Booking a foreign tourist train ticket

What is Foreign Tourist Train ticket quota?

The Indian railways have subdivided the large number of bookable seats on a train into various ‘quotas’ or allotments so as to enable everyone to avail of this inexpensive travel experience.
Of these quotas which include General, Ladies, Senior Citizen, Defence etc; one quota made available exclusively for tourists and non-resident Indians is the FOREIGN TOURIST QUOTA.

Almost always you will find some or the other alternative to the foreign tourist ticket get in touch with us and start planning your trip to India  so you wont have to spend your precious time in India at the foreign tourist office.

Who exactly can book tickets under foreign tourist train quota?

Visitors travelling to India who hold valid tourist visas can avail tickets under this quota.

Please note travelers in India on any other visa  for example. a business visa,  an employment visa or student visa are not eligible to book tickets under this quota. If you are a female traveler and you did not know this on some trains a section of tickets are blocked under the Female quote (however please not that you would be competing with a large section of Indian women looking to get seats under the same reservation)

Do all trains have Foreigner tourist quota tickets?

No, not all trains can be booked under this quota.
Although there is no publicly available list of trains that can be booked under the foreign tourist quota; you can check on the Indian railways website under the ‘seat availability’ section if the train you are looking for has seats available under the foreign tourist quota

Can Foreigner tourist quota train tickets be booked in advance?

Bookings open the same time as for the General quota i.e 60 days before departure date. However please note that tickets under the Foreign tourist quota cannot be booked online or by any agent.
You need to be present in person at the booking counter with your passport and a valid tourist visa. Also if tickets are needed for more than one person, you need to carry their passport/s too. No photocopies are accepted.

Where to book foreigners tourist quota train ticket?

Tickets under the Foreigner’s quota can be booked at the International tourist bureaus. These bureaus are located in the major cities, namely:
• Kolkata – in the east
• Chennai, Bangalore and Secunderabad – in the south
• Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Jodhpur – in the west
• New Delhi, Agra Cantonment and Varanasi – in the north

How do I pay for the tickets and is there a special fare?

The ticket fare is the same as a General quota ticket. No additional payment to be made. You have to pay in foreign currency i.e USD, Pounds, Sterling or Euros. You can also pay in Indian Rupees however you may be required to present the currency exchange receipt or ATM receipt. Also it is better to carry cash with you as not all bureaus may accept a credit/ debit card.

Any other useful information?

Do keep in mind that there are very few/ limited seats available under this quota and it may be possible that the tickets are unavailable by the time you are in India. Do not plan your trip around it but keep it as an emergency window.

Before you get to the booking office, note down ahead the train name, number, the boarding and alighting station names. You need to fill a reservation form at the office and having this information will help save time.

Do not believe touts/ agents you come across at the railway stations (especially Delhi) who are trying to mislead and fleece you. It is safer to ask your hotel/ homestay for specific information.

And if you would like to avoid the hassle of going to a foreign tourist office and hoping you get a ticket. We always recommend planning in advance. Get in touch with us here to make the most of your time in India

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6 responses to “Booking a foreign tourist train ticket
  1. I intend coming to India landing in Delhi on the 14th of June 2017 and would like 2 tickets to travel to Varanasi the same evening with train No. 12560 Shiv Ganga. I can provide you with my Passport Number etc whatever maybe needed.
    Your assistance in this matter will highly be appreciated. Many Thanks

  2. I really admire the concept of allowing foreigners a quota. Only it cant be booked from where we are travelling

    1. Hi Moosa, yes unfortunately it can only be booked in the main cities at certain train stations. Mostly places where tourists are common. All the best! Your India Someday Team

  3. Is it possible to book a train ticket online without all passengers having a passport number?
    I have a passport, but my friend is still waiting for his. Is there a way to book his ticket without providing a passport number yet?

    1. Hi. He could use the number of his old passport or a national ID. Then he would need to take both with him on the trip, the new and the old passport. The ticket controller might ask for both.

      Hope this helps!
      India Someday Team

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