Record 11 lakh train tickets sold online

April 02, 2015 16:15
Record 11 lakh train tickets sold online

Not everyone could avail the benefits of booking their railway tickets four months in advance. IRCTC's servers, unable to handle online traffic of visitors waiting to book their tickets in advance, broke down a few times during the day.

By the end of the day more than 11 lakh tickets were booked from IRCTC's website in contrast to the 5 lakh that are booked through it on an average day. Several lakh more tickets are expected to have been sold off counters, data for which wasn't readily available. Wednesday was the first day of booking railway tickets four months in advance, instead of the earlier two month limit.

The four month window opened well in time for those who've their summer holidays planned. Heavy movement of passengers is observed at Delhi's railway stations beginning from the month of May, which is the time for summer vacations at schools. Till Tuesday passengers could book tickets for any time in the next 60 days, the revised limit allows people to make to and fro reservations, which till recently used to be one of the biggest headaches in vacation planning.

"I had been waiting for today to book tickets for my family, as our vacations start from May 31. While IRCTC's servers weren't responding early morning, by 11 I was able to manage tickets from my wife and I in Sealdah Express, but our names were already put 11 and 12 on wait list charts," said Randeep Mukherjee, a Delhi resident.

Just from the numbers provided by senior IRCTC officials, the response to the recent in change in railway reservations announced in the latest railway budget, seems to be overwhelming. In fact senior IRCTC officials said Wednesday was one of the busiest days for them as their servers seemed to be on verge of a breakdown. However some say that the move could be a boon for touts as well.

"People who travel in first and second air conditioned coaches are those who've got their next four to six months planned, however during summers, the majority of rush for tickets is by those who plan their holidays only a few weeks in advance, by when tickets are already over. While the decision to extend the window for booking tickets is likely to help those traveling down south, where the rush isn't as heavy, those travelling East, are likely to get trapped by touts again," said a travel agent near New Delhi railway station who did not wish to be named.

The agent said that tickets in some trains for dates even as far ahead as July were now running in wait listed charts, and that he was getting requests from people willing to pay extra just to get their tickets confirmed, to destinations like Howrah and Patna.

- Manohar

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Indian Railways  IRCTC