Indian Railways

Decoding Secrets of the IRCTC PNR Number

Indian Railway welcomes millions of people every day. Passengers need to carry tickets along with them to travel by train. These tickets are booked either online or offline. Train Tickets have 10 digits unique numbers called PNR or passenger name records. They can be confirmed or unconfirmed. 


Have you ever wondered what these 10 digits are, after all? And why it is so important? Very few people are aware of it, and there might be several people trying to know the status of their PNR. The PNR number plays a vital role throughout the journey and later. Through this number, you can check even your train seat status.  


After all, what is this PNR number, its full form, and what wonder does this unique code do? So today, in this blog, we will leave no stone unturned in decoding the secrets of PNR, i.e., Passenger Number Record.


PNR Number: Unveiling the 10 Digit Number


PNR number is a database that contains all information related to your train travel. It is a unique 10 digit code on your ticket that includes the details of a passenger, including the name, age, gender, train number and name etc. Each digit in a PNR number has a tale. With the first three digits of a PNR number, you can identify from which PRS (Passenger Reservation System) the ticket is being issued. The first digit in this number is also the railway zone from where the train started.  


PNR Number starting with the number 1 denotes Secunderabad PRS under the SCR zone, and those beginning with the digit 2 and 3means the ticket belongs to Delhi PRS of NR, NCR, NER, NWR zone. However, if the first digit of the PNR is 4 and 5, the ticket has been generated from Chennai PRS under the SR, SCR, and SWR zone. Similarly, if it starts with the digits 6 and 7, the ticket belongs to Kolkata PRS, under ER, ECR, NFR, SER, ECoR, or SECR zone. Additionally, if the initial digits of a PNR are 8 and 9, the ticket has been issued by Mumbai PRS, which falls under the CR, WR, or WCR zone of Indian Railways. 



Passenger Name Record Is Your IRCTC Database


A ten digits number that contains passenger records can also be used to track waiting lists, confirmed tickets, and non-confirmed tickets. Therefore, a 10-digit number can be served as proof of your reservation status. Using the PNR, the railway stores passengers’ information in its central database, i.e. Indian Railway Computer Reservation System (IR–CRS) for any future reference. IRCTC or even you can access the following with your PNR number anytime.


  • Details about the passenger – name, age, gender, etc.
  • Journey start and journey end stations.
  • Status of waitlisted, confirmed tickets.
  • Train number, fare, seat availability, and journey date.
  • Details about the train coaches you are travelling with (1 AC, 2 AC, 3AC CC, SL, etc.).
  • Chart Preparation Status of your train.



Importance of the 10 Digit PNR Number


  • You can determine whether a ticket is confirmed, non-confirmed, or RAC by enquiring about your PNR status online.
  • This 10-digit Passenger Name Record helps you get updates on train timing and journey dates. 
  • PNR code also informs about your train’s boogie/coach number and seat number.
  • In case you face difficulties during the journey, such as disappointment due to ill behaviour, or disgusted services on the train, you can file a complaint to Indian Railways with the 10-digit code on your ticket.
  • A copy of your PNR number is available to the TC who uses this reservation chart to verify your ticket.
  • Many passengers avoid taking a meal from the train’s pantry car due to quality concerns. In such a case, passengers love to make their trip even more exquisite by ordering food on the train online. Your PNR number also lets you order a meal with this 10 digit PNR number. 
  • The Indian Railways has set up retiring rooms for travellers for short-term accommodation or stay. You can also book a retiring room with a valid Passenger Name Record or PNR number on your validated train ticket.
  • In case of an accident, passengers must contact the GRP or Railways’ helpline number with your PNR number. The authorities will be able to access information about the passenger and provide medical assistance or any other help immediately.



Ticket Is Lost or Misplaced: How PNR Number Can Help


To retrieve your lost ticket, you must remember the PNR number and provide it when requesting another copy of your train ticket. You can avoid this situation or chaos by taking a picture of your ticket and saving it on your smartphone that can be served as proof.


When enquiring about PNR Status, the following codes are displayed:


CNF– It denotes the Confirmed ticket. This code indicates that your ticket is confirmed.


RAC- Reservation Against Cancellation: In this case, the Indian Railway allocates one seat to two passengers. They share the seat.


WL- Waiting List: Your ticket is not assigned any seat in this status. They have to wait until the cancellation of seats or the addition of extra coaches so their tickets can be confirmed.


GNWL- General Waiting List: This Code denotes that there is a possibility that the ticket will be confirmed.


RLWL – Remote Location Waiting List: It happens when the ticket is on the waiting list and has been reserved for two critical intermediate stops.


TQWL- Tatkal Quota Waiting List: The status indicates that an emergency ticket under the Tatkal scheme is being issued, which has not been confirmed yet.


NOSB – NO Seat Berth: The status decodes that journey is allowed without a seat berth.



How to Check PNR Status Online?


You will find your PNR Number at the top left corner of your ticket. You can see the PNR status of your ticket online through the RailMitra app by entering the 10-digit PNR number in the box provided. You can also check the train PNR status online through the RailMitra website. It will give you detailed information about the journey in just one click. 



How Often IRCTC Does Updates PNR Status?


PNR status is updated frequently or every minute based on cancellations and ticket availability. Most of the waitlisted tickets are confirmed during the last hour or even before chart preparation. Tickets in waiting status are also updated whenever IRCTC allocates a seat against a PNR number under certain special quotas like Senior citizen, women quota, awardee quota and many more. Passengers should look for their PNR status regularly if they carry a waitlisted train ticket.



Will My PNR Status Be Confirmed?


PNR status indicates whether you have a waitlist, RAC, or reserved tickets. Your PNR status gets confirmed in most cases, but many tickets may not confirm during rush hours. However, there is no set benchmark to predict whether a ticket will get confirmed; some online platforms like RailMitra provide an AI-based interpretation to determine whether your ticket on the waiting list will be confirmed or not. Millions of passengers use the RailMitra PNR Prediction app to determine the confirmation chances of their train tickets.


Indian Railways is the most loved mode of transportation. Often, you may not get confirmed train tickets during festivals or on high traffic routes. Hence, checking your PNR status is essential to get updated information about your reservation on the train. RailMitra is a dedicated online platform that provides passengers with live information. You can check the status of your 10 digits, PNR number, and confirmation probability, live train running status and IRCTC news on RailMitra.


Your train ticket PNR is crucial for your journey. Keep it safe to ensure the best travel experience on Indian Railways. 

Author: Sanjay Kumar

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