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Indian Railways – General Instructions, Helplines and Procedure to Register Complaint to Indian Railway Authority


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Indian Railways is a statutory body under the Ministry of Railways, GoI. It operates and manages the national railway network in India. The operational structure is well managed which ensures secure, faster, and reliable transportation services for common people. It has a large network and connectivity of freight and passenger trains.

Many people don’t know the official instructions and guidelines of the Indian Railways to get the benefits of the services or faster redressal of the issues. They don’t know the right procedure to register a complaint about different issues like ticket booking, refund, platform-related complaints, freight and passenger trains-related issues, cleanliness and other problems.

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Here, you can know the right procedure to lodge a complaint at the helplines of the Indian Railways (Madad) and also use the given helplines to file a grievance. The time limit for various service execution is also mentioned. You can use all this information to resolve your issues.

General Issues/Services:

  • Passenger Tickets Issues – Refund of the Passenger Fares, Counter tickets and e-tickets, Ticket Deposit Receipts, Lost, torn or mutilated reserved tickets booked at any counter, and other deficiencies in ticket issues related concerns.
  • Booking of luggage, concessions, and any deficiency in services (Catering, cleanliness, bed rolls, theft of luggage, etc.).
  • Facilities provided to Divyangjan, Sr. citizens and female passenger-related complaints
  • Complaints about the train services (delays, the behaviour of the staff or employees of India Railways, etc.)

You can raise these issues with the authorities of the Indian Railways. For this, the Public Grievance Redressal System is the fastest and most simple option to lodge an online complaint about the issues. The helpline numbers, e-mail and online portals are also provided to take the grievances of the people.

Note – If your complaint is not resolved by the tier 1 customer support team or officials of Indian Railway then you can escalate the grievance to the higher authorities (ADM, AGM, and EDPG). The instructions and procedure are provided here. Read all the information carefully.

How to Lodge a Complaint to the Indian Railways Authority?

Indian Railways has an integrated grievance redressal system to resolve the issues of the people. You can raise the complaint about the issues listed above to the concerned authorities of the railway station and zonal office. Helpline numbers are also available and anyone can call to get help from the customer support team.

The Railway divisions are divided in each zone to manage the activities and control the trains of the region. If your grievance is not resolved you can approach the higher authorities to get satisfactory redressal of your issue.

Complaint Registration Fee & Redressal Time Limit:

Registration Fee ₹0 (No Charges)
Redressal Timeline Immediately (within 24 hrs) or based on the issue, as prescribed by the Indian Railways
Payment Refund Period Immediately (Ticket Counter) or up to 7 working days

The Grievance Redressal Levels:

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Level – 1: Helplines Numbers of Customer Support, Station Head Officer, Online Madad Portal, etc.
You can register a complaint to the initial grievance redressal officers, if not resolved, you may approach level -2 officers.

Level – 2: You may lodge an online grievance at the CPGRAMS Public Grievance to the concerned officers of Indian Railways:

  1. At the divisional level – the ADRM officer.
  2. At Zonal Headquarters – AGM
  3. At Railway Board – EDPG (Public Grievance Division)

The sequence of the escalation of the unresolved or unsatisfactory grievance is:

First Stage: lodge a written complaint application, send an e-mail or file an online complaint to the Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM).

Second Stage: Escalate the unresolved or unsatisfactory complaint of the first stage to the AGM (General Manager) at the Zonal Headquarters.

Third Stage: Escalate the previous unresolved or unsatisfactory grievance of the second stage to the EDPG (Public Grievance Division) at Railway Board.

Level – 3: If you are yet not satisfied with the final redressal by the EDPG at the Railway Board then file an online grievance to the Directorate of Public Grievance (DPG).

Now, you know the right procedure to lodge a complaint about the issues regarding the services of Indian Railways. Let us know the general instructions, the time limit for the various services, and the official helplines to register a complaint to the concerned authorities.

Toll-free Helpline Number

The toll-free numbers of the Indian Railway can be used to lodge a complaint about trains and stations, get help or resolve your queries. Please provide the personal contact number, and a description of the issue and after successful registration of your complaint, note down the reference number to track the status and future reference.

Indian Railways Toll-Free Helpline Numbers:

Indian Railways Complaint Number 139
Catering (food) and Passenger Helpline Number 1800111321
 IRCTC Helpline Number 1464607556610661
Indian Railways Security Helpline Number
(RPF/GRP Police)

Indian Railways RPF (Railway Protection Force) Helpline Numbers:

Rail Prahari (Call to RPF Control Room) Click Here
RPF Posts (Stations) Contact Numbers View/Download
RPF Division Office Contact Numbers View/Download
RPF Zonal Office Contact Numbers View/Download

To register a complaint about IRCTC Services visit the link below.

