How to book train tickets by SMS – Save Your Time

book train tickets by SMS
By Subhas Das Updated

Booking train tickets for a journey has always been a hard task in this intricate world where everybody is running out of time. IRCTC has been assiduously putting effort to book train tickets easy and exclusive for users like you and me. E-ticket was one such initiative and now it has been taken to another level, which pertains to the access rights of the common man. Hence Indian Railways have launched the service on booking tickets via mobile SMS. This facility gives more chances to a common man to avail a ticket easily and also helps you to get rid of the traffic on the site during peak hours while you’re booking online.  If you are a person who goes through a lot of hassle while book train tickets, then this is the right guide for you. Here is how it is done.

Currently only registered users can avail this service so you have to register your account.

Ticket booking through SMS has two options, one is USSD (Menu-based dialing) and the other is SMS based booking.

Book train tickets -IRCTC SMS based booking

First of all, this requires your mobile number to register with both IRCTC and your bank, which isn’t a big deal. You can also do it from your mobile or computer by yourself.

STEP 1:  First of all, you have to do is to send an SMS from your registered mobile number (both a bank and ISRTC) to 139 in the format as follows:

BOOK<TrainNo> <FromCity> <ToCity> <TravelDate (DDMM)> <Class> <Passenger1-Name> <Age> <Gender> <Passenger2-Name> <Age> <Gender> (up to 6 passengers)

For example:

BOOK 10698 NDLS CDG 1404 CC Manpreet 24 Sarika 23

If you have sent the correct and valid format, you would get back a message from 139 which gives you the following details.

→ Transaction ID

→ Ticket Amount

→ Service Charge

→ Total Amount Payable

→ Seat Availability

TID: 2869548 Ticket Amount: 810 Service Charges: 20 Total Amount: 830 Seat: AVAILABLE-0218. For payment: SMS PAY <TID> IMPS <MMID> <OTP> IRCTCUserID to 139

STEP 2: With the above details, send an SMS to 139 to make payment.

SMS PAY <Transaction ID as received> <IMPS is the mode of payment> <Your MMID as received from the bank> <OTP is your one time password received from this transaction> <IRCTCUser ID>

For Example


Now you will receive an SMS from 139 on booking your ticket successfully.

Congrats!! Your ticket booked successfully. PNR is: 2305424601 Ticket No: 0759516734 Booking Status: Manpreet CONFIRM C1 46 WS Sarika C1 47 ticket amount 810 SC: 20 Src: New Delhi Dst: Chandigarh Date of Journey: 14/04/2013 Sch Dep 07:40hrs



CASE 1: If you want to cancel the entire ticket.

STEP 1: send an SMS to 139 from your registered mobile Number (which you used for booking the ticket). The SMS format is given below.

CAN <10 Digit PNR> <IRCTC UserID>

For example:

CAN 2305424601 Manpreet

You will receive a message from 139 as given below.

“We have received your request to cancel your PNR Number 2305424601. Please confirm the cancellation by sending YES to 139.”

STEP 2: As per the message now the user has to send a confirmation message to 139.

After that, you will get an SMS from 139.

“Your ticket for <Passernger1Name> <Passenger2Name> with PNR Number: 2305424601 is cancelled. Refund Amount 710 only.”

CASE 2: For partial cancellation of the ticket.

STEP 1: For this, you have to send an SMS to 139 for the partial cancellation of the ticket in the format as follows.

CAN <10 Digit PNR> <IRCTC UserID> <Passenger Number>

For Example:

CAN 2305424601 Manpreet (up to 6)

STEP 2: In this step, you need to send a confirmation message to 139 to confirm your cancellation.

Now you will receive an SMS from 139

“Your ticket for Passenger <Passenger1Name> <Passenger2Name> with PNR Number: 2305424601 is canceled. Refund amount 710 only.”

USSD (Menu-based dialing)

Basically, USSD services are currently provided by:-

Airtel Money- Airtel subscribers can avail this service by dialing *400#

  1. After you dial *400# from the menu that appears, you have to select ‘book tickets’ option after which you have to select ‘Reservation’ (the user is supposed to enter quickly his ISRTC User ID once only before the session expires). Then you have to enter details like Date of journey, Station, Class, Train no and so on).
  2. In the next step, the user has to enter mPIN in order to authorize payment through mobile wallet.
  3. Now the user will receive a booking confirmation SMS from ICRTC.

This process of booking has no features to book train tickets during Tatkal. Tatkal ticket booking is not possible through SMS.

In conclusion, there are several thousand people across the world, and most of all try to book tickets at the same time concurrently. The Indian Railways site is busiest and slowest at this time. With this commendable move by Indian Railways, the common man can avail train tickets anywhere and at any time even without internet connectivity.