refund rules for confirmed tickets will be applicable.

Railway Refund Rules for Tatkal Ticket Cancellation

  • No refund is granted if you cancel your confirmed Tatkal tickets.
  • In the case Waitlisted Tatkal tickets, you are entitled to a refund as per the Waitlisted or RAC refund rules of Indian Railways. The refund will be given after applicable clerkage charges have been deducted from the amount.
  • Please note that you will be granted a complete refund of your confirmed Tatkal tickets if you cancel it under any of the following circumstances:
    1. The train gets delayed by over 3 hours at the station where your journey is supposed to begin.
    2. The train is set to follow a diverted route which you don’t want to travel.
    3. The train is set to follow a diverted route and one or both of your source and destination stations do not fall on that route.
    4. The coach in which your Tatkal seat has been allotted is not attached to the train and you haven’t been provided a seat in the same class.
    5. You are provided a seat in a lower class in which you don’t want to travel. However, if you travel in the lower class, you will be provided a refund of the difference in the ticket price and Tatkal charges, if applicable.

Railway Refund Rules of Premium Tatkal Ticket Cancellation

  • According to IRCTC refund rules, you are not entitled to any refund if you cancel your confirmed Premium Tatkal tickets. Under the PT quota, you cannot book RAC or Waitlisted tickets.
  • You will get a complete refund for your confirmed Premium Tatkal tickets under the same 5 circumstances as mentioned for Tatkal refund rules.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Partially Confirmed Party or Family Tickets

  • Suppose that you have a family e-Ticket or a party e-Ticket in which some of the seats are confirmed while some others are on the Waitlist or RAC. In this case, even the confirmed passengers can get a refund if they choose not to travel, subject to applicable cancellation charges. Further, to avail the refund, you will have to cancel the ticket online or file for TDR online at least 30 minutes before the train is set to depart from the station. These refund rules are applicable for both general quota and Tatkal quota e-Tickets.
  • In the same scenario, if you have a counter ticket instead of an e-Ticket, you can claim a refund by surrendering your counter ticket up to 30 minutes before the departure of the train.
  • In the same scenario, if the confirmed passengers on an e-Ticket decide to travel while the RAC or Waitlisted passengers decided not to travel, you need to get a certificate stating this from the railway ticket checking staff. You can get a refund based on this certificate provided that you file an online TDR within 72 hours of the train reaching your destination station. You will also have to send the certificate to IRCTC by post.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Cancelled Trains

  • e-Tickets: If your train is cancelled due to any reason, you are entitled to a full refund of your e-Ticket fare whether you have confirmed, Waitlisted or RAC tickets. Passengers with e-Tickets will get the refund credited to the account that they had used for booking. You need not cancel your e-Ticket or file a TDR in such cases because the ticket will be automatically cancelled.
  • Counter Tickets: If you have a counter ticket, you can collect your refund from a PRS counter. However, you must cancel your ticket at any PRS counter within 72 hours after the scheduled departure of the train.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Diverted Trains

If your train is diverted from its specified route and you don’t want to travel via the new route, you can get a full refund of your ticket fare.  For this, you must file a TDR up to 72 hours of the train’s departure schedule from the station where you are supposed to board.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Train Running Behind Schedule by More Than 3 Hours

  • If the train arrives at your boarding station 3 hours or more behind its schedule, you can get a full refund of your e-Tickets. But make sure to file a TDR online before the train’s actual departure time to ensure a full refund.
  • Passengers with counter tickets can hand over the ticket to the railway officials at the station where your journey was to begin and obtain a full refund from the counter.
  • No refund is admissible if you cancel, surrender your tickets or file a TDR after the actual departure of the train.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Lost or Misplaced Ticket

Indian Railways does not allow refund for tickets that are lost or misplaced by passengers. However, passengers can opt for a duplicate ticket to be issued and continue with their journey.   

IRCTC Refund Rules when the Railways Fails to Provide Accommodation

If you have a reserved ticket and the railway administration fails to provide you seats / berths, you are entitled to a full refund without any cancellation/clerkage fee deduction. In order to get the refund, you must surrender the ticket within 3 hours of the train’s actual departure.

IRCTC Refund Rules for Unreserved Tickets

  • If you have an unreserved ticket and want to cancel it, you can present the ticket to the station master within 3 hours of its issuance and get a refund subject to a clerkage charge of ₹ 30 per passenger.
  • In the event that your unreserved ticket has been issued in advance, you can get a refund by presenting it to the station master up to 24 hours prior to the date of journey. The clerkage charge will remain the same.

IRCTC Refund Rules on AC Failure

If you are traveling in AC coaches and Indian Railways fails to provide you with AC facility for a portion of your journey, you will get a refund for that specific portion of the journey. The refund amount in such cases will be as follows:

  • For 1 AC – the difference between 1 AC fare and First Class fare
  • 2 AC/ 3 AC – the difference between 2 AC/ 3 AC fare and Sleeper Class fare in Mails and Expresses
  • AC Chair Car – the difference between AC Chair Car fare and Second Class fare in Mails and Expresses
  • Executive Class – the difference between Executive Class fare and the First Class fare in Mails and Expresses

In such cases, you will be issued a certificate by the ticketing staff. Passengers with e-Tickets must file an online TDR within 20 hours of arrival at the destination and also send the certificate to IRCTC by post. Passengers with counter tickets need to only send the certificate to IRCTC by post.

IRCTC Refund Rules If You Had to Travel in a Lower Class

  • Suppose you have a ticket for a higher travel class (Ex: 1 AC) and you were made to travel in a lower class (3 AC) due to non-availability of accommodation, you can claim the difference between the two classes as refund.
  • In such cases, the ticketing staff will issue a certificate to you. In order to get the refund, passengers with e-Tickets must file an online TDR within two days of the certificate issuance. They must also send the certificate to IRCTC by post.
  • Passengers with counter tickets should send the certificate to IRCTC by post.

IRCTC Refund for Failed Transactions

During e-Ticket booking through IRCTC website or mobile app, if the amount is debited from your account but no ticket has been issued to you, then the entire amount (except for the transaction charges for bank/cards) will be refunded to you by IRCTC.

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