Taking a train journey through India allows you a glimpse of the rich history and diverse culture of the country in addition to the variety of landscapes and terrains present in different parts of the nation. The process of booking a ticket and then getting the desired seat on the train seems intimidating, especially if you don’t have much prior experience with booking a ticket. With the introduction of Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) and Waiting List (WL) options, however, you have a high chance of getting a seat – even if you book the ticket at the last minute.
After booking the ticket, there is always a continuous wait till you are sure that the given seat has been confirmed. Although the train ticket enquiry system used is well developed, it is not easy for someone new to the system to quickly understand how to navigate and use it. Once you know your train’s PNR status and how to check details associated with it, you won’t face any other problems.
Firstly, PNR means Passenger Name Record. The PNR status denotes the real-time status of your train booking; this may vary from Confirmed to Reservation against Cancellation (RAC) to Waiting List (WL). The first three digits of your PNR number are assigned according to the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) the ticket was booked from, and the remaining seven numbers are generated randomly. Irrespective of its status, the PNR number is always a ten digit number that will be specified for every ticket issued.
If you want to check the status of your ticket online, it is essential to know where your PNR number can be found. If the ticket was bought from the counter, then the PNR number will be printed under the heading PNR No. on the top left-hand side. For a ticket booked online, the PNR number can be found in the centre of the topmost line.
The reason for checking the PNR status is important, and good practice is that you can use the information in case the ticket does not get confirmed faster. This gives you the extra time required to find an alternative mode of travel. Since checking the PNR status is also a relatively easy procedure, it is always best to do so when you are going to be travelling on a train.
There are mainly three different designations that you find when you search for the status. The term “Confirmed” appears against the person’s details in the event of the ticket getting confirmed. Otherwise, the terms “RAC” or “WL” are seen next to the personal details. Both these mean that the ticket is not yet confirmed. The number that is seen next to these terms also shows the position that you currently occupy on the list; if someone cancels their ticket, you move up the list till your ticket is finally confirmed. Once the ticket has been confirmed, you also get the details about coach number and seat number as soon as the chart is prepared. This is all the information you would require before boarding the train.