Indian Railways : FAQ Help

Frequenly Asked Questions

What is a PNR?

PNR - Passenger Name Record is an unique number that recognizes your booking.
PNR is a travel record of an individual or a group of individuals, maintained in CRS (Central Reservation System) database.
This code is generated only when the CRS gets full data of journey like passenger's name, gender, age, train number, journey class, berth preference, contact link, etc
PNR is per ticket and not for person. If multiple members are booked together on one ticket, then Only one PNR number will be allocated for it.
Indian Railways has a 10-digit numerical PNR number.

What use is of PNR?

PNR is utilized to get the Confirmed or Waitlisted status of your booking along with the coach and seat numbers.
Basically PNR is used in "follow-up" process by which passengers are able to get updates about the status of their journey.
This 10-digit numerical PNR number of Indian Railways is of great use to passengers, whose tickets are not confirmed.
PNR helps passengers to check whether their tickets got confirmed or not.

Where would I find PNR?

On a paper ticket released in a railway booking counter, the PNR number is on the top left of the ticket.
The PNR number on ticket might be split right into 3-7(digits) form (e.g. 890-1234567) on paper ticket.
On IRCTC e-ticket or any other agency e-ticket the PNR number can be on the top left of the ticket.
PNR might also be on SMS alert on your mobile if you have booked e-ticket and provided your mobile number.
Below are two ticket samples of Online/IRCTC Ticket and Counter/Paper Ticket. In this you can see the location of PNR Number
PNR Location on Ticket

How to get PNR Status via SMS on mobile?

You could check PNR Status of your ticket via SMS on mobile by sending out SMS to any of below numbers in the following manner.
PNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 139
PNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 54959
PNR <10-digit PNR number> to 5676747
IRPNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 57886

How to get PNR Status via Phone call?

You could check PNR Status of your ticket via SMS on mobile by sending out SMS to any of below numbers in the following manner.
You could call 139 to check PNR Status of your ticket and other details.

Why am I getting errors while checking PNR?

There could be 3 possible reasons
1. You entered wrong PNR number(Please check PNR then try again ).
2. Web servers are down.(In this case check again couple of minutes).
3 Indian Railways Servers Maintenance happens at 11:30pm - 12:30am (Check again after 12:30 AM).

What is "Chart Not Prepared" status?

The last booking chart for a train will be done at least 4hrs prior to the schedule departure of the train at origination station.
But in reality charts have been getting prepared 1 or 2 hrs prior to the actual departure of the train.
In situation of early morning or late evening trains, this might be prepped considerably earlier during the previous night itself.
Your booking standing might change any time till chart is prepared.
Though quite uncommon, it is possible that an RAC ticket can change to wait-listed status.
It is also possible that booking relocated from WL to CNF can return to RAC or WL.
However none of this will certainly not happen for a ticket which was CNF while Booking itself.

What are different type of Booking Status Codes and their meaning?

Below is the list of various Booking Codes and their meanings

Booking CodeDescription
CAN / MODCancelled or Modified Passenger
CNF / ConfirmedConfirmed (Coach/Berth number will be available after chart preparation)
RACReservation Against Cancellation
WL #Waiting List Number
CKWL #Tatkal Waiting List Number
RLWLRemote Location Wait List
GNWLGeneral Wait List
PQWLPooled Quota Wait List
REGRET/WLNo More Booking Permitted
RELEASEDTicket Not Cancelled but Alternative Accommodation Provided
R# #RAC Coach Number Berth Number
CKTatkal Quota

What are different type of Class Codes and their meaning?

Below is the list of various Class Codes and their meanings.

1AAC First class (Air-Conditioned)
2AAC 2 Tier Sleeper (Air-Conditioned)
3AAC 3 Tier (Air-Conditioned)
3EAC 3 Tier Economy (Air-Conditioned)
CCAC Chair Car (Air-Conditioned)
FCFirst class
SLSleeper Class
2SSecond Sitting

What are different type of Quota Codes and their meaning?

Below is the list of various Quota Codes and their meanings.

GNGeneral Quota
CKTatkal Quota
PTPremium Tatkal Quota
RC(RAC)Reservation Against Cancellation
LBLower Berth
PQPooled Quota
OSOut Station
RSRoad Side
GNRSGeneral Quota Road Side
LDLadies Quota
SSFemale(above 45 Year)/Senior Citizen/Travelling alone
HPPhysically Handicapped Quota
HOHead quarters/high official Quota
DFDefence Quota
PHParliament house Quota
FTForeign Tourist Quota
DPDuty Pass Quota
RERailway Employee Staff on Duty for the train

What are different type of Coach Codes and their meaning?

