PNR status is a matter of constant query amongst Indian Railways passengers. The Indian Railways is one of the largest railway systems in Asia and even with competing road networks and flight services, the passenger load on railways in India highly surpasses all other means of transportation. This is mainly because there are train lines connecting almost all remote places in all states and across state borders and presents one of the cheapest and most convenient way of travel if not shortest, next to flights.
Today, in the age of computerization, PNR is a number all those who travel by air or train are familiar with. This is a number which is a unique identification and record created in the databases of airlines and railways in the world. This ID represents a unique transaction of a passenger or a group of passengers and contains fields which store the customer or passenger’s details, train details, agent details and other related information.
Since the PNR status is seldom confirmed in a scenario where the demand for train tickets is much more than the supply of confirmed seats in the various quotas present, it is very seldom that people get confirmed tickets in Indian Railways. Many people then opt for the Tatkal system whereby one can opt for the Tatkal quota of seats which are released two days prior to the date of journey, exactly at 8 a.m. But it is a reality that even then people are unable to obtain confirmed tickets. The RAC or WL tatkal tickets are even more difficult to convert since they are much below importance to ordinary RAC or WL tickets.
However, the PNR status of RAC or WL (waitlisted) tickets keep changing rapidly and unless the demand is great as during holiday seasons, there is often a pretty high chance of getting one’s RAC ticket confirmed or a WL ticket converted to RAC at least. Hence, one must keep checking the PNR status of one’s ticket to ascertain the latest status. There are sms services provided by the Indian Railways to ease the burden of queries which come onto the Indian Railways and IRCTC websites. These websites also provide PNR status on enquiring but when one is unable to access a computer with internet connection, then one can opt for SMS services.
The Indian Railways Enquiry System has an enquiry number given as 139. One can either call up at this number whereby one will be greeted by a voice activated computerized system asking one to key in certain inputs to know the PNR status. One needs to keep the PNR number close at hand as well as the train details to get the information from the voice activated system. One can also obtain the same information by sending sms to 139. Here, one needs to type “PNR” and then the number with a space in between. On sending this enquiry, one will get information on the PNR status. Again, one can type in the PNR number directly and send an sms to 5676747. This will also enable one to obtain information on their PNR status swiftly and without much hassles.