The Ministry of Railways revised and amended ticket refund rules on Tuesday, which will be effective from 1 July.
Accordingly, passengers need to cancel their confirmed tickets 48 hours ahead of the journey instead of the existing 24 hours to get maximum refund on the travel charges.
"Railway Passengers (Cancellation of ticket and Refund of fare) Rules, 1998 have not been substantially revised in the last 15 years during which period a large number of changes have taken place in the ticketing system of Indian Railways," the ministry said in a statement.
According to the revised rules, if a confirmed ticket is cancelled between 48 hours and upto six hours before the departure of the train as against the existing 24 hours and upto four hours, passengers will get a refund with cancellation charges of 25 percent of the fare. The ministry decided to revise the rules in an attempt to prevent booking agents from selling tickets at higher prices as well as to give more time for waitlisted passengers to decide about taking their trip, reported The Times of India.
If the ticket is cancelled within six hours before the scheduled departure of the train and upto two hours after the actual departure of the train, the cancellation charge will be 50 percent of the fare subject to a minimum charge. Existing rules allowed passengers to cancel tickets up to three hours for a distance of 200 km, upto six hours for a distance covered between 200-500 km and upto 12 hours for a distance of 500 km and above after the actual departure of the train. The revised rules clearly state that if a reserved ticket is surrendered for cancellation after two hours of the actual departure of the train, the railways will not grant any refunds.
Waitlisted/RAC tickets have cancelled upto three hours after the actual departure of the train irrespective of the distance, according to the new rules. Passengers will get the refund of fare after a deduction of the clerkage of ₹30.
In case of a party ticket or a family ticket issued for travel, if some of the tickets have been confirmed and the others are in waiting list then full refund of fare, less clerkage will be granted for confirmed passengers provided that the entire ticket is surrendered for cancellation within six hours before the scheduled departure of the train instead of existing four hours. Full refund and less clerkage are also admissible to confirmed passengers who surrender the entire ticket within two hours as against the existing three hours after actual departure of the train, the ministry said.
If passengers holding reserved, RAC and waitlisted tickets do not undertake the journey due to delay by more than three hours of the scheduled departure from the station, they will be awarded full refund without any deduction of cancellation charges or clerkage on condition that they surrender the ticket upto the actual departure of the train.
To learn more about the revised rules, click here.