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Indian Trains: How to Book a Foreign Tourist Quota Ticket

Continued from my Survival Guide for Indian Trains

Foreign Tourist Quotas (aka FTQ)  are a small selection of ticketed seats,sold by India Railways and reserved for foreign travelers and NRI’s with a tourist visa. In the case a train is booked full, you might still be able to get a foreign tourist quota seat.  Despite having a population of over 8 million people, you might still have a chance at a train seat during festival season. That’s the beauty of India Railways.

With train travel, it’s best to book tickets in advance especially for travel during holiday/ festival times. You’re competing with 1.2 billion people.  Train seats can get filled quickly. If you need to travel and seats are all sold out, foreign tourists can get a foreign tourist quota ticket (or takal).

How do you book a foreign tourist quota ticket?

You must go in-person to the train station or an international tourist bureau. You cannot book this online, through your hotel or a travel agent.

What do you need to bring with you?

You must bring a passport, your tourist visa,  the train information (date, time, departure/arriving station, name of train, class seating) and money.

How do you pay?

You pay in cash– either USD, Euros, Pounds, etc… You can pay in Indian ruppees but you may need an ATM reciept. In general, India is a cash based system, so it may not accept credit cards.

How do you get the train information and timetables?

Indiarailinfo.com  I also installed it as a Chrome extension on my Chrome browser.  My video shows a little as to how I use it. You can find FTQ tickets from the dropdown boxes. Sometimes, it will tell you the class seatings (times, trains) available.

 

Getting a Foreign Tourist Quota Ticket

Getting a Foreign Tourist Quota Ticket

How do you pay?

You pay in cash– either USD, Euros, Pounds, etc… You can pay in Indian ruppees but you may need an ATM reciept

How do you get the train information and timetables?

Indiarailinfo.com worked great for showing me Waitlist and Foreign Tourist availability, so I didn’t bother to go much further. I  also installed it as a Chrome extension on my Chrome browser.  Cleartrip will show schedules for all transportation and you can book tickets direct from its website, however, foreign tourist quota tickets are something that aren’t as accessible in information . My video shows a little as to how I use it, but you’ll likely have to plunker around a bit and at least have an idea of the train stations you can leave out of. You can find FTQ tickets from the dropdown boxes. You can select to see anything from Foreign Tourist quota to tatkal, ladies cab, etc…  the class seatings (times, trains) available.

What class seatings are there?

1st AC, 2AC, 3AC, First Class, AC Car Chair, Sleeper, 2S Second Sitting.  Fare classes explained here.

Does it cost more to book a foreign tourist quota ticket?

No. The cost is same as a general ticket for the class seating you’re interested in.

indian trains, getting a foreign tourist quota

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