A recent report from The Statesman has shed light on the Ministry of Railways' initiatives to streamline and simplify the existing process of passengers' ability to travel with their pets on trains, indicating the government's commitment to facilitating a seamless and hassle-free experience for pet owners during their rail travels.
As per the report mentioned above, the Railway Ministry is planning to take proactive steps towards the implementation of an innovative system by submitting a proposal that seeks to initiate an online booking mechanism specifically dedicated to facilitating the travelling of pets on the train.
A proposal has been submitted to the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), to undertake necessary modifications to the existing software infrastructure. These changes aim to seamlessly integrate the feature of online booking for animal transportation into the user interface of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.
The rules that passengers need to follow to travel on the train with their pets:
- pets will only be permitted in AC-1 coaches, more specifically, within the confines of 2 or 4-berth coupes. Ensuring the mandatory vaccination of pets is of utmost importance in compliance with the regulations. However, in case of complaints from fellow passengers, animals will be relocated to the guard compartment in the Seating-cum-Luggage rake (SLR).
- Only after the first train chart is prepared, travelers will have the option to book pet tickets. It is important for passengers to have their own tickets confirmed before reserving tickets for animals, which can be done on the IRCTC app or website.
- As an alternative option, once the online booking system is introduced, the train ticket examiner (TTE) will also have the authority to book "tickets" for dogs and cats.
- It is important to note that there will be no refund of fare will be provided upon cancelling the pet tickets, irrespective of circumstances such as the owner cancelling the journey, deciding not to travel with pets, train cancellations, or delays exceeding 3 hours. However, the refund rules will be applicable for travellers as per the applicable guidelines.
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Existing rules for travelling with Pets on Trains
At present, the provision for booking "tickets" for dogs and cats is exclusively available at designated parcel booking counters located on the platform. Furthermore, it is imperative to comprehend that these animals are only allowed to be transported in Seating-cum-Luggage Rakes (SLRs) or by reserving an entire coupe within the AC-1 compartments.
On the contrary, larger domestic animals such as cows, buffaloes, horses, etc., can only be transported in goods trains, and it is essential to have a designated person accompanying them to provide care and supervision during the journey.
Do check our previous blog covering the Rules For Travelling with Your Dogs in Indian Railways