We all have travelled by train for long-distance or during our school or college picnics or Industrial Visits or tours where we had our single, family or group reservations done through online or offline at Passenger Reservation System(PRS) counters at the railway stations in same or different compartments of the train. Now let me give you an overview of all the reservations that are available on the train.
Confirmed (CNF) - This shows that you have a confirmed seat and berth. The ticket full details of your seat/berth will be visible on your ticket, such as the (Upper, Middle, Lower, Side Upper or Side Lower) berth no, Compartment, the reserved travel class, date of journey, boarding station, time of the train, etc.
Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) - Once the normal quota of seats/berth is full, the railway provides RAC queue to the passenger which allows the passenger to travel in the train but are not guaranteed a full berth. If any cancellation is done from the reservation quota seats, the person in the RAC queue is assigned a CNF ticket or else two passengers travelling by RAC are assigned the same side lower berth seat.
Waiting List (WL) - This indicates that there is no berth available on that train and only if any tickets holder cancels their tickets then only you may get into the list of RAC or confirmed as per the availability or your WL queue. Eg: If your ticket has the status GNWL 102/ WL 26, It means that your ticket is in the queue of 26 passengers and only if the above 26 passengers cancels their booking for the same date of journey, you may be allotted a seat/berth for travel on the booked date. If your ticket is not confirmed even after the final chart preparation, then your ticket gets automatically cancelled and you are not allowed to board the train on the WL ticket. The refund will be put in your bank account if booked through online or you need to go to the booking counter of any station to cancel and take your refund.
Waiting list tickets can be of the below four types:
General Waiting List (GNWL): This type of waiting list has the highest chances of confirmation and is given to the passengers that books their tickets or board the train from the originating station or a station that is close to the originating station.
Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL): These type of waiting list is given to passengers who are boarding and de-boarding at two intermediate stations of the train en route. The chances of getting a confirmed reservation are very less.
Remote Location Waiting list (RLWL): Passengers boarding from intermediate stations of the train route are provided with this status and the chances of confirmation are relatively less.
Tatkal Waiting List Tickets (CKWL/TQWL): This type of status is given to the passengers who have booked their ticket under the Tatkal quota and their tickets get confirmed directly without going through the RAC phase but be assured that General Waiting List is given priority over Tatkal Waiting List Tickets.
Reservation for Foreigners and NRIs: Through this system, Foreigners and NRIs can book train tickets in 2 AC, 1 AC and Executive travel classes using international debit and credit cards with a registration charge of 100Rs. + GST and a service fee of 200Rs. + GST per booking under the Foreign Tourist Quota 365 days prior to the journey whereas normal Advance Reservation Period (ARP) is 120 days prior to the date of journey excluding the date of journey.
Railway Reservation Quotas: The seats/berth in Indian Railway trains are issued under different reservation quotas to the general public without restrictions and the reserved category to the specific groups of passengers as per the assigned quota list. The reservation quotas in Indian Railway trains are as given below:
1. General Quota, Tatkal Quota, Premium Tatkal Quota, Roadside Quota and Pooled Quota which are available to the general public.
2. Senior Citizen Quota: All the senior citizens fall under this category. For male passengers, it's above the age of 60 years and for female passengers, it's above the age of 58 years.
3. Lower Berth Quota: Women who are pregnant and Senior Citizen Quota members fall under this quota list and can ask for Lower Berth Quota. Even women above 45 years can make use of this quota.
4. Ladies Quota: Every female passenger can make use of this quota.
5. Defence Quota: Every Defence personnel can use this quota by submitting their ID.
6. Parliament House Quota: This quota is for both sitting and former MPs. They can use this for booking their travel by train to any place of a station in India.
7. Divyangjan Quota: Passengers who are physically handicapped can apply through this quota for their reservation while travelling by train.
8. Railway Employee Quota: Every employee of Indian Railways who are travelling on duty in a train falls under this quota for reservation in the train.
9. Yuva Quota: These are issued to youth passengers who are unemployed and falls between the age group of 15 to 45 years can use this quota for booking while going for an interview by providing the required proof.
10. Duty Pass Quota: All the working and retired employees of the railway who travel on duty pass, privilege pass or post-retirement complimentary pass in specified trains can make use of this quota.
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