IntroductionIndian Railways, through IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited) has launched an easy way to book railway tickets for travel by train within India. All you need is your mobile phone and you can avail of the SMS-based ticket booking service. The unique aspect of this service is that it is not necessary that you should have a fancy smart phone with specific features, such as a Blackberry or Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. You can do the booking even on a very basic mobile phone. You don't even require a mobile wallet. It is a very user-friendly train ticket SMS booking service.
Step by step procedure to book Indian rail tickets via SMS
The prior to booking procedure Step 1
Register your mobile phone number
You will first need to register your mobile phone number at 2 places:
(a) with IRCTC
(b) with a Bank.
To register your number with IRCTC: https://www.irctc.co.in/#
To register your number with a Bank: http://www.npci.org.in/bankmember.aspx (there are more than two dozen banks which will provide this facility, so just check the list).
Getting an MMID
The Bank with which you register your mobile number will provide you with:
(a) A Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) - this is a 7-digit number randomly selected & issued by the Bank
(b) A One-time Password (OTP) which provides you with authorisation.
The rail ticket booking methods through SMSThere are 2 ways by which you can book your tickets with your mobile phone.
First option Step 1: Send BOOK < ticket booking details > to 139
The ticket booking details should include:
(a) TrainNo (b)From (the city) (c) To (the city) (d) Travel Date(DDMM) (e) Class (f) Passenger1-Name, Age, Gender (g) Passenger2-Name, Age, Gender.
(Note: You can book for up to 6 passengers)
Example: Let's say you want to book 2 tickets on the Rajdhani Express train from Mumbai to New Delhi for travel on 25th July 2013.
So you send SMS to 139 like this:
BOOK 12951 BCT NDLS 2507 SL Dilip 38 Manisha 36
[note: you can check Train names/ numbers, city's name-abbreviated alphabets, class abbreviation (make sure you correctly mention 2-tier/3-tier if available), etc at IRCTC website under 'Enquiries']
Step 2: You will receive a transaction ID, along with details about:
(b) Service Charges
(d) Seat Status / Seat availability
Step 3: You must then make the payment (IMPS is the mode of payment) for the ticket by sending a text message with your transaction ID, MMID and Password to 139 this way:
Type PAY, then space, then transaction ID, MMID, password, IRCTCUserID. Each of these you put in < >
Payment details and Tatkal booking for SMS ticket booking:
1. Rail ticket booking with quota, including Tatkal booking & concessions are not currently available for this service.
2. You must make the payment for the ticket bookings only through IMPS.
Contact Information The helpline number for train ticket booking via SMS is : 139
SMS TKT to 139
The helpline email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: http://188.8.131.52/bbpo/bbpo.html
Second option Step 1: SMS RAIL to 5676714 to get the format for booking.
Step 2: Send START IRCTC_USER_ID (this is for user authentication).
Step 3: Send book
Step 4: You will receive a transaction number from LM SARTHI
Step 5: You have to now make the payment. For this, send PAY/MPAY to 5676714 for authorising payment
You will receive a booking confirmation on your mobile phone from 5676714
Contact InformationIf you are using this option to book your tickets, the helpline number is: 8882001001
The helpline email is: email@example.com
More information & video tutorial: http://mobitkt.com/
India railway tickets SMS booking procedure for AIRTEL users Airtel users can avail of the menu-based screen dialling service. For this, the procedure is:
Step 1: Book ticket by dialling *400# on your mobile phone
Step 2: Select the 'Book Tickets' option and select 'reservation' (you will be instructed to enter your IRCTC user ID once only), and enter details of date of journey, station, train no, class, etc
Step 3: Enter mPIN for authorizing your payment through mobile wallet
Step 4: IRCTC will send you a message about the ticket booking details
More information here: http://www.airtel.in/wps/wcm/connect/money/home/ticket-booking
Basic FAQs for SMS rail ticket booking
Do I need an internet connection? No - at no time do you need an internet connection for booking the ticket, for payment or for cancellation of the ticket.
Do I need to be a subscriber to a specific mobile service? No – the rail ticket booking through SMS is available for all mobile subscribers, irrespective of who is the mobile service provider.
Do I need to take a printout of the ticket? Not necessary – The text message itself can be used for travel, but you will definitely need to have an original valid ID proof (such as Voters ID, driving licence, etc). Of course, it is not a bad idea to anyway keep a printout of the ticket since many people are careless about leaving their mobile phones here & there!
Cost of booking India rail tickets through SMS
Contact information of IRCTC Registered & Corporate Office
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd.,
9th Floor, Bank of Baroda Building,
16, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110001.
Rail ticket mobile phone SMS booking website: https://www.irctc.co.in/beta_htmls/SMS_USSD.html
For Railway tickets booked through IRCTC:
For Cancellation E-tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Mumbai Suburban Season tickets: email@example.com
For Rail tickets with UTS app: how to book railway tickets with UTS smartphone app and recharge R wallet
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.
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Thanks for the detailed description. It would be really helpful.
This is the very useful information provided by the author and for the first time the train tickets can be booked through sms service and this article has made the process to obtain ticket very easy.