Below is the list of various Coach Codes and their meanings

Coach CodeDescriptionDetails
A 2-Tier Air Conditioned Coach There are total 6 berths in coupe among which 2 berth are facing each other i.e Lower and Upper side. These berths are bigger and wider than 3-Tier Berths.
B 3-Tier Air Conditioned Coach There are total 8 berths in a coupe among which 3 berths are facing each other i.e Lower , Middle and Upper and two side berth. Basically this is similar to slepper Coach.
C Air Conditioned Chair Car These are the generally day trains where the arrangement of seat are made in 3+3 or 3+2 configuration which can be pushed back and also have aisle(walkaway) in between.
D Second Class seats which can be booked These are the same 3+3 seats with walkaway in between but these seats are pre-reservable. i.e they are pre-booked before the train is boarded.
E Executive Chair Car These seats are more wider and spacious than normal Chair Car.
EXT Extra Coach Sometimes in some festival season or during vacation the amount of commuters increase , so extra Coaches are added. Generally these extra Coach are of lower Classes.
DE Combination of Executive Class and Second Class Some Coaches are divided in middle, mostly Executive Class only. So some seats / berths are of Executive Class in one half and Second Class in another half
F Non-A.C First Class These are coupe with doors. There are no side berths and these have the capability to accommodate 2-4 persons.
G 3-Tier Air Conditioned(Garib Rath) It is the symbol which is used for indicating the Class S (Sleeper Coach) of Garib Rath
H First Class Air Conditioned It is similar in layout to the F Class, and is Air Conditioned
HA Combination of H & A Class It is combination of two types. Half Coach is of first Class Air Conditioned which is of type H and other half is 2-Tier Air Conditioned which is of Type A
HB Combination of H & B Class It is combination of two types. Half Coach is of first Class Air Conditioned which is of type H and other half is 3-Tier Air Conditioned which is of Type B
J Garib Rath Chair Car It is the Garib Rath version of the Chair Car sitting
RA 2-Tier Air Conditioned RAC It is RAC in Coach type A
RB 3-Tier Air Conditioned RAC It is RAC in Coach type B
RG 3-Tier Air Conditioned RAC Garib Rath It is RAC in Coach type G
RS Sleeper Class RAC It is RAC in Coach type S.
S Sleeper Class version It is Sleeper Coach. It has group of 8 berths with 3 berths facing each other i.e Upper, Middle and Lower and 2 berths on the side. Sometimes it also has 9 berths, in which case the side layout has 3 berths.
SE Second Class Executive Chair It is a non-Air-conditioned version of Class E.

How does Railway Reservations work and Booking Status changed ?

Railway Reservations and Booking Status explained step by step
When all available seats on a train are sold, Indian Railway or IRCTC releases RACs for railway reservations.
Once all of those are sold, WL tickets are released.
On almost every train, tickets are canceled for a variety of reasons.
These cancellations can get you on the train if you bought an RAC or WL ticket.
When the reservation chart of a particular train is ready (usually meaning that the train is due to depart in a few hours) and there are still some available tickets in different quotas, those will be given to RAC/WL ticket holders.
Usually booking are upgraded step by step.
Tickets are sold in the following order:
1. Available 02
2. Available 01
3. RAC 01
4. RAC 02
5. RAC 03
6. RAC 04
7. WL 01
8. WL 02
And more WL ....

Booking Status changes with example ?

Understanding your ticket and WL number of PNR status
On Railway ticket, there are two numbers which tell the position at which you joined the waitlist and current position.
You have booked a Railway Ticket to some destination.
At the end of the Booking Ticket, you get a ticket with Position as WL5/WL2.
In this example you joined the waitlist at position 5 (WL5), but by the time you actually bought the ticket online you moved to waitlist position 2 (WL2) (due either to a cancellation or to someone not making a final booking).
The first number (WL5) will always stay the same � it indicates position you joined the queue.
The second number (WL2) will decrease until you get a ticket.
Your railway reservation could change / upgrade like:
WL 5/WL 2 (Starting Position . Waitlist 2)
WL 5/WL 1 (Waitlist 1)
WL 5/RAC 3 (Reservation Against Cancellation 3)
WL 5/RAC 1 (Reservation Against Cancellation 1)
WL 5/CNF (Seat Confirmed)
AB1 (Seat Number Confirmed)
WL 5/WL 2 = Waitlist ticket : you cannot board the train.
WL 5/RAC 3 = RAC ticket : you are allowed to board the train, but you may end up on a seat instead of a berth.
WL 5/CNF = Confirmed ticket : you can board the train and you have a berth to yourself.

