News headlines


Mumbai, Jun 14: The no queue solution? Indian Railways’ new facility allows passengers to book tickets via SMS and avoid queues Send an SMS, get a train ticket. Long-distance travel has really become that simple thanks to a new system introduced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).

In this system, you can book your long distance tickets either by calling a specified number or by messaging your ticket requirements.

How to book

The user needs to first register with the IRCTC ( and opt to use the mobile reservation services. At present only two cell phone service providers — Reliance and IDEA — offer the SMS booking service in Maharashtra.

The user also needs to register himself with the mobile banking services of ICICI Bank.

The user has to send two SMS-es to 7245 providing all details (see box).


The IRCTC imposes a service charge of Rs 40 per ticket for second class and sleeper class  and Rs 60 for tickets of other classes. ICICI charges Rs 10 per booking and the mobile operators too have their respective charges.

The tickets are delivered by courier to the passenger.

Book Your Train Tickets via SMS

For voice-based reservations too, a passenger has to register with IRCTC. Presently, cell phone service providers like Hutch, Tata Indicom and Idea already offer these services.

How to book?

The user has to call on certain specified numbers and select the railways option. After registering, the user has to send an SMS and then log in to the system. Thereafter, the booking is done through the voice recognition system.

The payment is made through credit cards such as Visa, Amex, Master or Diners Club. The tickets are delivered by courier.

The IRCTC imposes similar charges for both the SMS and voice recognition system bookings. “The system is now fully operational. The IRCTC has tied up with ICICI Bank and with certain mobile phone operators.

The system will also be integrated with other service operators and banks,” said IRCTC general manager R D Sharma.

Also planned

In January this year, the Mumbai Environment Social Network an NGO, had suggested that the railways introduce an SMS system to book tickets on the Central and Western lines.

The proposed system will enable you to send an SMS, indicating the stations between which you wish to travel, and your customer ID.
The server will then send you a virtual ticket with a ticket number and details of your journey. However, this plan is yet to take off.

Example: PLAN kkumar kkumar123 1081 CSTM PUNE 10/05/2005 SL LIST2


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