Tatkal Reservation and dates of train journey

Posted by: Ravikanth (Reposted from his blog )

Today I made a very big mistake. I wanted to book Tatkal ticket for my wife from Vizianagaram to Chennai for 11 May by the Howrah Express. Before that let me give the timing details of the train:
This train leaves each day from Howrah at 23:30hrs and reaches Vizianagaram the next day at 12:30hrs i.e Vizianagaram is 13hrs journey from Howrah.

If you are booking a normal ticket (not tatkal) you can mention the Starting station and Boarding station as Vizianagaram. In which case you have to give the date as 11 May as you want to board the train on 11 May at Vizianagaram i.e. the same date as the day of journey from the boarding point i.e. you are catching the train which starts from Horwah on 10 May at 23:30 and reaches Vizianagaram on 11 May at 12:30hrs.

If you are booking a Tatkal ticket, then you cannot give the starting station as Vizianagaram as it’s an intermediate station and in tatkal you have to book from starting station to end station. So you have to give the starting station as Howrah and Boarding station as Vizianagaram. You have to give the date as 10 may (and not 11 May unlike above) i.e. the date of the departure from the source station and not the date of the boarding station. I made a mistake here. I thought that as like normal ticket we give the date of the departure from the boarding station. I gave the date as 11 may and which gave me the ticket for the train which leaves Howrah on 11 May at 23:30hrs and arrives Vizianagaram on 12 May at 12:30hrs :-( Also the tatkal reservation starts 5 days (excluding the date of journey from the origin station and not from the intermediate station).

Summary:
1) For normal reservation – you can give the source station and boarding station as the one from where you are boarding (i.e. Vizianagaram). The date should be the same date as the date on which the train arrives at your boarding station irrespective on how many days earlier it had started from the source station.
2) For tatkal reservation – you have to give the source station as the station from where the train starts (i.e. Howrah). You have to give theboarding station* as the station from where you are boarding (i.e. Vizianagaram). The date should be the date on which the train starts from the source station (i.e. 10 May from Howrah, even though the date of boarding is on 11 May at Vizianagaram) and not the date of the boarding station.

NOTE: For tatkal the counter begins 5 days before, exlcuding the day from where the train starts even though you might be boarding the train the next day after the train has started from the source station.
In the above example: if I wanted to travel on 11 May from vizianagaram, then I have to book the Tatkal ticket for 10 May Howrah to Chennai (boarding at Vizianagaram) and the tatkal counter starts from 05 May 08:00am onwards (i.e. leave 10 May (date of source station), count 5 days back – 9 May, 8 May, 7 May, 6 May, 5 May).

PS* : While booking the irctc online ticket when you enter the From station, the boarding station field is also filled and you cannot edit manually. You have to click on the small train icon next to the boarding station field, then a window would pop up with the list of intermediate stations. You need to select the required intermediate station as boarding station. Also note that before you do this change of boarding station you have to make sure that you fill all the details i.e. From station, To Station, Date of Journey, Class, Tatkal, e-ticket/i-ticket etc.

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