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New Technologies Render Rail Travel Easy In India 2015-01-03

The PNR abbreviation stands for Passenger Name Record in the travel sector. It is a record within the database of the Computer Reservation System containing the itinerary for a passenger of passengers travelling in a group.

The PNR status used mainly in the airline and railways industries. The concept of PNR was first introduced in the airline industry as a means of exchanging reservation information for passengers that require flights involving different airlines to get to their destination or destinations. Interline messaging standards are regulated by ATA and IATA.

Today, the use of the PNR number is employed in bookings for railways tickets, car rentals, tours and hotels.

In the Indian context, the PNR status has made a major contribution towards rationalizing operations in the railway industry. Management of ticket sales is now efficient and there is no chance of a passenger missing a seat or train. It has also enhanced revenue collection because every ticket and passenger can be tracked using the PNR system. You can make travel arrangements well in advance of the date of travel.

PNR Generation

When a passenger makes a booking, a PNR is created in the Computer Reservation System (CRS) by the travel agent. The PNR is used by the railway company via its website. An alphanumeric record locator is generated by the CRS that does not change under any circumstances. The PNR is identified by the record locator for identification in the specific database.

Information needed for generating PNR

The Computer Reservation System requires the following information so as to complete the booking of tickets and generation at

Passenger name or names if they are travelling in a group.

Travel Agent or Railway Service contact details.

Ticket details.

Itinerary for a minimum of one travel section.

Name of the individual providing the travel details.

According to the Indian Railways site there is no standard format regarding the content or layout of a PNR.
Railways PNR Status

The railway PNR status number comprises a 10-digit code that is printed at the top of the ticket on the left-hand corner. Among the details is “waiting list” or “confirmed status” including the seat and coach number.

You can get PNR status in various ways. These include checking the PNR status by using several websites like Rediff or Cleartrip in addition to mobile SMS, telephone and the IRCTC website.

How PNR Status Is Used

Passengers are able to make a booking 60 days in advance of their journey date. A 10-digit PNR is issued on every ticket that is used as a reference point for any matters regarding the journey. Normally, the following occurs on a PNR status:

Waiting list (WL): The ticket has been placed on the waiting list (WL) because a berth has not been allotted to the ticket holder. If a PNR has WL status, a passenger cannot board the train. When seats become available and are allotted due to a cancellation, a confirmed berth number is made available on the same PNR. No more booking is allowed once the maximum numbers of tickets on the waiting list are offered.  Conversely, a ‘Regret” message is displayed.

GNWL: This represents the general waiting list number of the PNR. However, this is subject to change in the event of cancellations.

Reservation against cancellation (RAC): There are circumstances that allow a passenger to board a train even without a reserved berth. This is referred to as RAC. In such a situation, the passenger shares the berth with someone and if a berth becomes available due to a cancellation, the passenger gets first priority.

CAN/MOD: This is used to refer to a cancelled PNR number. The PNR can be cancelled through the IRCTC official portal id it is an e-ticket or over the counter.

Tatkal (CK): The Tatkal or CK PNR refers to a booking that has been made a day before the travel date. The ticket falls under the Tatkal waiting list and has the symbol CKWL attached to it. On confirmation, a coach and berth number is given.

Released: When an alternate optional ticket is offered to a customer after the previous ticket is not confirmed the Released status is issued.

Confirmed Booking (CNF): Confirmed booking confirms the allotment of a seat or seats after a ticket is booked. The ticket issued includes the berth number and confirmed coach.

Ticket Reservation Status Check

The following ways show how you can check your PNR status:


The reservation status for your ticket can be checked by sending an SMS to 57886, 5676747, 139 or 54959. You can do so by:

IRPNR {10-digit PNR Number} to 57886

PNR {10-digit PNR Number} to 139

PNR {10-digit PNR Number} to 54959

PNR {10-digit PNR number} to 5676747

2.Phone Call:

Dial 139

3.Online Portals:

Indian Railways

Train PNR Status

Tracking PNR Status with Apps

You can the status of your ticket by downloading and installing the ICRTC application on your smart phone. With a single click, you have direct access to the PNR check option. This allows ticket holders to keep track of information as it is uploaded on the IRCTC site.

Firstly, you have to register by opening an account on the ICRTC website. Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive updates via the SMS facility.

The application is also used to track the train movement including the time it will take to get to the railway station of your choice. This application is freely available on from the Android and App Stores. All you need to do is to download it and install it on your smart phone if you are a smart phone user.


The PNR Status concept has transformed the way Indian Railways does its business. It has also contributed towards the elimination of crowds of people at booking halls and general crowding at the railway stations. Passengers know in advance if they have a confirmation to travel.

Author Bio: Peter is a freelance content writer and Digital Nomad with travel experience in India. He focuses on writing about how to use




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