With a view to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation, a scheme Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) called ‘VIKALP’ has been conceptualised and has been introduced from November 1, 2015. Initially this scheme will be available only for the tickets booked through internet (E-ticket) as a pilot project for six months. More over initially this scheme would be provided on Mail / Express Trains running on two sectors only namely Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors of Northern Railway. In this scheme, wait listed passengers of a train will be given option for getting confirmed accommodation in alternate trains. Based on the feedback, this scheme will be extended to PRS counter bookings and also on other journey sectors. This is a major passenger friendly move to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers in alternate trains.Some of the salient features of the scheme are as follows:> The Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) is presently being launched under the name ‘Vikalp’ on pilot basis only for the tickets booked through internet (E-ticket) on two sectors i.e. Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Lucknow sectors. Based on the feedback it will be extended on PRS as well as on other sectors.> The scheme is presently being implemented only across Mail / Express trains of same category.> No extra charges shall be taken from passenger or any refund shall be provided for difference of fare.> The scheme is applicable to all waiting list (WL) passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession. In pilot phase the scheme will be available on few pre-designated trains in the above sectors only.> Under this scheme, waiting list passengers will give choice to opt for ATAS scheme.> ATAS opted passengers who remain fully waitlisted after charting will only be considered for allotment in the alternate train.> Fully WL passengers opted for ATAS should check PNR status after charting.> Either all passengers of a PNR or none will be transferred to alternate train in same class. The passenger can be considered for shifting to a train leaving from any station amongst the cluster of stations defined by Railways based on the convenience of the passengers to a station serving the destination station on the same analogy.> The ATAS opted passengers who have been provided accommodation in the alternate train will not figure in the waitlisted charts of their original train. A separate list of passengers transferred in alternate train will be pasted along with the CONFIRMED and WAIT LIST charts.> The passenger allotted alternate accommodation can travel in the alternate train on authority of original ticket.> Waitlisted passengers of original train shall not be allowed to board the original train if allotted alternate accommodation. If found travelling, they will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.> Passengers once provided alternate accommodation in alternate train will be treated as normal passengers in alternate train and will be eligible for upgradation.> In rare situations, passengers who have been provided alternate accommodation might get dropped / re-allotted in alternate train due to last minute change in composition of the alternate train at the time of chart preparation. So, passengers who have been provided alternate accommodation should check PNR status also after preparation of charts of the alternate train for final status.> This information will be available on Call Centre (139), PRS Enquiry Counters, Passenger Operated Enquiry Terminals installed at stations and WEB ENQUIRY on www.indianrail.gov.in.> Passenger will also get SMS alert on their registered mobile phone number about getting confirmed alternate accommodation.> When an ATAS opted passenger opts to cancel, after he/she has been given an alternate accommodation, he/she will be treated as a CONFIRMED passenger and the cancellation rules will apply accordingly.> No refund for difference of fare between the original train and the alternate train, including Tatkal charges, if any, will be given to re-allocated passengers.> Once an ATAS passenger has been allotted alternate accommodation, journey modification will not be permitted. If required, the passenger will have to cancel the ticket and book a fresh ticket for modified journey.> When a passenger who has been allotted alternate accommodation has not performed his journey in the alternate train, he can claim for refunds by filing a TDR request.The Ministry of Railways have also provided some important information for the passengers:i. Opting for VIKALP does not mean that confirmed berth will be provided to passengers in alternate train. It is subject to train and berth availability.ii. Once confirmed in Alternate train, Cancellation charges will be as per your berth / train status in alternate train.iii. In this scheme, your boarding and terminating station might change to nearby cluster stations.iv. You can be transferred to any alternate train available within 12 hours from the scheduled departure of original train, in which you have booked.v. Please check PNR status after charting.