IRCTC Vikalp Scheme

The IRCTC Vikalp Scheme is an initiative by the Indian Railways aimed at providing passengers with an alternative travel option in case their preferred train tickets are not available. Launched by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the Vikalp Scheme allows passengers to choose alternate trains or routes, ensuring that they can travel on their desired date even if the original train they wanted to book is fully booked.
What is IRCTC Vikalp Scheme of Indian Railway

IRCTC Vikalp Scheme’s Key Features and Objectives:

1. Passenger Convenience: The primary objective of the Vikalp Scheme is to provide passengers with flexibility and convenience. If the preferred train is fully booked, passengers are automatically shifted to an alternative train on the same route or a nearby route, subject to availability.

2. No Additional Charges: Passengers opting for the Vikalp Scheme do not need to pay any additional charges, even if the alternative train has a higher fare. The fare difference is borne by the Indian Railways.
3. Opt-in During Booking: Passengers can choose to opt for the Vikalp Scheme during the ticket booking process. If their preferred train is not available, they are considered for the scheme automatically.
4. SMS and Email Notifications: Passengers are notified via SMS and email if they are shifted to an alternative train under the Vikalp Scheme. The new train details, including the PNR (Passenger Name Record), are provided in the notification.
5. Refund Process: If passengers choose to cancel their tickets after being shifted to an alternative train, they can do so as per the refund rules of the Indian Railways. The refund process remains consistent with the regular cancellation rules.
6. Automatic Allocation: The allocation of alternative trains is done automatically by the system, considering the passenger’s preferences and the availability of trains on the desired route.

Benefits of IRCTC Vikalp Scheme:

Passenger Satisfaction: The Vikalp Scheme enhances passenger satisfaction by providing them with travel options even when their preferred trains are fully booked.
Flexibility: Passengers have the flexibility to travel on their preferred dates without being restricted by unavailability of tickets on specific trains.
Optimal Utilization: The scheme ensures optimal utilization of train resources by filling vacant seats on alternative trains.
Reduced Disappointment: Passengers are less likely to face disappointment due to unavailability, especially during peak travel seasons.


The IRCTC Vikalp Scheme is a customer-centric initiative that reflects the Indian Railways’ commitment to enhancing passenger convenience and satisfaction. By offering passengers alternative travel options without additional charges, the scheme ensures that more people can travel comfortably, even during busy periods.