There are various categories of reservation quotas in Indian railways offered to different classes of passengers. Railway quota can be used to find seat availability in trains. Seat availability under railway quota could provide additional advantage for passengers willing to get reservation of seat/berth in trains.
A railways reservation General quota (GN) can be defined as the total number of tickets that can be issued for travel from the originating station issued by booking offices of the originating and other nearby stations. Majority of these seats in a particular train are reserved for long distances.
General Quota Seat Availability
Railways passengers reservation system and IRCTC both provide seat availability enquiry under general quota to passengers willing to book their ticket. General quota seats are available to every passenger unless they choose any special quota for accommodation booking.
Every trains having reservation of seats/berth display position of seat availability under general quota. A passenger who have filled reservation form or enquire about the status of seat availability will be provided general quota seat availability only unless they will ask for any special quota like emergency quota, ladies quota or other quotas.
Passenger should note that the availability of seats in trains of Indian Railway are not limited to general quota only but this quota provides the availability of seats for general public. General quota railway reservation can be made on counters or through IRCTC both. If passengers are booking their ticket on counters, the ticket booking clerk will reserve ticket under general quota unless booking will show regret status.
Passengers can reserve ticket under general quota for confirmed ticket, RAC or waiting ticket depending on seat availability. While checking seat availability on website of IRCTC, the status showing of seat availability is meant for general quota seat availability. If a passenger select any other quota like Tatkal quota, the availability of seats may be different.
Seat availability can be checked in trains up to the whole duration of advance reservation period. During peak hours or during vacations seat availability under general quota becomes quite tough so passengers may opt for other quota or should book ticket well in advance to get accommodation booked.
In first instance during seat availability enquiry, passengers need not to provide any document such as ID proof etc. ID proof and other documents only require at time of booking ticket or later on. Passengers only need to select source station, destination station, date of journey, class of travel and number of passengers willing to book ticket for seat availability.
If there is no seat availability under general quota, passengers can select other Quota available for railway reservation.