When you make a booking on any train in the Indian Railways, the database of the Computer Reservation System records your information. Of course, there can be occurrences where two or more people share the same name, age or such identifying information. That is why the database creates a unique ten-digit number for each batch of information. This ten-digit number then acts as a reference number for the recorded information and is what is known as the Passenger Name Record (PNR). The number is then used to create and store a passenger’s booking status. The PNR is usually printed on your ticket’s top left corner. That is for tickets that you get directly from a railway station’s booking window. For an online or e-ticket, the PNR is written at the top of the page. You can get a printed copy of the ticket for proof of booking.
Information collected in the database
- Personal information such as your name, gender, and age.
- Train number
- Train route
- Train’s departure and arrival times
- Train’s departure and arrival stations
What is a PNR status?
It is common knowledge that trains have a set number of seats. That means that not every passenger who makes a booking will get a seat on a certain train. As mentioned, the PNR was used to create and store a status. This status is used to assign seats on the train in order of hierarchy. If you do not get a seat on a train, you are automatically placed on a waitlist by the system.
On the other hand, there are those passengers who will not board the train for one reason or the other and therefore their ticket gets canceled. In case of such cancellations, a passenger is assigned a new reservation status on the train with the empty seat. This status is what is known as the PNR status.
Your placement on a specific waitlist depends on pre-determined rules. The type of waitlist will influence your PNR status.
- General Waiting List (GNWL)– Highest priority of confirmation and placement
- Tatkal Waiting List (CKWL)– Low priority of confirmation and placement
- Others with very little priority include Remote Location (RLWL), Requests (RQWL), Pooled Quota (PQWL), Remote location (RLGN), and Roadside (RSWL) waitlists.
Checking the PNR status
- Websites: If you want to check PNR status by website then just enter your PNR and get your PNR status as well as other relevant information on some sites.
- SMS: You text “PNR <PNR number>” to either 139 or 5676747 and you will get an SMS with your PNR status.
- Smartphone applications: Available for iOS, android, and windows.
- Ask an attendant at any counter in the railway station and you will get your PNR status after you submit your PNR number.
- Final reservation chart: This chart contains the PNR statuses and numbers of all people that are to board a particular train and is posted on notice boards at the railway 2-3 hours before departure.