Traveling by train is a popular mode of transportation, especially in countries like India where the railway network is extensive. One key aspect of train travel is the Passenger Name Record (PNR). Understanding your PNR status is crucial for a smooth and stress-free journey. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about PNR enquiry status, how to check it, and what the different statuses mean.

What is PNR?

PNR stands for Passenger Name Record. It is a unique 10-digit number that contains information about your train journey. This includes details like the passenger’s name, age, gender, train number, date of journey, boarding point, destination, and ticket status. When you book a train ticket, whether online or at a railway station, a PNR number is generated and assigned to your booking.

Why is PNR Important?

The PNR is essential for several reasons:

  1. Tracking Your Booking Status: The primary function of the PNR is to track the status of your booking. It tells you whether your ticket is confirmed, waitlisted, or on RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation).

  2. Ticket Management: It helps railway authorities manage and update your booking details, especially in case of any changes or cancellations.

  3. Passenger Identification: The PNR serves as a reference to your travel details, making it easier for the railway staff to assist you during your journey.

How to Check PNR Status?

Checking your PNR status is simple and can be done in multiple ways:

1. Online Platforms

IRCTC Website: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website is the official platform for booking and checking the status of train tickets. Simply log in to your account, enter your PNR number, and get the current status of your booking.

Railway Websites and Apps: Several websites and mobile apps, like the Indian Railways official website, Trainman, and Where is my Train, allow you to check PNR status by entering your PNR number.

2. SMS and Call Services

SMS Service: You can send an SMS with your PNR number to a designated railway enquiry number (e.g., 139 in India), and you will receive an SMS with the status of your ticket.

Call Service: Dial the railway enquiry number and follow the instructions to check your PNR status over the phone.

3. At the Railway Station

Enquiry Counters: Visit the enquiry counters at any railway station, provide your PNR number, and the staff will assist you in checking your ticket status.

Self-Service Kiosks: Many stations have self-service kiosks where you can enter your PNR number and get your ticket status.

Understanding PNR Status Codes

When you check your PNR status, you will encounter different codes that indicate the status of your ticket. Here’s what they mean:

1. CNF (Confirmed)

If your PNR status is CNF, it means your ticket is confirmed. You will be assigned a seat or berth, and your journey is good to go.

2. RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation)

RAC status means you have a reservation but not a confirmed berth. You can board the train and will be provided a seat, which might be converted to a berth if there are cancellations.

3. WL (Waitlisted)

If your ticket is waitlisted, it means you do not have a confirmed seat or berth. There are chances that it might get confirmed if there are cancellations. Waitlist numbers like WL1, WL2, etc., indicate your position on the waitlist.

4. GNWL (General Waitlist)

This is the most common type of waitlist. If your ticket is under GNWL, it means you have a higher chance of confirmation as it is considered before other types of waitlists.

5. TQWL (Tatkal Waitlist)

Tickets booked under the Tatkal quota that are waitlisted are marked as TQWL. These have a lower chance of confirmation compared to GNWL.

6. PQWL (Pooled Quota Waitlist)

This waitlist is for pooled quota bookings. It generally has a lower chance of confirmation.

7. RLWL (Remote Location Waitlist)

RLWL is for tickets booked from a remote location station to another remote location station. These tickets have a lower priority compared to GNWL.

8. NOSB (No Seat Berth)

This status indicates that no seat or berth is allocated to the passenger, typically applicable to child passengers below 12 years who are not allotted separate berths.

Factors Affecting PNR Status Confirmation

Several factors influence the confirmation of your waitlisted ticket:

  1. Time of Booking: Booking tickets well in advance increases the likelihood of getting a confirmed ticket.

  2. Quota Availability: Different quotas like Tatkal, Ladies, Senior Citizen, etc., have varying confirmation chances.

  3. Season and Festival Time: During peak seasons and festivals, the chances of ticket confirmation are lower due to high demand.

  4. Cancellation Rates: Higher cancellation rates increase the chances of waitlisted tickets getting confirmed.

Tips to Ensure a Confirmed Ticket

Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting a confirmed ticket:

  1. Book Early: Plan and book your tickets as early as possible to avoid waitlisting.

  2. Check Different Quotas: Look for availability under different quotas which might have better chances of confirmation.

  3. Consider Alternative Routes: Sometimes, booking tickets with a break journey can increase the chances of getting confirmed tickets.

  4. Keep Track of Cancellation Trends: Regularly check the PNR status as cancellations can move your waitlist position up, increasing the chances of confirmation.


Understanding and checking your PNR status is an essential part of planning your train journey. It ensures you are aware of your ticket’s confirmation status and helps you make informed decisions. By utilizing the various methods available to check your PNR status and understanding the different codes, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience. Always remember to book early, keep track of your status, and stay informed about the latest updates from the railway authorities. Safe travels!