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Understanding Indian Railways Charting Process: Rules, Timings, and Passenger Benefits

November 12, 2023 | by railinfo.in

“Exploring the Importance of Charting in Indian Railways”


Are you traveling on Indian Railways and wondering about terms like “Charting,” “Chart Prepared,” or “Chart Not Prepared”? Charting is the process where vacant seats from other quotas are allocated to the General/Tatkal Quota. Learn about the general rules for chart preparation, including when the charts are prepared and how tickets are confirmed and upgraded.

Full Article:

The Mystery of Indian Railways Charting Process Revealed

Have you ever found yourself puzzled by terms like “Charting”, “Chart Prepared”, or “Chart Not Prepared” while traveling on Indian Railways? Fret not, for we have the answers you seek.

Charting is the crucial process employed by Indian Railways authorities to allocate vacant seats from various quotas to the General/Tatkal Quota. This fascinating and mysterious system is responsible for ensuring that every passenger finds their rightful place aboard the majestic Indian trains.

General Rules for Chart Preparation

  • The First Chart: A Glimpse into the Future
  • The first chart for any train is meticulously prepared by the authorities approximately 4 hours before the train’s scheduled departure from the originating station. This serves as a tantalizing glimpse into the future, offering a sneak peek at the train’s potential passenger constellation.

  • Early Birds and Nighttime Revelations
  • For trains departing in the early hours of the morning, the chart is unfurled and prepared the night before, adding an element of intrigue and excitement to the proceedings.

  • Vacant Seats: A Game of Availability
  • If there are any vacant seats remaining in the first chart prepared 4 hours before departure, these precious positions are made available for booking, sparking a flurry of activity and anticipation among eager travelers.

  • The Final Countdown: Last-Minute Revelations
  • The tension reaches its peak as the final chart is prepared a mere 30 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure. This nerve-wracking period sees the conversion of some waiting list tickets into confirmed seats, adding an unexpected twist to the tale.

  • Berths, Coaches, and the Dance of Destiny
  • Passengers are bestowed with their coveted Berth and Coach Number in the final chart, their fates sealed according to their status, whether confirmed or RAC. This moment marks the culmination of their journey planning and anticipation.

  • From Waiting to Wistful: The Destiny of E-Tickets
  • E-Tickets residing on the Fully Waiting List meet an automatic and somewhat melodramatic fate, as they are unceremoniously canceled, adding a tinge of melancholy to the proceedings.

  • Finality and Upgrades: The Twists of Fate
  • Once the final chart is prepared, the die is cast, and fully confirmed tickets bid farewell to the possibility of cancellation. However, some lucky passengers find themselves the recipients of an unexpected upgrade, enjoying accommodation in a higher class without any additional charges, turning their journey into an unexpected delight.


In conclusion, with Indian Railways, charting is a critical process for allocating vacant seats, and there are specific rules for chart preparation. Understanding this process can help passengers book and manage their tickets effectively. From the first chart to the final chart, the allocation of seats and upgrades are essential for travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Charting in Indian Railways?
Charting in Indian Railways refers to the process of preparing the final list of passengers who will be traveling on a particular train. This process involves assigning seats and berths to passengers based on their preferences and availability.

How is Charting Done in Indian Railways?
Charting in Indian Railways is done a few hours before the scheduled departure of the train. The system automatically assigns seats and berths to passengers based on their preferences and availability at the time of booking.

Can I Choose My Seat or Berth During Charting in Indian Railways?
Passengers can select their preferred seats or berths at the time of booking their tickets. However, during the charting process, the system will assign seats and berths based on availability and preferences.

What Should I Do After Charting in Indian Railways is Done?
After charting is done, passengers can check their assigned seats or berths by logging into the Indian Railways website or using the mobile app. They can also find this information on their printed or e-ticket.

Can I Change My Seat or Berth After Charting in Indian Railways?
Once charting is done, it is generally not possible to change the assigned seat or berth. However, in some cases, passengers can request changes at the station or through the customer service helpline.

What Happens if My Preferred Seat or Berth is Not Available During Charting in Indian Railways?
If the preferred seat or berth is not available at the time of charting, the system will assign the next best available option based on the passenger’s preferences and availability.

Is Charting Done Differently for Different Classes in Indian Railways?
The charting process is similar for all classes in Indian Railways, including sleeper, AC, and executive classes. However, the availability of seats and berths may vary based on the class of travel.

Can I Check the Charting Status Before the Actual Charting in Indian Railways?
Passengers can check the current status of seat and berth availability before the actual charting is done by using the Indian Railways website or mobile app.

What Should I Do if I Have Concerns About Charting in Indian Railways?
If passengers have any concerns or issues related to charting, they can contact the Indian Railways customer service helpline or visit the nearest railway station for assistance.

How Does Charting Impact My Travel Experience in Indian Railways?
Charting ensures that passengers have assigned seats and berths for their journey, making the travel experience more organized and convenient. It also helps the railway authorities manage the allocation of seats and berths efficiently.


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