Here’s why you don’t get your preferred berth on train while booking through IRCTC
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# Here’s why you don’t get your preferred berth on train while booking through IRCTC

No matter how much you blame IRCTC for its failure to cope with during rush hours, the fact that 13 lakh transactions are made every day would make it the eighth wonder.

All said and done, getting a preferred berth or seat on a train is next to impossible. Unless and until you are booking a Tatkal ticket, chance of getting a lower berth is not more than 10%. You might have seen that there are almost 500 tickets available. And when you book you would see the window seat you opted for hasn't been provided. You still find 499 tickets remaining. So why is this?

Well, as per a Quora thread, there is a technical reason behind this. Allotting you a seat by IRCTC isn't as easy as booking a movie ticket where you are provided a seat map. Train is a moving object and safety concern for this is high. The software has algorithm to distribute the load evenly throughout the train.

Imagine there are sleeper class coaches in a train numbered S1, S2 S3... S10, and in every coach there are 72 seats. So when someone first books a ticket, software will assign a seat in the middle coach like S5, middle seat numbered between 30-40, and preferably lower berths. This is because Indian Railways will fill the lower berths than upper one so as to achieve low centre of gravity.

And the software books seats in such a way that all coaches have uniform passenger distribution and seats are filled starting from the middle seats (36) to seats near the gates i.e 1-2 or 71-72 in order from lower berth to upper. Railways just want to ensure a proper balance that each coach should have for equal load distribution. That is why when you book a ticket in last you are always allotted an upper berth and a seat numbered around 2-3 or 70, except you are not taking a seat of some one who has cancelled their seat.

What if the railways book tickets randomly, A train is a moving object which moves around at a speed of around 70km/hr on rails. So there are a lot of forces and mechanics acting on the train. Just imagine If S1, S2, S3 are completely full and S5, S6 are completely empty and others are partially full, so when the train takes a turn, some coaches face maximum centrifugal force and some minimum, and this creates a high chance of the derailment of train. This is a very technical aspect, and when brakes are applied there will be different braking forces acting at each of the coaches because of the huge differences in weight of coach, so stability of train becomes an issue again.

(Image: India times)