IR has always powered forward with the many reforms in the technology they have adopted and the services they have provided. However, the most radical changes have been brought about in their management processes. To ensure the safe and comfortable travel of more than 8.26 billion passengers (projected number by end of March 2018) is not an easy task, but despite difficulties, IR makes it seem like a piece of cake. The incorporation of cutting-edge technology with management strategies has led to an improvement in services which has ultimately improved customer satisfaction. For example, the use of PNR has made it easier for passengers to check the status of their ticket bookings through easily accessible websites and mobile applications.

Use of PNR numbers :

  • PNR stands for ‘Passenger Name Record’. A ticket purchased by a consumer is issued with RAC (Reservation against Cancellation) or W/L (Wait List) if all tickets are booked. PNR numbers are typically issued to passengers during the time of their booking to give them a tracking mechanism for their ticket bookings, just like order tracking for online shopping portals or e-commerce websites.
  • Train travel in India is usually dynamic in nature because bookings usually collide due to the same dates, time frames, or boarding stations. This generally causes the booked ticket to be put up on the waiting list. Though this is a common occurrence, it is imperative to have complete knowledge of the ticket status before commencing the train journey. Earlier, the status was checked by standing in long queues for inquiries regarding the waiting list.
  • The introduction of the PNR number and its status has made it easier for consumers to check the status of their bookings. A passenger can log on to numerous websites and type in their PNR number, which is printed in the top right-hand corner of the ticket. The website then issues the status of the booked ticket.

PNR numbers

Contents of PNR number :

  • The 10-digit PNR number provides a unique pointer to a record of comprehensive journey details.
  • The details which are present in this database include 3 types of details. The first detail provided includes passenger details such as the sex, name, and age of the passenger. The second detail provided includes ticket details such as the train number, the date of travel and return, the boarding and departing station, berth, and quota of the booking. The third detail present includes transaction or payment details such as Transaction ID, payment mode, and the ticket charge. These are unique details that differ for every passenger.
  • PNR numbers expire as soon as the passenger’s train arrives at the destination or as soon as that train reaches the concluding station. The last 7 digits of the PNR number are randomly generated which means that PNR numbers are not reused. Charts are posted on the doors of trains where a passenger can check their reservation status against their PNR number if they missed checking it online.

PNR numbers are crucial for maintaining a record of passenger bookings and their details. This has made it easier for IR to manage the seat reservations allotted to every passenger efficiently.


Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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