Site icon Blogs by Railofy

How Many Days Before Train Ticket Can Be Booked

Travelling by train holds a special place in the hearts of many. It offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane, through hills and valleys, towns and cities. Knowing how to book your tickets efficiently is essential for an uninterrupted adventure. This article discusses booking your train ticket and how many days before train ticket can be booked.

Understanding IRCTC Booking Windows

Booking a train ticket is not merely about selecting a date and destination. It involves understanding the booking window—how many days before a train ticket can be booked. This fundamental concept forms the backbone of your journey planning.

Booking windows vary depending on the railway company and the type of train service. For example, Indian Railways, through its online platform IRCTC, typically allows bookings to be made 120 days in advance for most trains. However, this window can extend to 4 months in some instances. Understanding this timeline is crucial for securing your desired travel dates, especially during peak seasons.

Key Factors Affecting Train Booking

Multiple factors affect how many days before a train ticket can be booked. Festivals, holidays, and other special events often affect booking timelines. This impacts ticket prices and availability. 

The type of train service and train class also impact booking periods. Trains like the Rajdhani and the Shatabdi have shorter booking windows than other passenger trains. Being aware of such factors can help you plan your journey and make advance ticket bookings.

FactorDescriptionImpact on Booking Window
Seasonal DemandHigher during festivals and holidaysMay reduce the effective booking window
Train ServicePremium trains like Rajdhani have specific rulesCould have an earlier or later opening window
Class of TravelAC classes fill up fasterEarlier booking is advisable

Domestic Train Ticket Booking on IRCTC

IRCTC Booking Rules

For domestic travel across India’s vast rail network, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is the primary platform for booking train tickets. It is important to familiarise oneself with IRCTC’s booking rules to know how many days before the train ticket can be booked.

One of the most important aspects is the booking window – when tickets for a particular journey can be booked in advance. Under normal circumstances, the standard booking window on IRCTC is 120 days, allowing passengers to plan their trips well in advance.

Train TypeStandard Booking WindowBooking Window During Peak Season
Regular Trains120 daysUp to 4 months
Rajdhani Express60 daysUp to 3 months
Shatabdi Express30 daysUp to 2 months
Duronto Express30 daysUp to 2 months

Variations in Booking Periods

Timing plays a very important role in getting tickets for your preferred class and train. The booking period can differ depending on factors like the type of train and class of travel. 

For example, the availability of seats in different classes differs significantly. Such variations impact the booking timelines. Hence, travellers need to understand such variations in booking periods.

Train ClassRegular Booking WindowBooking Window for Tatkal
Sleeper Class120 days1 day before departure
AC 3 Tier120 days1 day before departure
AC 2 Tier120 days1 day before departure
AC First Class120 days1 day before departure

International Train Travel from India

Booking for International Journeys

Embarking on an international train journey from India requires careful planning. Understanding how many days before a train ticket can be booked for international travel ensures that travellers can secure their tickets in advance and comply with visa and other travel requirements.

International RouteBooking Window
Samjhauta Express to Pakistan30 days
Maitree Express to Bangladesh30 days
Thar Express to Pakistan30 days
Dosti Express to Pakistan30 days

Cross-Border Travel Tips

Crossing international borders is more complicated when it comes to train travel. It is important to keep in mind some extra details like how many days before a train ticket can be booked. This ensures a smooth travel for everyone. 

In addition, travellers should also be aware of the visa requirements, customs and travel advisories.

CountryVisa RequirementsAdvance Booking Window
PakistanVisa Required30 days
BangladeshVisa Required30 days
NepalVisa on Arrival30 days
BhutanVisa on Arrival30 days

Leveraging Online Booking Platforms

Navigating IRCTC’s Online Services

In today’s digital era, online booking platforms have revolutionised the way we plan and book our travel. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has emerged as a leading platform for train ticket reservations, offering convenience and accessibility to millions of travellers nationwide.

Understanding Platform Policies

Every online booking platform has rules and policies that must be followed. Understanding these policies, including how many days before a train ticket can be booked on IRCTC’s website and mobile app, ensures a perfect booking experience. Reviewing these policies before making reservations is essential to avoid any issues that may arise later.

Reservation Systems of Indian Railway Companies

The Indian Railways operates on a well-oiled reservation system that caters to the needs of many passengers daily. 

Reservation Insights

According to the Standing Committee on Railways, tickets can be booked online or through computerised counters. The Rajdhani, Duronto, and Shatabdi follow a flexi fare scheme. Under this scheme, the cost of tickets increases by 10% after every 10% berth sold. 

Concessions are given to more than 50 passenger categories as part of their social obligation. Depending on the passenger category, these concessions can vary between 10% and 100% of the fare.

Tatkal Tickets

The Tatkal system provides a reservation option to passengers who travel on short notice. Tickets are booked after a premium charge is paid on a first-come, first-served basis. As a result, it is beneficial for passengers to book Tatkal tickets online instead of through the physical counters.

Tips for Flexible Train Ticket Booking

Planning a train journey often involves buying tickets for your preferred travel dates. Knowing your travel date lets you decide how many days before that date a train ticket can be booked. This helps one plan and enjoy a stress-free journey on the desired date.

By exploring these flexible booking features, travellers can adapt to changing circumstances and enjoy a seamless booking experience.


In conclusion, being well-versed in booking train tickets is essential to ensure a comfortable journey. From understanding booking windows to using online platforms and Tatkal tickets, every part of your travel is essential and a part of your journey. Stay informed and prepared to enjoy a seamless travel experience.


Are there any benefits of doing advance train booking? 

Booking your ticket in advance can help you get your preferred seats. At times you get tickets at cheaper rate also. You can get your preferred train and travel class as well by booking in advance. 

What is the earliest I can book my train ticket?

Train tickets can be booked 120 days in advance. This allows passengers to plan their journey and make any last-minute changes to their travel plans. This is the standard booking window across all booking agencies.

Does advance booking time vary during peak seasons?

The booking time may be extended during peak seasons, festivals, or holidays. Always check how many days before a train ticket can be booked during such periods. The booking time may vary from the usual 120-day window depending on demand. Foreign tickets can be booked 365 days in advance.

Can I book a last-minute train ticket if I have an emergency?

Indian Railways offer Tatkal tickets, allowing travellers to book one day before travel. However, it is recommended that you book your tickets well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles with your travel plans. 

What should I do if I miss the booking window?

It is essential to always look for how many days before the train ticket can be booked to avoid missing the booking window. However, if such a situation arises, one can always opt for Tatkal tickets, which allow customers to book one day in advance.

Exit mobile version