Salient features of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme “VIKALP” to waitlisted passengers

Salient features of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme “VIKALP” to waitlisted passengers: Railway Commercial Circular No. 61




  • The Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) is presently being launched under the name “Vikalp” on pilot basis only for the tickets booked through internet on two sectors i.e. Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Lucknow sectors. Based on the feedback it will be provided on PRS and also on other sectors.
  • The scheme is presently being implemented only across Mail/Express trains of same category. No extra charges shall be taken from passenger or any refund shall be provided for difference of fare.
  • The scheme is applicable to all waiting list passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession. In pilot phase the scheme will be available on few pre-designated trains in the above sectors only.
  • Under this scheme, Waiting list passengers will give choice to opt for ATAS scheme.
  • ATAS opted passengers who remain fully Waitlisted after charting will only be considered for allotment in the alternate train.
  • Fully WL passengers opted for ATAS should check PNR status after charting. 
  • Either all passengers of a PNR or none will be transferred to alternate train in same class. The passenger can be considered for shifting to a train leaving from any station amongst the cluster of stations defined by Railways based on the convenience of the passengers to a station serving the destination station on the same analogy.
  • The ATAS opted passengers who have been provided accommodation in the alternate train will not figure in the waitlisted charts of their original train. A separate list of passengers transferred in alternate train will be pasted along with the CONFIRMED and WAITLIST charts.
  • The passenger allotted alternate accommodation can travel in the alternate train on authority of original ticket.
  • Waitlisted passengers of original train shall not be allowed to board the original train if allotted alternate accommodation. If found travelling, they will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.
  • Passengers once provided alternate accommodation in alternate train will be treated as normal passengers in alternate train and will be eligible for up gradation.
  • In rare situations, passengers who have been provided alternate accommodation might get dropped/re-allotted in alternate train due to last minute change in composition of the alternate train at the time of chart preparation. So, passengers who have been provided alternate accommodation should check PNR status also after preparation of charts of the alternate train for final status.
  • This information will be available on Call Centre (139), PRS Enquiry Counters, Passenger Operated Enquiry Terminals installed at stations and WEB ENQUIRY on wwwindianrail.gov.in.
  • When an ATAS opted passenger opts to cancel,after he/she has been given an alternate accommodation, he/ she will be treated as a CONFIRNIED passenger and the cancellation rules will apply accordingly.
  • No refund for difference of fare between the original train and the alternate train, including Tatkal charges, if any, will be given to re-allocated passengers.
  • Once an ATAS passenger has been allotted alternate accommodation, journey modification will not be permitted. If required, the passenger will have to cancel the ticket and book a fresh ticket for modified journey.
  • When a passenger who has been allotted alternate accommodation has not performed his journey in the alternate train, he can claim for refunds by filing a TDR request.


1) Opting for VIKALP does not mean that confirmed berth will be provided to passengers in alternate train. It is subject to train and berth availability.

2) Once confirmed in Alternate train, Cancellation charges will be as per your berth/train status in  alternate train.

3) In this scheme, your boarding and terminating station might change to nearby cluster stations.

4) You can be transferred to any alternate train available within 12 hrs. from the scheduled departure of original train, in which you have booked.

5) Please check PNR status after charting.


1. H/20 switch needs to be set along With ATAS effective date range to define trains under ATAS scheme, so that option for alternate accommodation will be taken from waitlisted passengers booked in the train.
 NOTE: It is suggested that the scheme be launched with effect from ARP opening date or no-booking date of main train otherwise it will lead to breach of priority for waitlisted passengers booked in same TDRC prior to launch.
2. For grouping of trains under ATAS scheme, a feature is provided in GUIDBA. Using this option Database operator can define set of main trains with every alternate train to which WL passengers will be transferred. E.g. Alternate train S is mapped to main trains M1, M2,. M3; then waitlist passengers of M1, M2 and M3 will be transferred to vacant berths in train S. Flexibility to indicate scheme start date and end date with special/alternate train is also provided. While defining these pairs, following restrictions are imposed by the system:
 a) Train type of main train as well as alternate train should be same.
 b) Train source station of main train and alternate train can be from cluster of principle stations.
 c) Destination station or principle station of alternate train should be .present as a valid ISL in main train.
 d) The scheduled departure of the alternate train is at least 1/2 hour and maximum 24 hours after the scheduled departure of original train.
NOTE: In case the scheme is to be applied on all trains of a sector to balance load across different trains in the sector, then multiple pairs should be defined by DBA. For example: If there are 4 trains in a sector say A, B, C and D and it is desired that waitlist in any of these 4 trains if  present should be transferred to vacant berth in any of these 4 trains if available i.e. every train is a main train as well as alternate train based on availability status at the time of charting. Then database will have to define 4 pairs of ATAS group, one for each train as alternate trains and other three trains as main train i.e. B, C and D will be main train for A; A, C and D will be main train for Band so on. Also it will be required to set ATAS flag (H/20) on all these 4 trains so that ATAS option from Waitlist passengers is taken in all 4 trains.
 3. In alternate/ special train, database operator can mark the train as reserved for ATAS in a given period i.e. only ATAS opted waitlist passengers will be transferred to this train and no normal booking will be allowed in the train.
 4. In alternate/ special train, database operator can also mark a particular coach as reserved for ATAS in a given period i.e. ATAS opted waitlist passengers will be transferred to this coach first and no normal booking will be allowed in this coach. Coaches blocked for ATAS in alternate trains will have only GN quota defined in it.
 5. Resetting of chart switch will not be permitted in main trains which are marked under ATAS Scheme i.e. once charts are prepared for the main train it could not be reverted back in any scenario.

Railway Board’s Circular:


No. 2007/11 G-I/ZO/P/ATAS

New Delhi, dated 14.10.2015

The Chief Commercial Manager, CMDHRCTC, MDICRIS, Chanakyapuri,
Northern Railway, New Delhi New Delhi. New Delhi

Commercial Circular No. 61 of 2015

Sub: Introduction of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme “VIKALP”.

With a View to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation, a scheme called “VIKALP” has been conceptualised and is being introduced w.e.f. 01.11.2015 initially only for the tickets booked through internet as a pilot project for six months, on Delhi Lucknow & Delhi-Jammu sectors of Northern Railway. In this scheme, wait listed passengers. of a train can opt for confirmed accommodation in alternate trains. The salient features of this scheme are enclosed.

2. It is requested that a wide publicity may be given to the features of this scheme for information of general public.
DA: As above

 (Vikram Singh)
Director Passenger Marketing
Railway Board 
Source: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/traffic_comm/Comm-Cir-2015/CC_61_2015.pdf

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