let us give you a clarification at the very beginning. This article is about Indian Railways. In case you landed here hoping to find the PNR status of your flight, you are in a wrong place. Now that we have clarified the purpose of this article, it is time we list the topics you will learn here today.
In this write-up, you will find a 360ij view of PNR. In other words, we will learn the following things:
• What is PNR and why do you need itij
• What is PNR statusij
• Where can you find the PNR on your ticketij
• How to check PNR statusij
- PNR inquiry through websites.
- PNR inquiry through SMS.
- PNR inquiry through mobile applications.
- PNR inquiry from railway inquiry counters.
- PNR status checks from reservation charts.
Apart from that, we will also learn about the following in brief:
• The different types of tickets issued by Indian Railways.
• The different types of Waiting list that Indian Railways creates.
Are you ready to beginij let us start.
What is PNR and why do you need itij
What is PNRij
The term PNR is an abbreviation. It stands for Passenger Name Record. As the name suggests, it is a record of something. What does it recordij
It records a few things like:
• Name of the passenger who will travel. Here you need to understand that Indian Railways often issues a single PNR for a group of passengers traveling together. For instance, a family of four will travel, and one member buys the tickets. The person who makes the purchase will enter the names of all passengers. Indian Railways will then issue a single ticket with ‘four’ seat numbers and ‘one’ PNR.
• The PNR will contain the details of the passenger(s) like age, gender, nationality, etc.
• The PNR will also record the following:
- The seat number(s) for the passenger(s).
- The berth(s) for the passenger(s).
- The train number.
- The date of the journey.
- The time when the journey starts.
- The name of the boarding station.
- The name of the destination station.
- The total distance that the passenger(s) will travel.
Great! PNR records a lot of information. But, how does a PNR look like, and how will you know which one is the PNRij Well, it is a number consisting of 10 digits. So, whenever you see a 10-digit number on your train ticket, you must know that you are looking at the PNR.
• PNR is a number, and hence, people call it as PNR Number. It is always numeric. That is, it will always consist of numerals only. You will not find any letters from the alphabet and neither will you find any special character like @ or # or ! etc.
• No two PNR Numbers can be the same.
• PNR is applicable only when you are reserving a ticket. So, local trains in which passengers do not need to reserve a ticket for a journey, PNR Number generation never takes place.
• Indian Railways stores the PNR Numbers in its central database.
Why do you need a PNRij
There are two reasons for issuing a PNR number to a traveler. Those reasons are:
Customer convenience: A PNR Number provides a set of convenient features to the passenger. They include:
• PNR provides complete details of the journey. So, in case the passenger somehow lost the ticket but has the PNR (which the Indian Railways usually sends to the provided mobile number), the passenger can extract all the details whenever he or she wants.
• The PNR number will also allow the passenger to check the status of the booking. The passenger may fail to get a confirmed ticket. He or she can use the PNR to check the status of the booking, that is, to know whether the seat has been confirmed or not. There is no need for the passenger to go to the railway inquiry center to find out the details.
The convenience of Indian Railways: PNR has a far more important role to play in the hands of railways authority. Suppose you are traveling from Kolkata to Orissa on Fulaknama Express. Hyderabad is the final destination of the train.
When the train starts its journey from Kolkata (Howrah Station), the train usually starts at full capacity. However, you will get down in Orissa. Many others may. Will the train continue with its journey with those vacant seatsij
The answer is NO! Railways will use your PNR to know that a seat will become vacant in Orissa. Railways will issue a new ticket to someone who will board from Orissa. That person will take your seat after youget down.It will ensure that the train never runs with empty seats for long distances. After all, Railways need to earn money.
What is PNR statusij
The term PNR status refers to the status of the booking. The number of seats in a train is always limited. It may happen that by the time you book a ticket, all seats have been sold out. Railways will put you on what is known as Waiting list. The status of your booking will show as Wl (Waiting list) against your PNR.
There may be many people on the Waiting list. Of course, the Indian Railways prepares this list on the first-come-first-serve basis. So, you may be the first person on the Waiting list, or you may be somewhere down on the list. Your position will depend on when you book a ticket.
Someone may cancel the trip, and a seat may become vacant. What happens to that seatij Railways will then reallocate the seat to a person in the Waiting list. If your name shows up on the top of the Waiting list, the Indian Railways will allocate the seat to you. If someone else’s name is on top, that person will get the seat.
Railway authorities will always use the PNR Number to check the Waiting list because it is easy. They cannot remember every passenger’s name and other details. If you get a seat after someone else cancels a journey, the status of your PNR will change from Wl to Confirmed or CNF.
