IRCTC Reservation Charts Online: Find Vacant Seats on Running Trains in Real Time

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How many seats are vacant on a train? How much is the waiting? What is the status of berths in Sleeper and AC? All this information can be obtained from the IRCTC website and app. Still, it is applicable only when booking a ticket in advance. What if you suddenly have to travel by train and your ticket has not been confirmed? How can one find out after boarding a train if there are any seats available that he can get? Usually, people request the TT for a seat in such circumstances. However, there is one more way to learn about the availability of vacant seats on a running train. Read on to know more.

IRCTC App to find vacant seats on a running train

India is going digital, and one of the benefits of going digital is that train tickets are booked online. There are no long queues at stations now, as most tickets are booked through the IRCTC website and app. Although other platforms also allow online train ticket booking, the IRCTC app is the most commonly used one.

IRCTC App not only allows train ticket booking but also allows bus and flight tickets to be booked. One can also order food for their train journey through this app. The app has one more useful feature, ‘Chart Vacancy, ‘ that will help you discover the vacant seats in a running train. Just follow these simple steps to find vacant seats-

Step 1: Open the IRCTC Application.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Train’ icon.

Step 3: Click on ‘Chart Vacancy.’

Step 4: Enter the name/number of the train you want to find seats on. One doesn’t need to enter the date, as the app picks that up.

Step 6: We have entered ‘12280-Taj Express’, for example.

Step 7: Select the boarding station next. 

Step 8: If the train has empty berths, the details will be displayed on the screen. The location of the berth(s) available and the number of vacant seats will also be shown.

If the TT can only allot the vacant seats, the same will be shown on the screen. Where those seats will be allotted will be mentioned alongside.

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The best part is that one doesn’t have to log in to the IRCTC App to get all these details, so if you don’t have an account, that’s fine.

So, the next time you are on a train with no confirmed seats, anxious about spending the entire journey standing up, just click on the IRCTC App and get sorted.

How to Discover Vacant Train Seats Using the IRCTC Website

If you’re eager to find vacant seats on a train through the IRCTC website, follow these straightforward steps:

Step 1: Begin by visiting the IRCTC website. On the main page, positioned just above the “Book Ticket” box, you’ll spot a conspicuous option named “Charts/Vacancy.”

Step 2: Click on this option, and it will promptly launch a new tab labeled “Reservation Chart.”

Step 3: In this new tab, provide the required details. In the first box, enter the Train Name or Number, and in the second box, specify your boarding station.

Step 4: After entering the necessary information, click “Get Train Chart Now.” This action will generate the Reservation Chart, providing comprehensive details on vacant seats.

You can quickly identify available seats across different classes and coaches, including berth-wise details.

If you try this workaround, let us know how it worked in the comments section below.


1. What is the IRCTC reservation chart?

A Reservation Chart records all the passengers who have reserved a seat on a train. 

2. How does IRCTC vacant seat booking work?

Once you find vacant seats available on the train you plan to travel on, you can book them onboard at the TTE, on the web, or from your mobile phone. 

3. How accurate is the seat availability information provided online?

Since the charts are prepared by the Indian Railways, we don’t have any reason to question their accuracy. If you are unsatisfied with the seat availability on the first chart, check the 2nd chart. 

4. Are there any specific days or times when vacant seats are more likely to be available?

You can see and book vacant seats on the first chart, which is prepared 4 hours before the train’s departure. The second chart is also made 30 minutes before the train leaves.

5. Do third-party apps provide accurate information about seat availability?

Yes, third-party apps can also provide accurate information about seat availability but only if they are authorized by Indian Railways. Otherwise, the information might not be correct.

6. What happens if you don’t get a seat on a train?

Online unconfirmed ticket passengers are not allowed to travel inside the train as the ticket money is refunded to the passenger if the seat is not confirmed till the time of preparation of the departing train chart.

7. How to look for a confirmed seat on the train?

You can find your seat on an Indian train by looking for the coach and seat numbers on your train ticket. The coach number is usually a letter or a combination of letters and numbers. In contrast, the seat number is a number.

8. How many seats are there in a single train coach?

The number of seats in a train coach varies between 72 to 110.

9. What does ‘CNF’ mean in a train reservation chart?

CNF stands for “Confirmed” in Indian Railways. It means that the passenger has a confirmed seat on the train.

10. What does ‘WL’ mean in a train reservation chart?

WL stands for ‘Waiting List’. This means the person has a waitlisted status and will get a confirmed seat only if the passengers who have booked before them for the same journey cancel their ticket.

11. Can one switch seats on the train?

Indian Railways doesn’t allow you to change your berth once it has been allotted. However, you can request a fellow passenger to exchange their berth with yours or ask the Train Ticket Examiner to change your seat.

12. What does current seat availability on a train mean?

The current seat availability status is the fastest way to check if there are vacant seats available in real time. The easiest way to check is by entering the From and To Journey Stations, travel dates, and class in which you want to book seats. 

13. How can one know their seat number on the train?

One has to check the PNR status to find details about their seat number. This also shows the booking status and whether the seat has been confirmed. 

14. How many times is the train chart prepared and when?

IRCTC claims that the chart is prepared twice: once four hours before the train’s scheduled departure time and again thirty minutes before the train’s departure time. 

15. What happens during chart preparation?

During chart preparation, final seats are allotted to passengers. Some waitlisted tickets get confirmed and completely waitlisted tickets are cancelled and refunded. RAC and CNF tickets are given berth and coach numbers. 

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Shivangi AgarwalShivangi Agarwal
Shivangi is an honours graduate in English from Delhi University with a passion for reading and writing. Always keen to know more about the latest gadgets, when she is not reading about tech, she loves listening to Hindi music and grooving to the latest Hindi beats.

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