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Trying to book India train tickets from US- need help

Trying to book India train tickets from US- need help

Aug 15th, 2014, 10:34 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Trying to book India train tickets from US- need help

Please help me. I've tried to get buy tickets on clear trip and I've done everything that the man in seat 61's site said and it never works. I've been emailing the irctc, scanned my passport to them, received the email and mobile codes and they NEVER work! I'm so frustrated and can't figure out why it isn't working. Any advice?

We are going to India November and want to book the tickets before we arrive in India. I've read that we should book on advance so we get the trains we want.

Anyone else have a suggestion?
europe2011 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 11:48 AM
  #2  
 
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My suggestion would be to have a travel agent with an office in your arrival city make the bookings for you. They'll deliver them to you at your hotel. I've used Indian Moments in the past but there are many agencies to choose from. I've found that's the easiest way and they won't charge you much for the service.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 15th, 2014, 11:50 AM
  #3  
 
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I agree - use a local agent.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 12:07 PM
  #4  
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So there really isn't a need to book before we get to India? We arrive in New Delhi late on a Friday and will need the early morning train to Agra on Monday. Is it easy to get first class on the train we want just 2 days in advance?
Thanks
europe2011 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 12:24 PM
  #5  
 
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Contact an agent now, not after you arrive. They'll buy the tickets as soon as they're available, according to your instructions or give you alternate choices if necessary, and deliver them to you upon your arrival. Done all the time and very safe to use a recommended agency.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 15th, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #6  
 
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We used castle & king's services as we also hired them to drive us for 8 days. When we got to our first destination, the tickets were delivered to our hotel.
dgunbug is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #7  
 
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When you say it isn't working, what exactly is going wrong? Have you told your credit card company you're using it for India? I have bought successfully from cleartrip in the past and don't remember anything about mobile codes....
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 02:37 PM
  #8  
 
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I bought many train tickets on Cleartrip this past winter from the US, and I think I may know what the problem is. They want you to supply a mobile phone number so that they can send you a text confirming things. Try making up a mobile number for India and just submit that if your regular number doesn't work. Then, when you get to India and have an actual Indian SIM, go back into your Cleartrip account and change the number.

Yes, you will need to purchase in advance, but I am thinking perhaps this is too early. Have the tickets you want to purchase actually been released for purchase? I believe (not 100% certain) you can now only purchase 60 days in advance, so this is too early for November travel.

Also, there is a period of time for a couple hours each day (middle of the night in India I believe) when IndiaRail, and thus Cleartrip, shuts their system down, and it is not possible to purchase tickets. If you are trying during this period, which is the middle of the day in the US, you will only be frustrated.

Hope this helps you to solve your problem. Otherwise, go to TA and post because there are a gazillion train ticket purchase posts and tips there.
julies is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 05:40 PM
  #9  
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MmePerdu: Any other suggestions for an agency to contact now to tell them our train request. Any other companies that anyone recommends besides castles and kings?

I know we can't book our dates right now. The problem is that when I am trying to get the user name and passcodes to log in the ones they send me aren't working.

I will just do as several of you suggested and find an agency to work with to buy the tickets we want when they become available. The whole trying to get the correct mobile otp and everything just isn't working.
europe2011 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 06:43 PM
  #10  
 
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We were very happy with TGS on two different trips. They operate primarily in Rajasthan.

Has IRCTC responded to your e-mails when you tell them the user names and passcodes aren't working? Since you still have plenty of time before you can even book, I'd try working with them first. OTOH, I remember actually swearing at my computer on our first trip to India when I was so frustrated from trying to get Cleartrip to work for ticket bookings.
julies is offline  
Aug 15th, 2014, 06:58 PM
  #11  
 
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This is the one I've used: http://www.indianmoments.com

The websites always have "suggested" itineraries for those who need the suggestions, but I've found they'll sell you just about anything you want, as little or as much. If the ones you send a request to sound as if they want you to buy more than just the train tickets, simply be firm and tell them that's all, thanks, unless you could use more help. For instance, often agencies can get you better prices on hotels than you can get yourself. It's also nice to have a friendly agent in your back pocket "just in case" while you're there. You never know and a contact is a good thing, kind of like AAA.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 15th, 2014, 07:22 PM
  #12  
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@julies- IRCTC has responded but when I try to login with the codes they provide it never works. I've scanned my passport to them and everything. I'm not sure why it isn't working. It's just annoying that I followed the many steps and yet it didn't work. I will keep trying, but I am a planner so I really want to have a backup plan of booking tickets in place so when the time comes to book the tickets I will be able to.

@MmePerdu- Thanks.
europe2011 is offline  

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