What is TATKAL Booking and how it is done?

Tatkal booking is meant for immediate travel plans.
Tatkal booking for every train opens 1 days in advance at 10 am for AC (Air conditioned Class) and at 11 Am for Non-Ac.
You can book tatkal e-ticket online or any other online booking agency.
Every train and class has a defined tatkal quota and it varies from station to station.
Many of the trains does not have tatkal category.
You have to select the Tatkal check box in the 'Plan my travel' page along with other details for booking tatkal ticket.

What are TATKAL Charges?

The Tatkal Charges have been fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of basic fare for second class and 30% of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum as given in the table below.
The below charges will be levied uniformly both in peak period & non-peak periods.

Class of TravelMinimum Tatkal Charges(in Rs.)Maximum Tatkal Charges(in Rs.)
Second (sitting)10.0015.00
AC Chair Car100.00200.00
AC 3Tier250.00350.00
AC 2Tier300.00400.00

What are TATKAL Booking conditions?

Tatkal tickets shall be issued only on production of one of the ten prescribed proofs of identity shown under
Voter Photo identity card issued by Election Commision of India.
PAN Card issued by Income Tax Department.
Driving Licence issued by RTO.
Photo identity card having serial number issued by Central/State Government.
Student Identity Card with photograph issued by recognized School/College for their students.
Nationalized Bank Passbok with photograph.
Credit cards issued by banks with laminated photograph.
Unique Identification Card "Aadhaar".
Photo identity cards having serial number issued by Public Sector Undertaking of State/Central Government, District Administration, Municipal bodies and Penchant Administration.
The tatkal category is not applicable on first ac class and second seating class.
Ladies and general quota cannot be opted for along with Tatkal quota.
No concession is allowed in Tatkal Booking.
It will be possible to book a maximum of only four passengers per PNR forTatkal tickets.
The facility of change of name is not permitted on the bookings made under Tatkal scheme
TDRs are not being issued for waiting list tickets.
No duplicate Tatkal tickets shall be issued.
Duplicate Tatkal tickets shall be issued only in exceptional cases on payment of full fare including Tatkal charges.

