Concession means that you get a discount in your ticket price. Quota means some seats are allotted for a particular group – like few for ladies, few for defence, few for senior citizens and rest for general public.
Indian Railways provides some benefits to senior citizens which are mentioned in this document here
Two of the most important things are –
1. Concession in Ticket price:
40% for men and 50% for women. Please refer (i) in above document.
How to get this concession:
Getting concession is fairly simple when booking tickets online for senior citizens through www.irtctc.co.in. You need to simply select the checkbox for senior citizen and carry the age proof when you travel.
Getting a lower berth for senior citizens is difficult. Many times we book tickets with other family members and find that all lower berths are gone; no lower berths are assigned to old people even after selecting the senior citizen checkbox. But very few people know that railways have assigned 2 lower berths in every coach for senior citizens. Lets check the quota now.
2. Quota for allotting seats:
a) General Quota:
Lower berths are allotted automatically from this quota to senior citizen/female over 45 years while booking tickets subject to availability.
b) Lower Berth Quota:
2 lower berths are allocated in each coach for senior citizens/female over 45 years/pregnant women. These 2 seats can be availed by any of them. But there is a catch here – this quota is given to the person only if they are travelling alone
. It means that they need to be the only one in the ticket. If you include more than one person in the ticket, then this quota is not applied. Also, if there 2 senior citizens are included on the same ticket, then too the quota is not applied.
If you open the document that is linked above and below too, refer point 3 (iii) in the pdf. Lower berth quota is allotted when travelling alone. Hence to avail the lower berth for senior citizens, try to book the ticket for the old person with only his/her name. Other family members will need to book a separate ticket. If there are 2 old people travelling, then book 2 separate tickets!
- There are detailed steps to book tickets in senior citizen quota from here: http://www.indiamike.com/india/indian-railways-f10/online-booking-of-senior-citizen-quota-guaranteed-lower-berth-subject-to-availabilit-t168757/
- Also, www.erail.in has a good feature of checking this lower berth quota. You can search for trains and select the lower berth quota from the drop down.
Documents and links related to senior citizens quota: