India is the second-largest country with more than 1.37 billion population and only behind China with 1.43 billion. For a country that houses such a huge population, transportation constitutes an important component. It is no wonder that the majority of the population does depend on Indian Railways for their daily commute as well as to long destinations. The primary factor behind this can be attributed to the cheapest travel fares as compared to road transport. If you happen to book a ticket on IRCTC (Indian Railways Travelling and Tourism Corporation) website, ticket counters, or through third-party websites, you might have noticed a 10-digit number printed on the travel ticket called the PNR number. In short, PNR stands for Passenger Name record or the booking reference number. Indian Railways allots a PNR number to both the confirmed as well as unconfirmed/waitlist/RAC tickets which is then used to check the train ticket status. It is a record in the database of the Indian Railways Computer Reservation System (IR-CRS) that contains details of the passenger or the group of passengers. The PNR number is printed on the ticket and the PNR status enquiry can be done on various platforms and modes including IRCTC, third-party websites, SMS, call and more.
Indian Railways PNR includes the name, age, gender, details of the train, train number, seat and coach number, travel class, and departure station. The waitlisted passengers can opt for PNR enquiry by typing in the 10-digit PNR status number on the IRCTC website, Indian Railways, or any third-party website. The train PNR status gets updated from time to time until the preparation of the chart by Indian Railways. The chart is usually prepared three hours in advance to the scheduled departure of the train from the origin station. As most of the passengers opt for ticket cancellations owing to multiple reasons, the PNR current status keeps constantly changing. Many of the waitlisted passengers would be upgraded to confirmed status after the preparation of the chart by the Indian Railways. Hence for the reason that the data updates in real-time, passengers can do PNR status enquiry multiple times till the preparation of the reservation chart.
A PNR number is generally printed on the top-left corner of the printed ticket. Of the ten-digit PNR number, the first three digits indicate the area from which the ticket has been booked. The starting digit indicates the origin station of the train. The two succeeding digits indicate a particular PRS (Passenger Reservation System) where the ticket is booked.
The PNR number is allocated to every passenger who books a ticket for their travel. Although the PNR provides complete details of the passenger, only a ticket with CNF PNR status includes details like coach number, berth number and berth type. Indian railways employ different train codes to indicate the reservation status of the passengers. Let's delve into the details of the different PNR enquiry codes.
CNF: The passenger seat is confirmed
RAC: It stands for reservation against cancellation, wherein two passengers share a single berth.
CAN: The passenger seat has been canceled.
WL: A passenger with a waitlisted ticket is not allowed to board the train. The ticket gets canceled automatically if the booking is made via the IRCTC website.
GNWL: It stands for the general waitlist. It gets confirmed if any of the passengers cancel their confirmed bookings.
TQWL: It refers to Tatkal Quota Waitlist, and it would be allotted in case the passenger has booked a ticket in Tatkal.
RSWL: Road-side waitlist, which is a station specific waitlist.
PQWL: It stands for the pooled quota waiting list; it applies to a passenger who usually boards a train at the origin station and gets down before the destination.
NOSB: It implies No Seat Berth and applies for children below 12 years, and no seats are allotted to them.
RLWL: It refers to the Remote Location Wait List and has a higher chance of confirmation. It is for passengers who travel between intermediate stations.
NR: It stands for no room, wherein further booking is not allowed.
Whenever you book your ticket on IRCTC, a 10-digit PNR number is generated which is stored at CRIS (Centre Of Railway Information Systems). When a passenger does a PNR enquiry, the details are fetched from this database. On a single PNR number, one can reserve seats or berths for up to 6 passengers.
You can do a PNR check on NTES (National Train Enquiry System) website. Indian Railways has announced NTES to facilitate users with faster access to information such as Live Train Status. You can also send SMS <PNR Number> to 139 or call 139 for live PNR enquiry. You can do a PNR check on mobile/laptop on many websites like Paytm, Goibibo, trainman, MakeMyTrip, RailYatri, and more. However you will not get PNR status with name by any of the above mentioned ways.
Every time you book train tickets, you may not land with a confirmed ticket status. Apart from regularly checking the train PNR status, a new feature called IRCTC PNR prediction lets you know the probability of ticket confirmation. It is found to be 99% accurate most of the time, and it is backed by data analysis.
Passengers can print their train ticket using PNR number by following these simple steps.
IRCTC rolled out PNR prediction feature on its official website wherein passengers will be informed with the percentage probability that the wait list ticket will get confirmed. With this new feature that predicts the confirmation probability of reserved train tickets, passengers can decide whether to book or avoid. If the percentage shown in the train PNR Status prediction feature is above 80%, there are higher chances that your ticket will be confirmed. The chances decrease as the percentage decreases.
A Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) is the quota of tickets that is shared by several small stations operating in the train route. The quota is usually small, hence the probability of getting your ticket confirmed is relatively less than that of GNWL (General Waiting List). You can get the latest status of the ticket by doing the PNR Status check on this website.