Cancellation Rules & Refunds

Cancellation Charges before Chart Preparation:
The amount deducted is based on the time of cancellation and the status of your ticket.
1. For cancellation of confirmed tickets more than one day in advance of the scheduled departure of the train, excluding the date of journey, the minimum cancellation charges based on the class of travel as follows:
Flat Cancellation charges per passenger - Class of Travel
120.00 - AC First/Executive Class
100.00 - First Class/AC 2 Tier
90.00 - AC Chair Car / AC 3 Tier/AC 3 Economy
60.00 - Sleeper Class
30.00 - Second Class
2. For cancellation of confirmed tickets less than 24 hrs and upto four hours before the scheduled departure of the train.
The cancellation charges will be 25% of the total fare paid by you, subject to flat minimum cancellation charges for each class.
3. For cancellation of confirmed tickets less than four hours before the scheduled departure of the train and upto the prescribed time limits as mentioned below, after actual departure of the train
The cancellation charges will be 50% of the fare paid by you, subject to flat minimum cancellation charges for each class.
Distance of Journey - Time limit for cancellation after departure of the train.
Upto 200 Kms. - 3 Hrs.
From 201 Kms. To 500 Kms. - 6 Hrs.
Over 500 Kms. - 12 Hrs.
I-Ticket(Paper Ticket)
Cancellation is not possible on Internet.
To cancel a ticket, the customer will have to submit the ticket at any computerized reservation (PRS) counter.
The fare paid by the customer will be refunded electronically (as credit to the relevant credit/debit card account used for the transaction) after deducting cancellation charges.
Bank charges & IRCTC service charge is not refunded.
PRS counter will issue a cancellation ticket/receipt and IRCTC will credit the amount of refund due, to the customer's account.
No cash refund will be given to the Customer.
I-Ticket can be cancelled upto 72 hrs after the scheduled departure of train at any computerized reservation counter.
A.For Train running Late by More than Three hours And Passenger Not Travelled:
In case of train running late by more than three hours & the passenger not travelling, full refund is permitted.
The ticket is surrendered/TDR obtained in case of I-ticket.
E-Tickets can be cancelled only through Internet till Chart preparation of the train.
It is not allowed to be cancelled via reservation (PRS) counter.
e-Ticket can be cancelled till the time of chart preparation for the train through Internet.
Cancellation would be confirmed online and the refund would be credited back to the account used for booking.
There will be no cash refund at any stage
A.Cancellation before Chart Preparation:
The customers are requested to use the online cancel facility provided by IRCTC.
B.Cancellation after Chart Preparation:
For Confirmed Tickets:
The customers are requested to use the online TDR Filing & Status tracking service provided by IRCTC.
Railways will process the refund and money of refund amount will be credited back to same account.
For Train running Late by More than Three hours And Passenger Not Travelled:
In case of train running late by more than three hours & the passenger not travelling, full refund is permitted.
Customer should file TDR online or mail to IRCTC within the prescribed time limits which are as under:
Distance of Journey - Time limit for cancellation after departure of the train.
Upto 200 Kms. - 3 Hrs.
From 201 Kms. To 500 Kms. - 6 Hrs.
Over 500 Kms. - 12 Hrs.
Fully Wait Listed Tickets:
Such passengers are not required to send online request for cancellation.
Tickets will be cancelled automatically and money will be refunded in respective account electronically.
Part confirm/RAC/Waiting List:
If on PNR with more than one passenger and one passenger is having confirmed/RAC status and rest is on waiting list or vice-versa, names of all the passengers booked on such PNR will appear in the chart.
A certificate can be obtained from the Ticket Checking staff in the train regarding non-travelling of wait-listed passengers on such tickets.
Refund will be processed through TDR refund only after receiving the original certificate.
If one or all such passengers do not want to travel:
Before chart preparation, online cancellation can be done.
After chart preparation, online request can be sent to IRCTC through TDR refund for seeking refund.
TATKAL Tickets
Full refund of fare and tatkal charges will be granted on the tickets booked under Tatkal scheme only in the following circumstances :
If the train is delayed by more than 3 hours at the journey originating point of the passenger & not the boarding point if the passenger's journey originating point and boarding point are different.
If the train is to run on a diverted route and passenger is not willing to travel.
If the train is to run on diverted route and boarding station or the destination or both the stations are not on the diverted route.
In case of non attachment of coach in which Tatkal accommodation has been earmarked and the passenger has not been provided accommodation in the same class.
If the party has been accommodated in lower class and does not want to travel. In case the party travels in lower class, the passenger will be given refund of difference of fare and also the difference of Tatkal charges, if any.
Other than above conditions No refund will be granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets/duplicate tatkal ticket.
WL and RAC refunds
If your train is ready for departure and its reservation chart is finalized, the cost of your WL ticket will be automatically refunded to your bank account.

Any special precaution while providing details during Ticket Booking?

Passengers have to be careful about their details provided while booking train tickets.
Your personal information could be stolen as they were publicly pasted on rail coaches after chart preparation.
The only way to protect yourself from fraudulent transactions, is to avoid quoting PAN details for identity proof.
Don't mention your PAN card as ID proof while booking train tickets.

Am I Insured while Travelling on Railways?

Low cost Insurance or Life insurance for Railway(irctc) Passengers:
Indian Railways provides free insurance to the passengers.
In case of death railways pays Rs. 4 Lakhs and in case of injury the minimum amount is Rs. 32000/- and maximum can be Rs. 4 Lakhs depending upon the severity.
On the accident spot railway pays ex-gratia amount Rs. 15000/- to the dependents of the dead passenger and Rs. 5000/- to the injured and Rs. 500/- less injured passengers for immediate needs.
The insurance not only covers the travelling passenger, it covers the person who came to receive someone with valid platform ticket.
If you have a valid platform or travel ticket and you get insured or dead because of any terror or due to railway negligence, you are covered under insurance.
Railway Claim Tribunal will decide the amount you are liable for insurance depends upon severity.


Find answers to all Frequently asked questions about Indian Railways
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It does not guarantee for veacity of any of the data.
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Please do not contact us for grievances or queries related to PNR Status, Reservation, Cancellation, Refund, Lost Ticket etc.
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