Today, in terms of size Indian Railway is fourth largest in the world. Managing a massive network of railways is both challenging and complex. So, to keep the transparency of the system and regulate smooth commencement of railway network, different types of Indian railway rules and regulations for passengers are imposed. The Railway Act provides detailed legislative provisions regarding railway zones, construction and maintenance of works, passenger and employee services, all the sections, and schedules. Although millions of Indians travel by train, there are many railway rules which passengers are not aware of. It is our constant effort to bring forth information that would help solve your travel worries. Today I point out 15 such rules that you might not know. Know about the different types of Indian railway rules for passengers in this blog post and be an informed and aware passenger.
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1. Tatkal ticket booking
The booking window for Tatkal tickets open at 10am for AC classes and 11am for non-AC classes one day before the date of travel, but a maximum of four people per PNR will be allowed.
2. Do not buy or sell train tickets in unauthorized manner
Supplying Railway Tickets in an Unauthorized Manner imposing a penalty to those who carry on business of procuring and supplying railway tickets in an unauthorized manner. Purchasing tickets from them is of equal offence.
3. New Luggage Rules
The summary of the new Indian railways luggage rules are stated below:
- AC I Class passengers can carry 70 KG luggage for free and a maximum of 150 KG by paying for the extra weight.
- AC II Tier passengers would be permissible 50 KG luggage for free and they can carry a maximum of 100 KG by paying for the extra weight at the station’s luggage/parcel office.
- Passengers travelling in AC III Tier or AC Chair Car can carry a luggage of 40 KG for free and they would be permitted a maximum carrying limit of 40 KG.
- Sleeper class passengers would be allowed a luggage weight of 40 KG for free, and a maximum quantity of 80 KG weighing luggage can be carried after paying for the excess.
- Passengers in the 2nd class would be allowed a maximum luggage weight limit of 35 KG for free. They can however carry a maximum of 70 KG by paying for the extra luggage at luggage/parcel office.
- Children between 5 and below 12 years age would be allowed only half of the free luggage allowance for their respective class. The free allowance in such instances cannot surpass 50 KG in weight.
4. Wrong use of the Alarm Chain.
You must be alert of chain pulling rules so that you know how and when to use this service from Indian railways. If a passenger without any realistic and sufficient cause makes use of alarm chain provided in the train, then under section 141, he is liable for punishment.
5. Train-track selfies could get you in jail.
It’s no secret that the highest number of selfie deaths occurs in India. The Indian Railways has been making announcements through media urging people to refrain from this risky act.
6. Use of Abusive Language by Passengers.
The Railways Act 1989 pointed that
if any person who:
a)Is in a state of intoxication
b)Commits an act of indecency
c)Uses abusive or obscene language
d)Boards on train under the influence of liquor
And interferes with the comfortable journey of other passengers, he/she is liable for punishment with a term imprisonment of a maximum of 6 months or a fine of ₹500 or both.
7. Extending the journey
During the peak seasons, many passengers have to book tickets to an earlier station than their original destination due to unavailability of tickets. In such cases, there is a facility to extend the journey upon informing the TTE before reaching the destination station. In such case, the TTE will charge the extra fare and issue a ticket for onward journey. You might be provided a different berth for this forward journey.
8. Prohibition of Unauthorized Hawking.
The Railways Act, 1989 prohibits unauthorized hawking. It also categorizes begging as an illegal activity in and around station premises. If a person hawks or exposes for sale of articles which are not in as per with terms and conditions issued by the railway administration, then he/she is accountable for punishment.
9. Refund policy for lost tickets
Suppose you have an upcoming journey, and find that somehow you have lost or misplaced the offline tickets, 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 check, the duplicate ticket would be provided on payment of a small processing fee. In case, you find the original ticket, you can claim refund on processing fee for the duplicate ticket. To get such refund you have to furnish the original as well as duplicate ticket to the same official.
10. TTE cannot disturb passengers after 10 pm.
As per Indian Railways rules, TTE cannot disturb passengers after 10 pm. They are allowed to check tickets only from 6 AM to 10 PM.
11. Sleeping hours for middle berth occupant
The rule says that any passenger 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.
12. Refund for short terminated trains
If you are not able to complete your train journey due to issues like landslides, floods, earthquakes or any technical problems, the railways have to make alternate provisions to get you to the destination. If the railways are not able to make alternate provisions, they have to refund the entire amount paid by you for booking the ticket.
13. The rule of two stops
In case you miss the train from your selected boarding station, the TTE cannot allocate your berth to anyone else until the train crosses the next two stops or during the next one hour (whichever is earliest). The rule thus permits you to board the train from the next upcoming station, if that is possible. Once the train has passed the upcoming stop (or the time line), the TTE is free to assign the seat only to the next person on RAC list.
14. Refunds on Tatkal tickets too!
Travel plans sometimes come at the last minute. And when you have to travel by train – Tatkal tickets are your only last minute choice. Till few days before 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 lawfully claim your refund.
15. Carrying pets in train
Birds, fishes, dogs or cats are not allowed within a train’s coach. You have to get a booking for them in the Railway Parcel office. The other way is to book an entire AC First Class coupe.
I hope we have been able to clear the doubts of many new and unknown Indian railways rules.