Understanding wait list on Indian Trains

Wait list on Indian Trains

Indian Railways

India is a huge country with over 1.2 billion people living in it. Despite the size of the country the available resources are limited and stretched beyond capacity. There are too many people trying to use the available resources and trains are no exception. About 100,000 people use trains daily and yet a lot of people just end up with wait listed seats with no chance of boarding the train.

What is wait list on trains?

Indian railways have a strange system where they continue to sell the train tickets even after all seats have been sold. There are several reasons why they do this, but we will not get into that. When all the seats are sold out, they sell seats in RAC (reservation against cancellation) category, followed by WL (waiting List) or General Waiting List (GNWL) category. RAC in lay man’s terms, means that you can board the train, but you will have to share the berth with another passenger. WL on the other hand, means that you cannot board the train (you get a full refund on the train ticket purchased value without paying the general waiting list cancellation charges) in this case.

Does RAC and WL Get confirmed?

Yes! They do, but only in cases when someone cancels their confirmed train tickets OR when the special quotas of Indian railways is not utilised. This quota is generally reserved for Ministries, government employees, foreign tourist etc. In most cases RAC seats get confirmed where as wait list of less than 10 in air conditioned class or wait list of less than 50 in non air conditioned class get confirmed. Any number more than that runs a risk of seats not getting confirmed.

How to check if RAC and WL has been confirmed?

This is a simple process. You have to check the PNR Status. For that just visit http://www.indianrail.gov.in/enquiry/PNR/PnrEnquiry.html¬† and enter the PNR number printed on your ticket in the given box and click Get Status button. This will show you the status of your ticket when it was booked and the current status. If the seat is confirmed, you will be shown the Coach Number and Seat number for your travel. However if it is still wait listed and the status says “Chart is Prepared”, ¬†this means that your seat is not confirmed and you cannot board the train.

What happens if my seat is not confirmed?

If you have an eTicket, the money will come back to the account of the person who made the ticket. If it is an agent, the money will go back to the agent and you need to contact him for refund. Otherwise it will come back to your card account.

We authored the article so that you don’t have to run pillar to post just trying to figure out things if you have a wait listed ticket. Hope you enjoyed reading the article that it helped you. They say that “Sharing is Caring“. In the same spirit please share this article with your friends on social media so that sufficient awareness can be created among the masses about this strange practice of Indian railways of selling waitlisted train tickets.

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