PNR is short name for ‘Passenger Name Record’. It is a record in the database of Indian Railways computer reservation system (IR-CRS) against which journey details for a passenger, or a group of passengers are saved. PNR is a 10-digit identification system for each and every ticket in Indian Railways. PNR is located on the top-left side of the ticket and gets stored in the database of the reservation system. 

A PNR number provides the following important details of passengers:

  • Passenger Name
  • Train name & number
  • Travel Agent details
  • Boarding time from the source station & arrival time at the destination station.
  • Name of the Person who has booked the Ticket
  • Seat Information
    • Coach & seat number.
    • Waitlist information, if applicable.
    • RAC (Reservation against cancellation), if applicable.
    • CNF (Confirmation) of a ticket without any seat number. Final seats are shown after the chart is prepared in such cases.
  • Chart Status  Preparation (yes/no)
  • Class of Travel & Fare of journey
  • Booking status & current status (e.g. GNWL 56 / S4, 10)
  • Journey duration.

Yes, You can Travel without railway ticket hard copy as you just need to have your PNR No. and A valid ID Proof while traveling on Indian Railway, As the PNR Status Shows all the necessary details required at the time of traveling.

If you have booked the ticket online through irctc.co.in, then simply go to ‘Booked History’ option and retrieve your ticket. In case you lose the physical copy of your ticket, then visit any nearest computerized reservation counter and contact the Chief Reservation Supervisor with your ID proof. He will issue a duplicate ticket if your ticket has been confirmed.

The PNR number of any ticket signifies the following:

  • 1 = PNR starting with ‘1’ are issued from SCR Zone (issued from Secunderabad PRS)
  • 2 & 3 = PNR starting with ‘2’ or ‘3’ are issued from either NR, NCR, NWR, or NER Zone (issued from Delhi PRS)
  • 4 & 5 = PNR starting with ‘4’ or ‘5’ are issued from either SR, SWR, or SCR Zone (issued from Chennai PRS)
  • 6 & 7 = PNR starting with ‘6’ or ‘7’ are issued from either NFR, ECR, ER, ECoR, SER, or SECR Zone (issued from Kolkata PRS)
  • 8 & 9 = PNR starting with ‘8’ or ‘9’ are issued from either CR, WCR, or WR Zone (issued from Mumbai PRS)

You could check PNR Status of your ticket via SMS on mobile by sending out SMS to any of below numbers in the following manner.

  • PNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 139
  • PNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 54959
  • PNR <10-digit PNR number> to 5676747
  • IRPNR <10-digit PNR Number> to 57886

You could check PNR Status of your ticket via SMS on mobile by sending out SMS to any of below numbers in the following manner.

You could call 139 to check PNR Status of your ticket and other details.

The last booking chart for a train will be done at least 4 hrs prior to the schedule departure of the train at origination station.

But in reality charts have been getting prepared 1 or 2 hrs prior to the actual departure of the train.

In situation of early morning or late evening trains, this might be prepped considerably earlier during the previous night itself.

Your booking standing might change any time till chart is prepared.

Though quite uncommon, it is possible that an RAC ticket can change to wait-listed status.

It is also possible that booking relocated from WL to CNF can return to RAC or WL.

However none of this will certainly not happen for a ticket which was CNF while booking itself.

Following is the list of various Booking Codes and their meanings

Booking Code



Cancelled or Modified Passenger

CNF / Confirmed

Confirmed (Coach/Berth number will be available after chart preparation)


Reservation Against Cancellation

WL #

Waiting List Number


Tatkal Waiting List Number


Remote Location Wait List


General Wait List


Pooled Quota Wait List


No More Booking Permitted


Ticket Not Cancelled but Alternative Accommodation Provided

R# #

RAC Coach Number Berth Number


Tatkal Quota

There are different classes in Indian Railways, below is the list of various Class Codes and their meanings.




AC First class (Air-Conditioned)


AC 2 Tier Sleeper (Air-Conditioned)


AC 3 Tier (Air-Conditioned)


AC 3 Tier Economy (Air-Conditioned)


AC Chair Car (Air-Conditioned)


First class


Sleeper Class


Second Sitting

Indian Railways has categorized the booking of tickets procedures in different category. Below is the list of various Quota Codes and their meanings.




General Quota


Tatkal Quota


Premium Tatkal Quota


Reservation Against Cancellation


Lower Berth


Pooled Quota


Out Station


Road Side


General Quota Road Side


Ladies Quota


Female(above 45 Year)/Senior Citizen/Travelling alone


Physically Handicapped Quota




Head quarters/high official Quota


Defence Quota


Parliament house Quota


Foreign Tourist Quota


Duty Pass Quota


Railway Employee Staff on Duty for the train

Tatkal booking is meant for immediate travel plans.