Click Out: IRCTC helplines to register a complaint to the Authorities of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation

Note – You can also write an application or complaint letter to the station master or director of the concerned railway station. For this get help from the query or “Complaints & Suggestions Book” office of the station.

Tips – If your grievance is unresolved you may lodge an online complaint to the Rail Madad or you may approach the ADRM officer of the railway station or further escalate to the Divisional nodal officer.

Lodge an Online Complaint

Indian Railways has launched an integrated grievance redressal mechanism called RailMadad to lodge an online complaint about any service (train, station, freight/parcel, etc.). Assistance and enquiry services are also available, you may get help from the concerned authorities or can also cancel tickets at the given helplines.

Passengers and freight business clients or people who have any concerns with the parcel, luggage, or logistic-related complaints can use the online portal, e-mail, social media (Twitter or Facebook), and helpline number. You can also write a grievance application to the head station director or ADRM.

Links to Register an Online Complaint to Indian Railways:

Register an Online Complaint to Rail Madad File Complaint
For Freight/Parcel Online Complaint Click Here
E-mail (for IRCTC complaints)
E-mail for Assistance of Rail Madad

Alternative Options:

Mobile App Android | iOS
Social Media Twitter | Facebook

Procedure to File Online Complaint at Rail Madad:

Step 1: Visit the link file complaint to Rail Madad from the table above. Click the available options (Train complaint, Station Complaint, Freight Parcel Inquiry, Track your concern).

Rail Madad Online Complaint Registration Guidance (Screenshot)
Rail Madad Online Complaint Registration Guidance (Screenshot)

Step 2: Fill out the required information in the online grievance form after selecting the category and sub-type of complaint and verify your mobile number with OTP. For trains, complaints mention the PNR number. Also, upload the image or pdf file of the station, ticket, any activities, problems, or invoice as proof.

Step 3: Submit the form and note down the reference number or take a screenshot of the reference number. You will also get it from the SMS on the registered mobile number. Use it as proof and to track the status.

Step 4: If your grievance is unresolved or got an unsatisfactory response then you may escalate the complaint to the Divisional manager by e-mail or helpline number with supportive documents and the reference number.

Note – If your grievance is yet not resolved or unsatisfied with the final redressal then you may lodge a grievance or escalate it to the Divisional Manager of the concerned Zone of Indian Railways at level 2. The helpline numbers and e-mail are provided in the sections below.

Indian Railways Online Services

Important Online Services of Indian Railways:

Online Ticket Booking (IRCTC) Book Now
UTS (Unreserved Ticket) Online Booking Book Now
Train Enquiry Service of Indian Railway Click Here
Indian Railways Notices (Min. of Railways) Click Here
Freight Train Services (Logistics & Tracking) Click Here
All Indian Railways Websites (Zonal & Others) View Here

Note – For the online UTS (Unreserved Tickets), visit the above link and download the mobile app to get the benefits of online unreserved general ticket booking services by utsmobile app of Indian Railways.

Tips – For other services, you may also visit the related website of Indian Railway. Also, if you have any issue or grievance related to these services, may file an online complaint and further to the nodal officers of the divisional office by the CPGRAMS portal or helpline number.

Public Grievance Redressal Authorities

At level 2, Passengers or any user of the Indian Railways services who have an issue and recently registered a complaint to the concerned grievance redressal authorities or customer support but yet not resolved or got any unsatisfactory response at level 1, may escalate this previous complaint to the higher officials at the Divisional level ADM officer.

You may also lodge an online grievance about the listed nature of issues by  Indian railways to these Public Grievance Redressal Authorities at the CPGRAMS portal of the Central Government of India. For this visit the link below.

Click Out: Lodge an online Grievance to the Ministry of Railways at CPGRAMS of Central Government

At CPGRAMS, in the first stage, the registered grievance will be handled by the Divisional ADM officer.
if unresolved or unsatisfied with the response, in stage 2, you may escalate it with the reference number by lodging again the same complaint to the AGM officer of Zonal headquarters.
In final stage 3, you may escalate it to the EDPG (Public Grievance Division of Railway Board). The redressal time limit for each stage is specified at the CPGRAMS portal.

Note – You may also use the helpline numbers, and e-mail of the concerned divisional Nodal Officers of the Indian Railways to raise your concern. Get details from the link below.

Public Grievance Redressal Officers of Indian Railways: Contact Details

If you are not satisfied with the redressal of your previously registered complaint to the station master/director or head office of the railway station then escalate the grievance to higher public grievance authorities by the helpline number, e-mail, CPGRAMS, or written application.

Don’t forget to mention the reference number or acknowledgement number/receipt of the previous complaint as proof and also the response of the officer (if available).

Click the Links for the Helpline number, e-mail and contact details of Public Grievance/Nodal Officers:

Level 1: Divisional ADM (Addl. Divisional Manager) of Indian Railway

Note – Yet unresolved or not satisfied with the response of ADM, escalate the grievance to the next higher authority in level 2 AGM at Zonal Office, IR.

Level 2: AGM (Addl. General Manager) at Zonal Office of Indian Railways

Note – Not satisfied with the final redressal by the AGM officer at Zonal Office, IR? At level 3, escalate the registered grievance with the reference number to EDPG (Director for Public Grievance) Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, GoI.

EDPG, Railway Board: E-mail and Contact Details

At level 3, EDPG ( Executive Director for Public Grievance), Railway Board in the Ministry of Railways is the higher public grievance redressal authority that resolves the unresolved or unsatisfactory responses by the AGM (Additional General Manager) of Zonal Office, Indian Railways.

If you have such unresolved or unsatisfactory complaints, may escalate it to the EPDG officer by official e-mail with proof of previously registered complaints and reference number. You may also write an application with an attachment of all previous references and a copy of the documents.

E-mail, Contact Number, and Address of EDPG (Public Grievance), Railway Board:

Phone No: +911123386203
Address: EDPG (Executive Director for Public Grievance), Public Grievance Division,
Rail Bhavan, Raisina Road, New Delhi -110001.

Note: If yet not satisfied with the final order of the EDPG, Railway Board, you can lodge a grievance to the Directorate of Public Grievance (DPG). For this click the link below.

Click Out: Lodge an Online Grievance to DPG (Directorate of Public Grievance

Tips – If yet not satisfied even after the final order of the DPG under the Ministry of Personal, GoI then you have the option to approach the concerned tribunal or legal court based on your case.

General Information about Services of Indian Railways

Indian Railway has defined guidelines and instructions for the various services like passenger trains, ticket booking, refund, payment, railway station facilities, the time limit for specified services and refunds, management at the platforms, vendors and many other services.

For each service, it has a standard charter that defines the standard of service and time limit for the execution of any general or purposely specified services as instructed by the concerned authorities of the Indian Railways.

Passengers or any person who is using the facilities or paid for any service should know this general information. If the standard instructions and rules are violated by any official authorities of the concerned railway station or department of Indian Railways, you have the right to file a complaint against these activities or issues.

The time limit is also specified for such services, so if the time limit is exceeded and yet services are not delivered or issues are not resolved, you may escalate a grievance to the concerned officers to demand a faster, transparent, and timely delivery of the services.

Some general services of the Indian Railways and specified Time Limits are mentioned here, read the instructions.

1. Refund of Passenger Fare – Time Limit

The time limit for the refund of passenger fare is based on the category of the ticket as specified by the Indian Railways.

What is the time limit for the refund of:

1. Refund of PRS counter tickets booked in cash and cancelled across the reservation counter?
A. The refund will be handed over immediately upon the surrendering of the original ticket across the counter.

2. Refund for the PRS counter tickets booked in cash and cancelled through 139 (helpline number) or through the IRCTC website?
A. The refund will be initiated/given immediately upon surrendering the original ticket across the counter within the prescribed time limit after the cancellation of the ticket.

3. Refund for the PRS counter tickets booked through digital transactions or POS (Point of Sale) and cancelled across the reservation counter of Indian Railways?
A. After deduction of the cancellation charges, within 7 working days refund amount of the ticket will be transferred and deposited in your account.

4. The refund timeline in case of Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR) is filed along with the original reservation counter within special circumstances?
A. The refund amount will be transferred within 90 days as specified by Indian Railways.

5. For refund of fully waitlisted e-tickets booked online and Passenger Name Record (PNR) is dropped after preparation of the first chart?
A. The amount will be transferred within 5 working days after the deduction of service charges.

6. Refund for the fully confirmed e-tickets booked and cancelled online at IRCTC or partnered online Railway ticket booking platform?
A. Within 5 working days the amount of the cancelled e-ticket will be deposited in your account.

7. Refund timeline in case of auto cancellation of e-tickets due to cancellation of train services?
A. The full amount of the e-ticket will be transferred within 5 working days to your registered account.

8. Refund time in case of filling of Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR) online for e-tickets?
A. The refund amount will be deposited within 90 days in the account.

2. Lost, Torn or Mutilated Reserved Tickets – Refund Applicability/Duplicate Tickets

The general rules for the lost, torn or mutilated reserved tickets booked across counters of Indian Railways, whether a refund will be applicable or specified time limit for the issuance of the duplicate tickets.

The General Rules Based on the Type of Tickets:

1. For the Lost or Misplaced Tickets:
No refund is applicable means you can not claim the refund for your lost/misplaced tickets. You will have to pay the whole amount for a new ticket.

2. The ticket is torn or mutilated but genuineness and authenticity are verifiable:
The refund of the tickets will be applicable but the refundable amount will be decided as per the rules specified for such conditions by the Indian Railways.

3. Conditions for the Issuance of a duplicate ticket with applicable charges as prescribed by Indian Railways:

  1. Issue of the duplicate ticket in case of lost/misplaced tickets as well as torn or mutilated tickets but before preparation of the first chart?
    RAC and confirmed reserved tickets are subject to an applicable charge for the issue of duplicate tickets as prescribed:

    1. ₹50 per passenger for the second and sleeper class, and
    2. ₹100 per passenger for other classes.
  2. Rules for the issue of the duplicate ticket after preparation of the first chart?
    The Applicable rules are:

    1. For confirmed reserved tickets (lost or misplaced) after preparation of the first chart, duplicate tickets can be issued even after preparation of the first chart at the prescribed charge of 50% of the total fare of the tickets. Remember, No duplicate tickets will be issued after the preparation of first chart for RAC status tickets.
    2. For RAC and confirmed reserved tickets but the ticket is torn or mutilated, in this condition, a duplicate ticket can be issued even after preparation of first chart at the charge of 25% of the total fare.

3. Luggage, Concessions, and Facilities for Passengers

The general rules for the booking of luggage, concessions in the fare of tickets, and facilities for the Divyangjan/PwD (Person with disability), Senior Citizens, general, and female passengers and execution time limit for such facilities and services as prescribed by the Indian Railways.

The General Rules for These Categories are:

1. The prescribed time limit for the issues of booking excess luggage:
The booking of excess luggage can be accepted only  24 hours in advance excluding the date of the scheduled departure of the train.

2. Concession in passenger fare by the Indian Railways is admirable to more than 50 categories of passengers:
The detailed list of concessions in passenger fare with the applicable conditions is mentioned in the Railway Time Table at the Railway stations and book stalls on the payment of charges printed on the time table.

3. The list of facilities provided to Divyangjan, Sr. Citizens, Females, and General passengers:

  1. Divyangjans:
    1. Availability of ramps at the majority of stations.
    2. The ‘May I help You’ booth for Divyangjans is available at entry points of stations of certain categories. If necessary, file a complaint to the station master.
    3. Parking lots for Divyangjans, two parking lots are reserved at the main entry for Divyangjans (If not available, raise a complaint to Station Director).
  2. Female Passengers:
    1. Constructions of waiting halls and washrooms are reserved for females (if not available, ask the reason from the concerned station master or station director).
  3. General Passengers:
    1. General passenger amenities like – toilets, water etc. are available at stations as per prescribed norms and the Station Master/Station Director (contact numbers) is available for redressal of the complaints related to these facilities.

Note – If you are facing issues with these services or rules that are violated by the authorities/officers of the Indian Railways then you can lodge a complaint to the concerned station master/station Director in writing, by e-mail or can lodge online complaint at the Rail Madad portal.

Tips – If further your grievance is not resolved by the authorities of the Indian Railways within the given time limit you may escalate it to the Divisional, Zonal and finally to the Public Grievance Office of the Railway Board, Ministry of Railways. The official details are mentioned above.

Frequently  Asked Questions (FAQs) About Passenger Services of Indian Railways

Some common queries and questions about the passenger services, issues and problems of Indian Railways and its solutions or answers.

1. Deficiency in Ticketing Issues: Queries & Solutions

I. Unreserved Ticketing:

Q. Where can I register a complaint about the issues of:

    1. Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) counter at Railway Stations
    2. Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) inside the Railway premises
    3. Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sewak (JTBS) outside Railway premises

A. You can register these complaints with the Chief Booking Supervisor of the station. The issues will be redressed by this level of the officer.

Q. What is the helpline number for the complaints about Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) outside the Railway premises?
A. You can call the toll-free universal complaint number 138 or 139 to raise your concerns about YTSKs.

Q. Where can I register complaints about the issues regarding the services of the UTS Mobile App?
A. You can lodge a complaint or get help at the helpline number of each zonal railway given in the HELP section of the mobile app. The list of zonal office helplines number links is provided in the post above.

II. Reserved Ticketing:

Q. Where should I register a complaint about the issues related to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter?
A. The Chief Reservation Supervisor is the designated officer for the redressal of complaints about the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter.

Q.Who is the designated officer to redress the issues of the Post Office in the Railway Station?
A. The Post Master or nearest PRS centre is the official authority to redress the issues or complaints about Post Office.

Q. Where can I register complaints about the issues of IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd.) service/tickets and the Rail Connect App?
A. To lodge a complaint, the IRCTC toll-free helpline & customer care numbers are +917556610661 & +917554090600 and e-mails are, and (for cancellation of tickets).

2. Deficiency in Services: Redressal Mechanism

I. Catering:

Q. Where can I file a complaint about the catering deficiency/complaints related to:

    1. Mobile Catering Units (Pantries)
    2. Static Catering Units (on stations)
    3. E-catering (online food orders)

A. The nodal authorities of Indian Railways to redress the complaints about the deficiency or issues in catering services are:

    1. CMD (Catering MD)/IRCTC
    2. DRM (Divisional Railway Manager) of the concerned division
    3. CMD/IRCTC (Senior manager)

Immediate action will be taken by the officials to redress the catering deficiencies depending upon the nature of complaint or the officer will notify the time limit to provide final redressal of the issue.

II. Cleanliness:

Q. Who are the designated officers for the complaints about the cleanliness issues and time limit for the redressal of these issues?

A. The designated officers for the redressal of the complaints about cleanliness based on the issues and the proposed time limit are as follows:

  1. Filthy or dirty toilets at the railway station: After successful registration of the complaint to the Station Director/Station Master, the officer will ensure that within 30 minutes the filthy/dirty toilets must be cleaned as per the standards.
  2. Cleanliness issues (garbage, dirty floor, no dustbins, etc.) at the station: Station Master/Director is the responsible authority to ensure the station must be cleaned within one hour after the successful registration of the complaint.
  3. Lack of cleanliness in the train having OBHS (on board housekeeping service) (6.00 AM to 10.00 PM): The Environment & Housekeeping on Board is the nodal authority to ensure the trains will be cleaned by the OBHS staff within 45 minutes (during 6.00 AM to 10.00 PM) after registration of complaint.

III. Bed Rolls, Theft, and Security:

Q. Where do lodge complaints about Non-issue/replacement linen in trains for AC passengers?
A. The linen attendant will ensure that your linen should be provided or replaced within 30 minutes. If not, may call the universal complaint number 139 or can contact TTE.

Q. Where get the form to report the theft of luggage?
A. The FIR form to file a report about the theft of luggage can be carried out by the TTEs/Guards or GRP (Government Railway Police). You can submit it to the RPF/GRP office of the nearest station.

Q. What is the timeline to respond after a complaint or call for help at the Security Helpline Number?
A. After registering the complaint or asking for help at Railway security helpline number 182, the Security Control Rooms will ensure to take immediate action depending upon the nature of the complaint and availability of RPF (Railway Protection Force) or GRP staff in trains.

3. Public Grievance Redressal

The Queries and help for the registration of grievance/complaint, forwarding to the concerned functionary, and redressal of the grievances.

Q. Where register complaints about the Passenger services of Indian Railways?
A. You can register a complaint to the on-board staff on the train, use the web portals or Mobile App of Rail Madad for online registration and real-time forwarding of the grievance/complaint, through Railway helpline number 138 and 139, SMS on +919717630982 or through the social media like Twitter (Rail Seva), Facebook.
For offline reporting of complaints, fill out the “Complaints & Suggestions Book” form will be available to the Ticket Checking Staff and Station Master/Manager. Submit it to the concerned officer.

Q. Where do lodge complaints other than the passenger services?
A. Such grievances or complaints may be registered online through the CPGRAMS portal of the central government or by sending an written complaint application/letter to the appropriate authorities such as Station Director, and further to Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM).

Q. What are the level of officers for the redressal of the unresolved or unsatisfactory grievances?
A. First escalate the grievance to ADRM (Additional Divisional Railway Manager) at Division office, in second level the previous registered grievance will be escalated to the AGM (Addl. General Manager) at Zonal headquaters, and in final level, the escalated grievance will be redressed by the EDPG (Executive Director for Public Grievance) at Railway Board, Mininstry of Railway.


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