You can no longer cancel a train ticket 24 hours before your journey and still claim a full refund. The railways ministry, which comprehensively revised ticket refund rules on Tuesday, said the move was aimed at stopping touts from selling cancelled tickets at high prices at the last moment and at giving waitlisted passengers a little extra time to comprehend whether they could undertake their journey.
The new rules will come into effect from July 1. The railways said it had also reduced the time wherein a passenger could claim back 75 per cent of the booking amount. For this, passengers will now need to cancel tickets six hours prior to departure, two hours fewer than earlier.
If a ticket is presented for cancellation within six hours before the train's scheduled departure and up to two hours after the actual departure, the cancellation charge will be 50 per cent of the fare, subject to a minimum charge. Exiting rules allow the cancellation of tickets up to 12 hours after the train's departure if the journey distance is 500 km or more. Under the new rules, no refund will be granted on a reserved ticket surrendered for cancellation two hours after the train's actual departure.
The time for the filing of refund claims in case of unforeseen circumstances like a strike or any natural causes such as floods has also been reduced from 90 to 10 days of the train's departure. According to the new rules, even those with waitlisted or RAC tickets will have to cancel their tickets three hours before actual departure to get a refund after the deduction of a clerkage charge of Rs 30. No refund will be allowed two hours after the train's departure. Existing rules permit cancellation till three hours after departure.
Justifying the revision, the railway ministry said: "Railway Passengers (cancellation of ticket and refund of fare) Rules, 1998, have not been substantially revised in the last 15 years, during which a large number of changes have taken place in the ticketing system of Indian Railways."