Tatkal booking for every train opens 1 days in advance at 10 am for AC  and at 11 Am for Non-AC.

You can book tatkal e-ticket online www.irctc.co.in or any other online booking agency.

Every train and class has a defined tatkal quota and it varies from station to station.

Many of the trains does not have tatkal category.

You have to select the Tatkal check box in the ‘Plan my travel’ page along with other details for booking tatkal ticket.

The Tatkal Charges have been fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of basic fare for second class and 30% of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum as given in the table below.

The below charges will be levied uniformly both in peak period & non-peak periods.

Class of Travel

Minimum Tatkal Charges(in Rs.)

Maximum Tatkal Charges(in Rs.)

Second (sitting)






AC Chair Car



AC 3Tier



AC 2Tier






Source: indianrail.gov.in

5 PRO Tips to Book Tatkal Tickets QUICKLY
  1. Opt for the fastest internet connection you have access to. Improved internet connectivity ensures quicker opening of the IRCTC website, quicker search and thereby quicker payment and booking of ticket. …
  2. Login before the Tatkal peak hour. 
  3. Keep your passenger list ready. …
  4. Choose a fast payment method. …
  5. Don’t wait for OTP.

he main difference between Tatkal and Premium Tatkal is that Premium Tatkal is an Online Only service. … Advance Reservation Period (ARP) of Premium Tatkal ticket booking is same as Tatkal ticket booking. Agents will not be allowed to book tickets in this quota. Dynamic fare shall be charged for confirm passengers.

To book TATKAL ticket, one of the following documents will be required:

  1. Voter Photo identity card issued by Election Commision of India.
  2. Passport
  3. PAN Card issued by Income Tax Department.
  4. Driving Licence issued by RTO.
  5. Photo identity card having serial number issued by Central/State Government.
  6. Student Identity Card with photograph issued by recognized School/College for their students.
  7. Nationalized Bank Passbok with photograph.
  8. Credit cards issued by banks with laminated photograph.
  9. Unique Identification Card “Aadhaar”.
  10. Photo identity cards having serial number issued by Public Sector Undertaking of State/Central Government, District Administration, Municipal bodies and Penchant Administration.

Also the TATKAL Ticket is not allowed is following categories:

  • The tatkal category is not applicable on first ac class and second seating class.
  • Ladies and general quota cannot be opted for along with Tatkal quota.
  • No concession like NOSB, Senior citizen concession, ladies concession, student concession is allowed in Tatkal Booking.
  • It will be possible to book a maximum of only four passengers per PNR for Tatkal tickets.
  • The facility of change of name is not permitted on the bookings made under Tatkal scheme.
  • TDRs are not being issued for waiting list tickets.
  • No duplicate Tatkal tickets shall be issued.
  • Duplicate Tatkal tickets shall be issued only in exceptional cases on payment of full fare including Tatkal charges. 
No refund is granted on the confirmed ticket booked under Tatkal booking. … For RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) or waitlisted tickets booked under Tatkal quota, refund is made if the ticket is cancelled up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure, according to the IRCTC website.

On cancellation of confirmed reserved tickets 48 hours before the train’s scheduled departure, cancellation charge for first AC/executive class is Rs 240; second AC/first class is Rs 200; third AC/ACC/3A economy is Rs 180; second sleeper class is Rs 120 and second class is Rs 60.

NOSB means No Seat Berth. It means children between 5 and 12 years of age can travel with their parents with half priced ticket but will not be entitled for a separate berth in trains. NOSB tickets are issued with half charge and no seat/berth is allotted to this type of ticket, so there is no way to make it confirmed. Either it has to be cancelled and issue a fresh FULL fare ticket for the child, where a confirmed/WL or RAC status will be given or you have to travel without a seat for your child.


NOSB tickets are issued with half charge and no seat/berth are allotted to this type of ticket, so there is no way to make it confirmed. Either it has to be cancelled and issue a fresh FULL fare ticket for the child, where a confirmed/WL or RAC status will be given Or you have to travell without a seat for your child.


The travel insurance provides a coverage of  10 lakh for death and permanent total disability arising out of any train accident or other untoward incident. For permanent partial disability you get  7.5 lakh. The  2 lakh coverage for hospitalization expenses for injury is over and above the death or disability coverage.

Acts like accident, robbery, dacoity and other violent acts during the train journey are covered by the policy.

Any train passenger who has booked an e-ticket using the IRCTC website or app can buy this travel insurance. Flight ticket booking websites also offer travel insurance, although at a much higher cost, similarly at the time of buying tickets.

However, there is no insurance for children below the age of five.

The travel insurance scheme is applicable only for Indian citizens. Citizens of foreign countries are not eligible for this scheme.