Indian Railways has introduced a new scheme that will allow the waitlisted passengers to opt for a confirmed ticket on alternate trains on the same route, starting 1 November.

The Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS), also called VIKALP, will initially be applicable only on two routes – the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors of Northern Railway.

The scheme is available only on tickets booked through internet (E-ticket) on mail/express trains for six months. Also, the passengers will be able to opt for ATAS only when their tickets on originally booked trains remain fully waitlisted after charting.

"Alternate train accommodation scheme" (ATAS) called "VIKALP" has been conceptualised and is to be introduced from tomorrow (Sunday). Initially this scheme will be available only for the tickets booked through internet (E-ticket) as a pilot project for six months," a press release by the Indian Railways said.

"In this scheme, wait listed passengers of a train will be given option for getting confirmed accommodation in alternate trains," it added.

According to the Ministry, the scheme will be expanded to other sectors if the pilot project is a success. 

"Based on the feedback, this scheme will be extended to PRS counter bookings and also on other journey sectors.This is a major passenger friendly move to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers in alternate trains," the release said.

Important facts about the scheme:

  • The scheme is only for the tickets booked through internet (E-ticket) on two sectors i.e. Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Lucknow sectors.
  • Under this scheme, waiting list passengers will give choice to opt for ATAS scheme. ATAS opted passengers who remain fully waitlisted after charting will only be considered for allotment in the alternate train.
  • Fully waitlisted passengers who opted for ATAS should check PNR status after charting.
  • The ATAS opted passengers who have been provided accommodation in the alternate train will not figure in the waitlisted charts of their original train. A separate list of passengers transferred in alternate train will be pasted along with the CONFIRMED and WAITLIST charts.
  • The passenger allotted alternate accommodation can travel in the alternate train on authority of original ticket.
  • Opting for VIKALP does not mean that confirmed berth will be provided to passengers in alternate train. It is subject to train and berth availability.
  • Once confirmed in Alternate train, Cancellation charges will be as per your berth/train status in alternate train.
  • In this scheme, your boarding and terminating station might change to nearby cluster stations.
  • You can be transferred to any alternate train available within 12 hrs from the scheduled departure of original train, in which you have booked. Check PNR status after charting.
  • Waitlisted passengers of original train shall not be allowed to board the original train if allotted alternate accommodation. If found travelling, they will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.
  • No refund for difference of fare between the original train and the alternate train, including Tatkal charges, if any, will be given to re-allocated passengers.
  • The scheme is applicable to all waiting list passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession. In pilot phase the scheme will be available on few pre-designated trains in the above sectors only.