The Indian Railways criss-crosses across the country covering a track route of over 65,808 km and 7,112 stations, to form one of the largest networks in the world. More than 23 million passengers travel daily on this vast network.
Despite such heavy traffic the Indian Railways has an extremely efficient ticket booking system. It has a come a long way since the time when tickets could be bought only from the station or an agent. Nowadays you can book a ticket online via computer or cell phone. There are also android systems and Apps through which tickets can be booked instantly.
Whenever you make a booking you are given a PNR on your ticket. PNR is the short form for Passenger Name Record that used in a Computerized Reservation System. The PNR is generated when a passenger or a group of passengers book a ticket and the details of the person/s and the journey are entered into the database of the CRS. It is a 10 digit numerical code and each ticket will have a unique PNR. This number remains the same irrespective of further changes in the ticket. An i-ticket, i.e. a printed ticket purchased from a railway station, will have PNR on the top left of the ticket. An e-ticket, i.e. an electronic ticket purchased online, will have PNR number on the top right of the ticket. The passenger needs to check PNR status to see whether the ticket is confirmed.
With such huge passenger numbers, it is obvious that getting confirmed tickets are not so easy! That is why a booking can be made with the Indian Railways 90 days prior to the date of travel
A RAC ticket means that it will be confirmed as and when there are cancellations of confirmed tickets. A WL ticket means that only when all RAC bookings have been confirmed only then will it be eligible for upgradation to confirmed status provided there are vacancies. Therefore it is essential to check PNR status before boarding a train.
How to Check PNR Status
The PNR status can be checked in several easy ways without having to go to the station –
- Just log into one of the several Indian Railways PNR status check website and enter the PNR to get the current status
- You can also send an SMS to any one of the following numbers in the mentioned format. You will get an almost immediate reply about your PNR status,
- SMS: PNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 54959.
- SMS: PNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 5676747.
- SMS: IRPNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 57886.
To check for train schedules, seat availability, fares, etc. you can also call 139. Mumbai and Delhi residents can dial the number 139 following 10 digit PNR and get access to the train status and ticket status instantly.
The Indian Railways has to deal with a mammoth network and mind boggling passenger numbers. Despite this it has done a marvellous job in keeping itself technologically upgraded and ensuring a streamlined experience to the end user.