To benefit rail passengers, especially long distance passengers who travel by connecting trains to reach their desired destination, Ministry of Railways has introduced a facility of provision of linking tickets. The system of linking the journeys for want of connecting trains to continue their journey for reaching the desired destination where there is no direct train connectivity comes into effect from 1st April, 2019.
Indian Railways carry more than 12 lakh passengers per day in reserved segment. Indian Railway Passenger Reservation System, usually referred to as PRS, is largest network system dealing with transactions of passenger reservations and cancellations per day. More than 64 % of the tickets are booked as e-tickets in on line method through IRCTC website, while remaining tickets are being purchased through PRS/YTSK (Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra)/Current Booking counters at various railway stations/places all over India. Passenger purchasing reservation ticket is allotted unique Passenger Name Record (PNR) number which is crucial for all types of enquiries/transactions.
Passengers travelling to farther distances where there is no direct train to their desired destination, normally book their tickets in more than one train by planning their journeys accordingly such that they can catch another train at the convenient junction or major station, with a sufficient time gap in between. But, at some times the passenger may miss the connecting train due to late running of the first journey train. Passengers face difficulty in cancelling their tickets of subsequent journey for the train which they missed due to delay in the earlier train in which he is travelling. To overcome such problems in cancellation, Ministry of Railways is now providing a facility in which an option can be exercised by passenger for linking of PNRs of two journeys which are of connected in nature.This facility is extended for tickets purchased in both PRS counter and also in on line method.
“In case the passenger is unable to catch the connecting train at station enroute, full refund is granted to the passenger for untraveled portion without giving any telescopic benefit i.e., the fare for the journey performed is deducted accordingly and fare calculated for the untraveled portion is refunded without deducting any cancellation charges”. This facility of linking PNRs can be done for the connecting journey tickets purchased through PRS counter, purchased through online or combination of both. This facility comes into force for the tickets purchased from 1st April, 2019. The journey ticket should be surrendered for refund at the junction station within 3 hours of the actual arrival of the train in which the passenger has travelled and reached the junction station.
Fares for the rail journeys are comparatively very cheaper than any other modes of transport. In addition, the facility of linking PNRs for connecting journeys is certainly going to be a boon for long distance passengers, who travel to the farther destinations where there is no direct train facility.