Ahead of the festive season rush, Indian Railways will roll out a scheme enabling waitlisted passengers booking online get a confirmed berth in the next train plying on the same route, subject to availability.
The allotment of berth in an alternate train would be available within 12 hours from the scheduled departure of the original train.
Passengers who opt for the scheme at the time of reservation would be considered for allotment of berth in the alternate train should their status remain waitlisted after the final chart is prepared.
Indian Railways has, however, made it clear that opting for the scheme would not ensure confirmed berth in the alternate train. “It is subject to train and berth availability,” it said.
The ‘Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme’ christened as ‘Vikalp’ would be launched on November 1 as a pilot project in Northern Railway for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors.
“Based on the feedback, the scheme may be provided through the counters and also on other sectors,” a Railway statement said.
“No extra charges shall be taken from passenger or any refund shall be provided for difference of fare,” it added.
The allotment of berth would be informed through SMS and can be checked from the enquiry counters or by dialing 139.
According to the statement, either all passengers of a PNR or none will be transferred to alternate train in same class.
To make the online interface more friendly, Railways would also launch a ‘travel planner on the same day’, helping passengers get information about the berths availability in multiple trains on a single click of the mouse.
Indian Railways officials said the initiatives are aimed to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation.