For those who travel regularly by trains, here is a small change that Indian Railways has introduced yesterday (and will come into effect immediately). To clear out the waitlist, it is normal for the railways to add additional coaches to the train. Till today, first preference was given to general quota waitlist tickets followed by tatkal quota tickets. This will get reversed with the new change.
From now on, Tatkal quota waitlisted tickets will get first preference when filling up seats/berths in additional coaches (in their respective class of service) followed by General quota waitlisted tickets.
But note that this ruling will not be applicable to coaches added on special occasions such as during a festival season, holiday season etc.
Staying on the same topic, I’ll also clear out a common doubt that people have and ask me from time to time. In a standard coach (not additional coach), if all the seats/berths get filled up, who will get first preference, general waitlisted tickets or tatkal waitlisted tickets?
Normally, for all trains, there will be fixed number of tatkal tickets in every class of service (sleeper class, AC etc). Some trains are tatkal friendly with nearly half of the berths allotted to this quota and some trains are not so friendly, hardly making up even 10% of berths. Those who were allotted waitlisted tickets in tatkal quota (CKWL) will get confirmed/RAC (if at all) in this tatkal quota only. However, this is not exhaustive. In cases where there are vacant seats/berths in general quota and there are no waitlisted tickets in general quota (which happens very rarely, anyway) tatkal waitlisted tickets may move to confirmed/RAC general quota seats/berths.
The reverse is also true (to some extent). A waitlisted general quota ticket will only get confirmed (or RAC’d) in General quota only and this is exhaustive (a waitlisted general quota ticket cannot get confirmed or RAC’d in Tatkal quota, even if there are empty seats/berths).