You have booked your ticket either physically or through online by login on to IRCTC website, but haven't yet got a confirmed reservation. You have few hours left to board your train and under such circumstance, you would like to know the status of your booked ticket. It's the PNR status that provides you all the information you need.
What is a PNR number?
PNR (Passenger Name Record) is a unique 10-digit number provided against every booked train ticket by the Indian Railways. Whether you book your train ticket by physically visiting a ticket counter or online, each and every ticket carries a PNR number. The unique number is mentioned on the ticket or sent to the passenger on SMS if booked online.
What does a PNR number provide?
A PNR number provides passenger details (name, age, sex, berth preference etc); ticket details (Train no, date of journey, boarding station, reservation up to, coach number, class, berth, quota, etc); transaction or payment details etc.
Besides these details, the most important information that the PNR number provides is related to the status of your reservation. These are Confirmed status (CNF), Waiting List status (WL), Reservation Against Cancellation status (RAC) of a ticket, Cancelled (CAN); General Waiting List (GNWL), Tatkal Waiting List (TQWL); Pooled Quota List (PQWL); Remote Location Waiting List (RLWL), No Room (NR); No Seat Berth (NOSB) etc .
CNF means you have a confirmed reservation " your berth is confirmed. You can travel at ease.
WL means that you are in queue to get a confirmed reservation, only if people ahead of you (in the queue or those with confirmed tickets) cancel their booking. If in the final chart, your status is WL or PNR status shows WL, you can't board the train. A WL ticket can be cancelled by the passenger 30 minutes before the departure of the train. If a WL ticket doesn't get confirmed, it automatically gets cancelled if booked online.
RAC means the passenger is allowed to travel and two passengers share the same berth, which is usually the side lower berth in a coach. If a confirmed passenger doesn't board the train, a full berth is allotted to the passenger with RAC ticket. An RAC status passenger has better chances of getting a confirmed reservation.
CAN means a passenger seat has been cancelled.
GNWL ticket gets confirmed after the passengers cancel their confirmed bookings.
TQWL means when a passenger who has made a Tatkal is put on the waiting list. This ticket has the least chance to get confirmed.
PQWL means passengers travelling between intermediate stations and have a separate waiting list from a general waiting list.
RLWL has the high chances of confirmation. Smaller stations have separate quota of seats and berths. The waiting on these intermediate stations are given RLWL status.
NR means no further bookings are allowed with a NR ticket.
NOSB is meant for children below 12 years of age and child fare is paid, and seats not allotted. In such cases, PNR status shows NOSB.
Where to check PNR status?
One can check PNR status on the Indian Railways website, IRCTC website and on several other websites (links provided below), and also get the status on SMS. One can search through Google search engine as well.
Here are a few links to check PNR status
http://www.indianrail.gov.in/enquiry/PNR/PnrEnquiry.jsp https://www.irctc.co.in/nget/train-search https://www.trainspnrstatus.com/ https://indianrailways.info/pnr_status/ https://pnrstatuslive.com/ https://runningstatus.in/pnrstatus
To check your PNR status through SMS service/Phone: On SMS " type PNR and send to 139. You'll receive your status. Call Railway Enquiry no 139.
How long is a PNR number valid?
Once a journey is complete, the PNR becomes meaningless. PNR details may not be available to the public once the journey is completed, for privacy and security reasons. However, the PNR lasts for a minimum of nine months, because the TDR filed can take a maximum of nine months. After that, it's removed from the database.