Indian Railways Ticket Status Explained

If you have booked your ticket for any train in India, you need to be well versed with the abbreviations that are used extensively in all tickets of Indian Railways. Ferrying millions of customers every single day of the year, Indian Railways does a remarkable job, especially in offering easy tickets.

Booking railway tickets is a matter of minutes as you have authorized agents, the IRCTC website and station booking counters for quick booking. However, all tickets printed or sent by SMS don’t give everything about booking in detail, and it is best to know the meaning of abbreviations mentioned in the ticket. Understand the ticket status explained mentioned below for your next journey to avoid all kinds of muddles before you travel.

CNF: If you have booked a confirmed ticket, which means seats are available for your journey, you get this abbreviation mentioned on the ticket. Generally, if seats were available when you made the booking, then the ticket will have a seat and coach number, as well. For first class tickets and bookings that are confirmed later after being in waiting list, don’t have other details, and you will know the seat and coach after the charts are prepared.


CAN/MOD: Tickets that have been cancelled have this abbreviation mentioned against the PNR. You may have canceled the tickets via the IRCTC site or your agent may have cancelled it. According to ticket status explained under Indian Railways, you cannot travel with such a ticket and will be considered travelling ticketless.

RAC: Reservation Against Cancellation or often referred simply as RAC is mentioned in the ticket when you don’t have a berth but can still get a seat in the class you have booked. Such a ticket simply means that you can board the train but may or may not be allotted a berth. If you don’t get a berth confirmed, you will have to travel with a co-passenger sharing the same berth.

WL: According to the ticket status explained under railways, a WL ticket is waiting list one and you cannot travel with such a ticket. If booked under the IRCTC site, a waiting light ticket gets cancelled automatically after the chart for the train is prepared. However, keep in mind that tickets in the waiting list is often cleared after charting is completed. To know the current status of the ticket, it is best to check the PNR two hours prior to scheduled departure.

WL/WL: In general, most tickets have two numbers mentioned together. The first one is the number at which a ticket is purchased, and the second one is indicative of the current status of the ticket. Checking the second number will help you understand if your ticket stands the chance of being confirmed.

CK: The ticket status explained under the Tatkal booking scheme comes with this abbreviation. Currently, all tatkal tickets can be booked a day ahead of journey with bookings opening at 10am for the IRCTC website.

CKWL: Tickets that are booked under the Tatkal booking scheme in the waiting list have this mentioned. This is just like any waiting list ticket, and unless confirmed in the final charts, you cannot board the train with such a ticket. Tatkal waiting list tickets are promoted to confirmed seats if seats are vacant, while general waiting list tickets are promoted to the RAC category.

PQWL: When you have Pooled Quota Waiting List or PQWL mentioned on the ticket, this refers to a condition when the ticket is booked from any kind of railway quota. Again, this is a waiting list ticket that one cannot travel with. If the ticket is booked by the IRCTC site, the same gets canceled once the charts are prepared after seats are found to be unavailable.

REGRET/WL: This doesn’t come on a ticket, but you will find this abbreviation common while booking tickets online. Under such condition, the maximum number of waiting list tickets has been issued and no more bookings can be made in that class for a particular train.

GNWL: All general waiting list tickets have this mentioned, which means the ticket is not confirmed, and may or may not be confirmed at a later stage. With such a ticket, you can travel in the general compartment of the train in certain cases.

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