November 9, 2012

IRCTC - Is its Performance really poor?

Hi Guys,

Do you know which India’s largest e-commerce website is? It is IRCTC. Yesterday, IRCTC was trending in Twitter. I guess there would be no one, who has used IRCTC and ended up without booking a ticket. One of the tweets went on to say that IRCTC stands for ‘I Refuse to provide Connectivity to the Customer’
I myself was suffering from the connectivity problem last week, when I had to book tickets for my parents and it took me two days to book a ticket. The worst case scenario can be when the money gets debited and yet the ticket doesn’t get booked.

When I checked about IRCTC online, I learnt some interesting facts. IRCTC which actually stands for Indian Railway’s Catering and Tourism Corporation is a subsidiary of Indian Railways. Started in August 2002, when the Internet Spread in India was very low, IRCTC has grown big way. With a transaction of 1500-2000 per minute, the number of tickets booking per day is 4.5 Lakhs. In 2011, the total number of tickets booked was 9.69 Crore with a total value of Rs. 8000 Crore. There are totally 52 servers. IRCTC deposits Rs. 50 Lakh everyday to the Indian Railways as an advance to buy tickets.

One of the main complaints is that booking Tatkal tickets in IRCTC is a big headache. It is not IRCTC who has made it as a headache, but the sheer number of users trying to book tickets during the timeframe. On an average 8 Lakh a users (which is nearly double the number of ticket booking per day) try to book tickets in the first ten minutes of the Tatkal timeframe. Of that only 50000 people come out of the website with tickets.

One suggestion many people give is that IRCTC should increase the servers. If the number of servers is increased then probably more people can login. But, the number of people who will go unsatisfied will increase from the current 7.5 Lakh, as tickets are limited.

What is happening today is there is too much demand and too less supply. The optimum solution is to increase the number of trains and we can’t blame IRCTC. There are two reasons why people prefer trains – comfort and cost. Indian Railways has not increased the cost of tickets (thanks to our society oriented politicians) and are not in a condition to improve the infrastructure. The fares in buses have skyrocketed in the mean time.

Though these stats make me feel sympathetic towards IRCTC for the Tatkal tickets, the poor performance of the site in non peak times frustrates me. Even if you try to book a ticket for a normal day on a normal day, the website is slow. IRCTC must improve these types of performances, where it is absolutely possible to provide hassle free service.

Comparing with many of the Government Websites, IRCTC’s performance is very good. We need to understand the root cause of the problem and not blame the website.

Happy Reading!!!


  1. I booked a ticket via IRCTC.. relax guys, not tatkal. Aise mere naseeb kaha!!! But you would believe I know, it took many attempts and tortures for about an hour even at fastest net speed to do that.

  2. Adding on to it, There are people who book tickets from abroad. They are able to book it because their connections are routed through different servers. So touts have their men abroad and book tatkal tickets and make a business out of it. A detailed probe of this accusation may lead to another article in your blog.

  3. I have been booking tickets from the site since last 2 years. Yes, its slow most of the times but its not as bad as some people showcase. At least we dont have to stand in long queues to get the tickets anymore :)

  4. Great Post !
    Never knew so many facts about IRCTC before.
    Each day I learn a new joke about IRCTC on my Twitter profile.
    There's always a scope of improvement.
    I second you on the urge to increase trains and the infrastructure which must be the primary concern.
    Happy Diwali :)

  5. I dont think its performance is poor because it uses too much resource at the time of tatkal booking. i have read an article about it over the times and found the reality

  6. Yes, it has the worst performance ever.


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