It has been noticed that a news item is in circulation in various social media platforms, WhatsAPP Groups, and some websites which mentions that Indian Railways is introducing several changes and new facilities with effect from 1st July, 2017. This news is totally incorrect and baseless. A section of media has also published this news without verifying it from the authorized sources of the Indian Railway system. This has created a lot of confusion in the minds of the rail users. In this context, Ministry of Railways would like to clarify following : -
1. There are as such no new changes being introduced from 1st July, 2017; the only new thing is that Railways, like other departments,is rolling out GST w.e.f 1st July, 2017.(separate press release on GST is available)
2. Railways has been selling waitlisted tickets both through online (e-ticket) and PRS counters. There is no change in this scheme and railway will continue to sell waitlisted tickets through both online and PRS counter.
3. Railways has been running Suvidha Class of Trains since July, 2015, and such trains will continue to run. The waitlisted ticket in such trains is also available, if required. Provision of partial refund in case of Suvidha Train Tickets is available right from the beginning of the scheme. Hence, no new changes in this regard.
4. Railways have notified new refund rules in November, 2015.There rules are still continuing and there is no change in them.
5. There is no proposal to discontinue paper tickets for Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains and for that matter in any class of train. However, for passengers booking tickets online (i.e. E-Tickets) the tickets received by sms is a valid authority for travel along with permissible proof of identity.
6. The booking time for Tatkal Tickets was changed in 2015 with booking for AC classes opening at 10:00 AM and for Non-AC classes at 11:00 AM. one day in advance of actual date of journey excluding date of journey. There is no change in these timings and the same arrangement is continuing.
7. Again there is no change in the refund rules of tatkal tickets. Under the existing rule, no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/ duplicate tatkal ticket. This rule continuous to be in operation.
8. Railways is already running its destination alert facility on its helpline number 139. In addition, a free destination alert service in some Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains was also introduced on a pilot basis for train arrival at destination between 11:00 AM to 6:00 AM already available. So there is no change in this facility also.
9. There is no such proposal to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing train concessions.
10. There is no proposal for printing tickets (both, e tickets & PRS tickets) in regional languages.
11. There is no proposal to run duplicate trains. We, in anyway, run special trains to clear the rush during peak season on identified popular routes as per the traffic requirements & operational feasibility.
12. Railways have launched ‘VIKALP’, Alternative Train Accommodation Scheme(ATAS) on November 1,2015 with a view to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilization of available accommodation. This facility was initially started on New Delhi – Jammu, New Delhi – Lucknow, Delhi - Howrah, Delhi - Chennai, Delhi - Mumbai and Delhi - Secunderabad Circuits. Now this scheme was expanded to all the sectors on March 22,2017.