Where can you find the PNR on your ticketij
If you are booking a ticket from a railway station’s booking counter, you will get a paper ticket. Take your eyes to the top left corner of the ticket. You will find the PNR Number there.
If you are booking a ticket online, you will receive an e-ticket by email. You will also receive an SMS. The e-ticket you receive by email will have the PNR number right on the top in a completely separate cell. The SMS you receive will also show the PNR and a few other details.
How to check PNR statusij
There are multiple methods of checking PNR status. let us take a look at them one at a time.
Online Websites: The Internet is full of many websites that allow you to check the status of your PNR. Type in the PNR Number in the given field and click the check or search button. The website will connect with Indian Railways’ database and return the status of your booking.
There are two best options for you. They are:
The two websites above are official websites. You can always trust them. In case you don’t want to use the official websites, you can get several other unofficial websites through a simple Google search.
Using SMS: In case you do not have access to an Internet-connectedcomputer, you can use your cell phone to check the status of your PNR. You don’t need a smartphone for this. A simple feature phone is enough. Follow the steps below to check the
• Open the SMS application on your phone.
• Type the following: PNR
. Example: PNR 4758126582. Do you notice a space between the term PNR and the actual numberij Do not forget to give this space.
• Send the SMS to 139.
You need not worry about the network that you are using. Almost all standard networks can be used such as AIRCEl, BSNl, AIRTEl, VODAFONE, JIO, MTNl, IDEA, and MTS.
There is also an alternative number where you can send your PNR number to check the status. The process is the same. Type PNR
and send the SMS to 5676747.
IRCTC provides 139 while railZone provides 5676747 SMS service.In case you want to use 139 option, there will be an SMS charge. The other one is free.
Using Mobile Applications: In this method, you need to download an application on your smartphone. Many such mobile applications are available, and most of them are unofficial. IRCTC has its official app known as IRCTC Rail Connect. You can use that as well.
Using Railway Inquiry Counter: You can directly visit a railways station, and head for the inquiry counter. Provide your PNR number and ask the person seating behind the desk. He or she will check and provide you with the necessary information.
Using Reservation Chart: This is not a good option. If you are unable to use any of the methods mentioned above, you can reach the station on the scheduled date of the journey, and check the reservation chart. Railway authorities prepare the chart two to three hours before the journey starts and pastes it on a notice board on the platform from which the train will depart. Check the chart.
Now that you know the methods of checking the PNR status, it is time we start discussing the rest of the things. Readyij
Ticket types that Indian Railways issues
Well, a ticket is nothing more than a token that Indian Railways provides to you against a certain fee. The ticket will have the details of the passenger, and the details of the journey. There is nothing new in this.
However, there are two methods that you can use to buy a ticket. They are:
• Online method: You book your ticket through an online website such as IRCTC website or a travel website like MakeMyTrip. You can use a mobile app such as IRCTC Rail Connect or a mobile app of a travel website like MakeMyTrip to book a ticket. If you use this method, you will get an e-ticket or electronic ticket.You will not get a paper ticket. You will receive the train ticket in your email and on your phone (as an SMS). You are however free to print the e-ticket from your email if you want.
• Offline method: In this method, you can go to a railway station and purchase a ticket from the ticket counter. You will get a paper ticket. You can see the journey and passenger details on that paper ticket.
Waiting list types that Indian Railways creates
There are two major types of Waiting list. They are:
• GNWl: GNWl or General Waiting list is for tickets that people do not book under Tatkal quota. GNWl gets the highest priority from the Indian Railways. What it means is that when someone with a confirmed ticket cancels the journey, Indian Railways will first allocate the canceled ticket to someone in GNWl.
• CKWl: CKWl or Tatkal Waiting list is for tickets that people book under Tatkal quota. There are some seats reserved on each train for Tatkal quota. Indian Railways allocates these seats on the first-come-first-serve basis. If someone tries to book a Tatkal ticket after all Tatkal tickets are sold out, the person will come under Tatkal Waiting list. CKWl tickets are rarely confirmed,and hence, if you get a CKWl ticket, your chances of getting a confirmed seat are slim to none!
Apart from the two Waiting lists above, there are five other types for long journey trains. They are:
• RlWl or Remote location Waiting list
• RQWl or Request Waiting list
• PQWl or Pooled Quota Waiting list
• RlGN or Remote location General Waiting list
• RSWl or Roadside Station Waiting list
Confirmation chances for RlWl, RQWl, PQWl, RlGN, and RSWl are very slim – even less that CKWl.
The PNR Number is a reference number that is important for everyone. Never lose this number if you book a railway ticket. The fate of your journey depends on the PNR. So, keep it safe.