WHAT IS RAC - RAC stands for Reservation Against Cancellation, as the name is self description that in Indian Railways reservation system there are different rule for different classes of travel. I am describing hereunder in brief:
Indian Railways gives the reservation facility to the passengers. We can book our journey tickets before 90 days in Sleeper or AC classes, But we can make reservation in Simple Seating Class before 30 days only.
Every train has various quota for reservation like General Quota / Tatkal Quota / Foreign Tourist Quota / Ladies Quota / Defence Quota / VIP Quota / Low Berth Quota etc.
When the General Quota number of seats booked then the system Book RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) tickets which is generally 12 seat in one sleeper coach. If the RAC ticket does not get confirmed till the time of departure of the train then passenger can board the train and he will allotted side seats and that should be only to sit on it and not for sleeping and he will adjust another RAC passenger on side seat. RAC passenger gets side lower berth for two RAC passengers. I am lucky as I always get RAC ticket confirmed. In 90% cases RAC ticket get confirmed but in the peak season then we need to adjust another RAC passenger by rules. Rest Wait List passengers are not allowed to board the train.
What is Tatkal - In Indian Railways tatkal quota is very important, whether the reservation started before 90 days and tatkal quota starts these days two days before departure of train. In this quota passenger should take ticket from starting station to end station. Fare will be charged full and no concession in tatkal quota. Also Indian railways levies extra charges per seat for tatkal quota.
Example: If we want to travel Jalandhar City to Surat. The train Golden Temple starting from Amritsar to Mumbai Central. If I want to book tatkal ticket then I must but the ticket from Amritsar to Mumbai Central and then I must fill at application form BOARDING POINT 'Jalandhar City' and the ticket will be issued from Amritsar to Mumbai Central and boarding point Jalandhar City. The fare will be charged from Amritsar to Mumbai Central plus addition tatkal charges. I think 150 for sleeper and more for AC classes. Also note tatkal ticket is non-refundable in case of cancellation.
With best regards
# Clarrification of RAC tickets in Train services:
RAC means Reservation Against Cancellation. When all the available quota for berth reservation are filled up then railway authority start issuing tickets with RAC facility against specific RAC quota.With your ticket reservation against RAC you may get reservation against any body cancels his journey on that particular date and train. If there is no cancellation of any tickets prior to departure of the train you will not be allotted any reserved berth accommodation in the train, but you will be allowed to board on the train with just a seating facility. But generally RAC tickets become confirmed just after departure of the train.
# Clarification of Tatkal tickets reservation in trains:
Railway berth reservation in trains are allowed on Tatkal scheme for the benefits of the passengers desire train journey for emergency purposes. Such berth reservation on Tatkal scheme are allowed in all classes except first class ac from 7 days before the departure date of the train. Tatkal tickets with berth reservation are only issued from terminal to terminal stations along with additional charges. If any passenger wants ticket for any intermediate station he will have to pay full terminal to terminals tickets.
Here you get reservation but only seat but berth is not given. This is between a waiting list and a confirmed birth reservation. Atleast you travel with this ticket.
TATKAL - This is for emergency travel
When a person has to travel on emergency basis. This facility is provided to those travellers. A photo ID has to be provided at the reservation and as well in the train to the TT.