Ramkumar's scratch pad

A MoBlog to post my thoughts as and when they arise

A letter from a frustrated IRCTC website user..

with 13 comments

It’s 22nd Dec, I made sure that I get up in time before 8AM to fight for my Tatkal ticket for 24th night’s train to Madurai. My vacation plans were already spoiled due to non availability of hotels at many tourist spots in India.

I logged into IRCT’s website – the reason to online for such services is that anyone can access it at their convenience, not to rush to the railway booking station and wait in queue, fight with others etc before reaching the counter, only to know that tickets are all taken!

Now, getting back to the story, I logged in, had a look at the IRCTC’s timer to make sure that I am all set for the race takeoff at 8AM sharp!

Meanwhile, I too logged into ngPay, a mobile application through which you can book Indian railway tickets along with many other.

8AM – GET > SET > GO I typed my source and destination stations, selected Tatakal , Whoa 101 seats available!! I was on top of the world!! BUT…

I selected payment method, went into HDFC for verification , back into IRCTC …………  ONLY TO FIND A DEADLY MESSAGE ON THE CONFIRMATION PAGE. “SERVICE UNAVAILABLE” . Holy S**t…

I quickly typed in source and destination in ngPay to get this message – “As per railway rules, Tatkal booking is not allowed between 8AM and 9AM on ngpay. Please book your Tatkal ticket after 9AM” – WTF?

I got back into IRCTC typed my source and destination again, > 83 seats available!! Still I have a chance, typed passenger names, clicked ‘go’ > “SERVICE UNAVAILABLE” !! WTF ? Again?

I had no option other than to click ‘refresh’ ( even though it was not supposed to be used while in transaction), it went to the next page, but on the payment selection page again “SERVICE UNAVAILABLE” !!

I repeated these until I saw WL/13 (waiting list 13) on the train’s Tatkal status.

My question for IRCTC.

  • Which server configurations you use on which the website irctc.co.in is hosted, and how many years back they are set up? A considerable portion of our tax payments reach you towards developments for Indian railways, if intermediate people do not suck away the money, it won’t cost too much to set up a server cluster to bear the load.
  • If you are aware of the server load at 8AM, why did you make a f***ing rule that tickets cannot be booked through ngpay between 8AM and 9AM?? This could have reduced the load on your servers right?


I am sure people who affected today from IRCTC have many to add in the questionnaire. I welcome additions (use the comment form below).

I went ahead and booked a bus, paying a premium. There wasn’t any other option.

Long live Indian railways..


Written by Ramkumar K R

December 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

Posted in Travel

13 Responses

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  1. True True True. Same story here. Even I logged in at 8 AM sharp. Even with my company’s 1MB/s line, the site was just not ready to open. I logged in many times as the transaction was getting cancelled midway. By midway, i mean I wasn’t even able to see Plan My Travel page.
    Around 2/3 months ago, things were working really smooth. A colleague of mine told me that IRCTC had blocked the Agents Logins at 8 AM. That time, I thought there is still some good left in this world. My country is not THAT corrupt. But then after around a month or so, everything came back to square one. Login failures and all. Shame on IRCTC. Shame on Indian Government. Think of aam junta before filling your pockets. We are already coming face to face with one scam each day. Can’t you atleast spare this SINGLE service from corruption???
    -One of many thousand frustrated users of IRCTC.


    December 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

  2. I too had a similar experience..but for luck,i won the fight..got tatkal ticket…


    December 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

  3. everytime i got the error service unavailable…

    really fed up in IRCTC..if it is bad service, then why they are charging for service


    March 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  4. True man…The mediocrity and unresponsiveness of the website is really staggering. I am ashamed that we have to put up with such a pathetic charade everytime we want to book a ticket online. I would rather sweat it out inthe queue at the railway counter!!


    March 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  5. …And if the frigging servers cannot handle the load during peak hours, they should be disbanded.I feel the ludicrous irctc website is a perfect metaphor for the Indian railway system.


    March 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

  6. I have faced the same situation with irctc website on number of occasions… ngpay asks u to book after 9:00 am but all tatkal tickets are taken even on 8:30 am..
    now I decided not to rely upon technology for tatkal tickets.. I am getting my tatkal booking done thru agents.. and I think this is what the railways want us to do…. irctc is taking heavy bribe from agents to make it’s services pathetic..


    September 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

  7. After changing tatkal rule (48 to 24 hrs), is there any change in ngpay rules………?


    November 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  8. i want to fire these irctc servers
    stupid maintenance…………why dont they try to increase the server configurations.
    if u can’t maintain then give to some 3rd party company


    October 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

  9. ramkumar ur facing the issue on 22 dec 2010, i am facing the same issue on 06 dec 2012, personally i am telling the irctc users dont go to book tatkal ticket booking via irctc we have high bp on that time and totaly waste of time.

    Rajish Kumar

    December 6, 2012 at 11:01 am

  10. Now tatkal time is 10 am and ngpay block login during this time….ngpay is waste of time


    May 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

  11. NGPAy i snot to be used…why IR provides a services to discover later on that it can’t be used…why not scrap all this web based reservations system and go back to classic old railway station counter booking…at least everybody will get rid of virtual queue..


    June 16, 2013 at 7:51 am

  12. Trying from last 3 continuous days with 8 mbps line. WIth my User ID and Password clicked on login @ 9:44 and it logs in @ 10:01, and most interesting within 1 minutes i get only wl Status of trains.
    It happens daily. Not sure when Indian Rail service allow me to travel.

    Alok Morya

    May 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm

  13. Hahaha even on May 25, 2014, the scenario has not improved a bit.

    Thadeus Anand

    May 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

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