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Indian Railways Advance Reservation Period Reduced from 120 Days

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Waiting at the station.

Izzet Keribar/Getty Images

In October 2012, Indian Railways decided to increase the advance reservation period for train travel from 90 days to 120 days, effectively allowing passengers to book their tickets four months in advance.  However, it looks like that experiment failed.

According to this news report, from May 1, 2013, Indian Railways reservations will only be able to be made 60 days (2 months) in advance.  There are some exceptions. Foreign tourists can book tickets up to a year in advance under the foreign tourist quota. In addition, the reservation period for some short distance trains (such as the Taj Express and Gomti Express) will remain as 15 days in advance.

So, what happened?

Passengers were unsupportive of the 120 day advance reservation period right from the start. Although Indian Railways thought it would help them to plan their travel better, they complained that it would be difficult to accurately do so that far ahead.  They were right, as more tickets were canceled and re-booked.  These cancellations improved the chance of getting waitlisted tickets confirmed. However, not knowing one way or another until close to the departure date posed a problem for travelers.

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