The Rail Clock

Four Classical Errors one can face while booking a Railway Ticket, online or offline.

The 24 Hrs Clock:-
This is perhaps the most probable and for that reason most common error one can commit. To book a ticket for a train departing at 7:50 pm, one should not make it 7:50 am, because the Railways operates on the 24 hrs clock, thus representing 7:50 pm as 19:50 Hrs. And 7:50 am as 7:50 Hrs as obvious. This mistake is a glorious one in my personal “Hall of Mistakes”

Another probable misjudgement is of the same merit but only the clock is not to blame here. We all are so used to the day -night nomenclature that we forget there is another model with morning-noon-afternoon-evening-late-evening &morning. This “& morning” is the synus. One of my fellow traveller in Deccan Queen recently, narrated this to me in a very gripping way. Once his family was supposed to catch a train on a day, let’s say Tuesday.The family was informed that the train is on Tuesday night at 2:30 am which they were fine with and reached the station on Tuesday night. Wait…remember “&morning”. they reached the station well on time to realise that the ticket they had was of the same train, same time but not of Tuesday night and Tuesday morning, our “&morning” to distinguish it. If I say book the ticket for a train on a X night, and you find a train on &morning a caution should be not to book it of the same date but the immediate date.

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The Passengers with same seats.:-
1) Railway Ticket booking can effortlessly achieve a six sigma certificate in its category for hardly you would have heard of an error in the seat allotment. This process in itself is an interesting aspect to study and comes with enough surprises to deem it worth. However, once when I was travelling from Dadar(DR) to Pune(PUNE), a family boarded the train at Thane(TNA) and requested some passengers already occupying the seat to vacate claiming the ticket in their hands as proof. They were justified as ticket is actually a proof. But, what if the other team, presented a ticket with exact seat numbers from the coach. Tinker you brains before reading ahead. Think for a while. Strongest possibility is that they are in the wrong train, as they already verified the coach number. But nope. The tickets carried the same train name and number. 😀 Then what? Printing mistake? Or Numbers got faded? Or duplicate tickets?? Fortunately Indian Railways has been able to not let illegal ticket vendors breed. Then what? Since I was an eye and ear witness, I never had the fun of guessing what it could be. The gentleman amd his family who boarded the train had actually booked a ticket with the same seat number, same coach number, same train, same day infact but not the same month!!  Imagine what a moment it was when I heard this. The family politely alighted the train. And some of us their wannabe fellow passengers, bursted with a mixed set of facial reactions. I never will forget this one, never for its drama atleast.

2) Each train route on Indian Railways has a unique number. It should be noted that it’s the route number and not the train number.It’s very rare that two trains shall have a similar name. And that too on the same route. One lady who wanted to travel from CST to Pune had booked a ticket for the Deccan Queen. And on the day of the journey, they reached a seat besides mine where some people were already seated. They displayed the ticket taken from the window while the incumbent passengers showed the SMS. Seat numbers were identical. We checked the coach numbers. As the trouble got deeper, fellow passengers around the seat voluntarily participated in the bail out. Including me:-) We scrutinised the ticket from the window as the higher probability of human error over the computer is more convincing to us. And it’s justified too. I recommended checking the date properly with reference to my previous experience on the same route, which I have shared above. To my surprise, that we not the problem too. An intelligent and attractive lady on the window seat tool things in her hands and enlightened that the ticket is of Deccan Express and not Deccan Queen. And the balance of the universe was restored. :-9 The lady who booked the ticket and her boyfriend who was accompanying her received the anomaly very calmly and decided to take the next possible train. I was pleased with the boy’s stance who didn’t resort to anger or complaint and together they alighted the train.

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