Indian Railways are the most important of the nation’s transportation systems, carrying approximately 80% of overall goods traffic and 70% of total passenger traffic. It is a statutory organization that functions India’s national railway system and is controlled by the Government of India’s Ministry of Railways. Many times you have thought about why IRCTC does not allow you to choose your preferred seat.
Indian Railways started operation on April 16, 1853, with its first 22-mile segment (34 km). The Indian Railway System, on the other side, has expanded to become Asia’s most extensive and the world’s 2nd largest in terms of route length.
As of March 31, 2022, the total route length was 67,956 km (42,226 miles). One question that undoubtedly arises in your mind is how railways sell their tickets. So, let us explore more about it.
No matter how much you criticize IRCTC for its inability to function during peak hours, the truth is that 13 lakh transactions are processed daily, making it the 8th wonder of the world.
All in all, obtaining a favorite berth or seat on a train is nearly impossible. Unless and until you book a Tatkal ticket, your chances of getting a lower berth are less than 10%. You may have noticed that there are nearly 500 available seats. But, when you book, you’ll see that your requested window seat isn’t available. There are still 499 tickets available. So, why is this the case? Here is the reason why IRCTC does not allow you to choose your preferred seat.
IRCTC Booking Algorithm
To clarify, consider the following example: Consider a train with sleeper class coaches numbered S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, etc., and each coach has 72 seats.
So, when a ticket is first purchased, the software will assign a seat in the middle coach, such as S5, a seat numbered between 30-40, and preferably lower berths (Railways fill lower berths first, then upper berths, to find the lowest center of gravity.)
And the software books seats so that all coaches have uniform passenger allocation and seats are filled beginning from the aisle seats (36) to seats close to the entrance, i.e., 1-2 or 71-72, in order from lower berth to upper berth. Railways simply want to ensure that each coach has the appropriate balance for equivalent load distribution.
That is why, if you book tickets at the last minute, you are always assigned an upper berth and a seat numbering around 2-3 or 70, unless you are not replacing somebody who has canceled their seat.
Why Does IRCTC Not Allow You To Choose Your Seat?
A train is a moving object that travels at around 100 km/hr on rails. As a result, there are numerous forces and dynamics at work on the train. For example, consider the following scenario: S1, S2, and S3 are full, S5 and S6 are empty, while others are partially full. As a result, when the train turns, a few coaches experience maximum centrifugal force while others experience minimal, increasing the likelihood of the train derailment.
This is very technical. Basically, when the brakes are applied, distinct braking forces will act on each of the coaches due to the massive differences in weight, so train stability becomes an issue.
Profiling is also taken into account when allocating seats. Pregnant women and older people are assigned lower-level seating. So, this is why IRCTC does not allow you to choose your preferred seat.