Understanding PNR Number

Passenger Name Record in IRCTC includes the following information:

  1. Passenger details including his or her name, age and sex.
  2. Ticket details such as date of travel, train number, travel class, travel berth, coach and seat number and itinerary.
  3. Transaction details with the ticket charge, payment mode and transaction ID.

The PNR number can be broken down into two parts: the first three digits and the remaining seven digits. The first three digits of a PNR number specify the Passenger Reservation System, usually referred to as PRS, from which the ticket has been booked.

The first digit of the PNR number depends on the zone of the train which can be Secunderabad, New Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta or Mumbai. For example, if you book a ticket from Calcutta, the first digit of your PNR number will be 6. The next two digits depend on the PRS centre in Calcutta from where the ticket is booked. The remaining seven digits are randomly generated and do not have any significance.

How IRCTC PNR Status Works

Every time you book a train ticket from the IRCTC website, other private websites or the railway station ticket counter, a unique PNR number is generated. This PNR number is fed to the database of Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) which stores information of all the passengers. But what exactly is PNR status?
Your train PNR Status tells you whether your ticket has been confirmed. Here are a few PNR codes and their meanings:

  • Confirm (CNF): This means you have a confirmed seat in the train and the seat number will be allotted after the chart preparation.
  • Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC): RAC tickets are issued after all the seats are booked, which means your seat is on the waitlist. If the original booking is cancelled, you get the seat. Otherwise, you must share the seat with another passenger.
  • Canceled (CAN): This means the booked seat has been canceled.

How to check your PNR status live

You can check the PNR status of your ticket by going to the official website of IRCTC. It is a simple two-step process:

  1. Click on the “PNR Enquiry” link.
  2. Enter the PNR number and click “Submit”.

The Modes of PNR Enquiry

It is always better to check the status of your booking before the date of departure to be sure about the confirmation of your seats. PNR status enquiry can be made in three simple ways:

  1. The IRCTC website is the best place to get accurate information about PNRs. By simply entering the PNR number in the specified field, you can get your PNR status from Indian railways.
  2. By sending an SMS to 139 or 5676747, you can obtain your PNR status. The format for the SMS is “PNR <10-digit-PNR number>”
  3. The easiest way of PNR enquiry is by using Android applications. You can download the application on your smartphone and check the PNR status.


Q. Where can I find the PNR number on the ticket?
The PNR number is mentioned on the top-left corner of a printed ticket. On an e-ticket, the PNR number is mentioned at the top of the page in a separate cell.

Q. How can I get my PNR status by SMS?
Ans. You can get your PNR status by sending an SMS in the format “PNR <10-digit-PNR number>” to 139 or 5676747

Q. What is CNF in PNR status?
Ans. The IRCTC PNR status CNF stands for “Confirmed” which means your booking has been confirmed and the seat number will be allotted soon.

Q. What is RLWL status?
Ans. RLWL stands for “Remote Location Waiting List”. Tickets with this PNR status are issued for stations between the source and destination stations. These stations have a separate seat quota.

Q. What is PNR status prediction?
Ans. If you do not get a confirmed seat, you can know about the chances of confirmation through PNR prediction. This is usually done by using historical PNR data which is not open to the public. PNR prediction uses Data Analytics and Machine Learning techniques.

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