With the inauguration of the online rail reservation facility by Railway Minister Nitish Kumar here today, Delhities will no longer need to stand in long queues and could book their tickets through the internet.
Any person interested in making reservation from any station to any destination in the country would now just have to log on to www.irctc.co.in and follow the guidelines on the website, Kumar said after inaugurating the innovative service.
The website provides detailed information of the train schedule, reservation details, fares and other necessary information, he said adding the customer would merely have to register himself, which is free of cost.
Kumar stated that the mode of payment was through credit card and the customer could receive the reservation ticket at his doorstep through courier or from special counters started for the same.
"We will study the response and diffficulties faced, the service would be made available in other major cities within six months," he said.
Instead of tickets being delivered by courier, Railways is also working on providing these tickets online, he said, adding that there were some technical and legal difficulties but efforts were being made to overcome them.
The Minister said his ministry was also working on providing online tickets for unreserved category and hoped that the facility would start in national capital by the end of the month.
The online service has been developed by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation in collaboration with Centre for Railway Information Systems.
The custmor availing the facility would have to pay a service charge of Rs 30 per ticket for sleeper class and ordinary chair car and Rs 50 per ticket for other classes.
The online ticketing system uses a totally secure browser independent encryption and the credit card details are not stored in the IRCTC database, railway sources said.
For every transaction, the bank would levy a charge of 1.8 per cent on the value of transaction.
For cancellation of ticket, the passenger would have to approach the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter, they said, adding there would be no cash refund and would appear as a credit in the credit card bill.
The service would be available between 0800 hrs and 2000 hrs from Monday to Saturday and between 0800 hrs to 1400 on Sunday.