If you are active on social media, you’ve probably heard that Indian Railways has now started charging full fare for train tickets booked for children under the age of five. However, this news is totally baseless and factually incorrect.
Following the spread of false information about full fare charging for children on social media, most mainstream media outlets blindly reported the same and reported that children between the ages of one and four will now be required to purchase a train ticket with full fare.
Rules for booking tickets for kids not changed
In light of this, the Ministry of Indian Railways issued a statement denying recent media reports claiming that Indian Railways had changed the rule regarding the booking of train tickets for children.
- No change in the rule related to booking of tickets for Children travelling by train.
- It is optional for passengers to buy tickets & book berths for children below 5 years.
- Free travel is allowed for children below 5 years if no berth is booked.
“These news items and media reports are misleading. It is informed that Indian Railways has not introduced any changes with regards to booking of tickets for children travelling in the train. On the demand of the passengers, an option has been given to them to buy a ticket and book a berth for their under 5-year-old child if they want. And if they don’t want a separate berth, then it is free, same like it used to be earlier.”
The statement also stated that according to a Ministry of Railways circular dated March 6, 2020, Children under five years of age shall be carried free. However, a separate berth or seat(in chair car) shall not be given.
Therefore purchase of any ticket is not required provided a separate berth is not claimed. However, if berth/seat shall be sought on a voluntary basis for children of age below 5 years then full adult fare shall be charged.