When you book train tickets with IRCTC – be it online or offline, there are many details printed on the ticket that can be confusing and misleading. To help you overcome your confusion and make things easier for you, here’s a quick list of all the Indian Railway abbreviations printed on a railway ticket.

Full Forms of Commonly Used Indian Railway Abbreviations (IRCTC):

Indian Railway Ticket
Indian Railway Ticket
  • PNR – it means Passenger Name Record (Passenger Numeric Record). PNR is a 10-digit unique identifying number generated upon booking a train ticket. It is printed at the top left-hand corner and comprises of all the details of the passenger like name, gender, age, and berth location. A PNR number holds details of maximum six (6) passengers in one single ticket. With the PNR, you can check the status of your ticket, especially if its a waiting list ticket or RAC.
  • CNF – it means Confirmed. It shows the confirmed status of the railway ticket booked.
  • GNWL – it means General Waiting List. These are the most common type of waiting-list tickets. They are issued when all the available berths in a train are booked. Waiting-list tickets usually get a berth only after a confirmed ticket is canceled. The GNWL ticket has the highest chance of getting a confirmation.
  • RC (RAC) – it means Reservation Against Cancellation. Passengers with a RAC ticket usually get a confirmed berth when the chart is prepared, before the trains departure. If a passenger doesn’t get a confirmed berth, the Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) usually allocates them half a seat, meaning two passengers share a seat (in this scenario the TTE uses the seats which were canceled after the chart was prepared).
  • TQ – it means Tatkal Quota. Every train has few seats available for booking a day before the trains journey. These tickets are booked under the Tatkal Quota. Travelers who decide to travel last minute on a whim or due to some emergency can book tickets under this quota.
  • TQWL/CKWL – it means Tatkal Waiting List. Waiting list tickets issued under the Tatkal Quota are referred with the code TQWL/CKWL.
  • SS – it means Lower Berth Quota for the elderly travelers (Senior Citizen Quota). Male passengers over the age of 60 years and female passengers over the age of 45 years can book tickets with under this quota to get a lower berth exclusively (if available).
  • DF – it means Defence Quota. It is intended for Personnel of the Indian Defence Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc). This quota has two (2) seats reserved in almost all the classes in most of the trains.
  • FT – it means Foreign Tourist. IRCTC has a special quota for Foreign Tourists in several special trains. Special Cells have been arranged at major reservation centre to help the foreigners with all aspects of their trip, including itinerary planning, ticket reservations etc
  • RSWL – it means Roadside Station Waiting List. Tickets booked from the originating station to the road side stations in the journey are issued these tickets. Distance restrictions do not apply to them and they are least likely to get confirmed.
  • RQWL – it means Request Waiting List. A ticket is RQWL when it is booked between two intermediate stations and not covered by a general or pooled quota.
  • RLWL – it means Remote Location Waiting List. A RLWL ticket is issued when the reserved seats of a specific train covering remote locations are all booked. Since these remote locations make their own charts, the chances of getting a confirmation is quite low.
  • PQ – it means Pooled Quota. Pooled Quota is generally shared between a few small stations. There is normally only one Pool Quota for the entire route of the train. Passengers travelling from the originating/source station to a station short of the trains destination, or from an intermediate station to the destination, or between two intermediate stations are applicable for the Pool Quota.
  • PQWL – it means Pooled Quota Waiting List, ticket issued under the Pooled Quota.

Classes of Accommodation:

  • AC – Air-Conditioned.
  • 1A – First class Air-conditioned (also Executive Class).
  • 2A – Air-conditioned 2-tier sleeper.
  • FC – First Class.
  • EC or ECC – Executive Chair Car.
  • 3A – Air-conditioned 3-tier sleeper.
  • ACC – Air-conditioned coach/class.
  • ACCC – Air-conditioned chair car.
  • CC – Chair car.
  • Sh. CC – Shatabdi Chair Car.
  • SL – Sleeper class.
  • 2S – Second-class Sitting.
  • 2T – Two-tier (as in AC-2T air-conditioned two-tier coach).
  • 3T – Three-tier (as in AC-3T air-conditioned two-tier coach).
  • LB – Lower Berth (annotation on ticket for sleeping accommodation).
  • MB – Middle Berth (annotation on ticket for sleeping accommodation).
  • UB – Upper Berth (annotation on ticket for sleeping accommodation).
  • SUB – Side Upper Berth (annotation on ticket for sleeping accommodation).
  • SLB – Side Lower Berth (annotation on ticket for sleeping accommodation).

Other Common Indian Railway Abbreviations:

  • Raj – Rajdhani Express – 24 pairs of trains (48 in total) that connect major cities of India, are called Rajdhani Express.
  • Drnt – Duronto Express – 24 pairs of trains (48 in total) that run long-distance between the source and the destination, non-stop. Some of these trains run faster than the Rajdhani Express.
  • Cant Or Cantt – Cantonment (in station names). A city where Army or Armed Forces are stationed is called a Cantonment (or Cantt). If a station falls within the cantt area of a region, it is called a cantonment station, e.g: Delhi Cantt, Bangalore Cantt, Ambala Cantt, etc.
  • GN – General Quota.
  • WL or W/L – Waiting List or Wait-Listed (ticket issued without confirmed accommodations).
  • LD or LQ – Ladies Quota.
  • CAN – Canceled.
  • Sch Dep – Scheduled time of Departure.
  • Eta or ARR – Estimated time of arrival or Arrival.
  • R Fee or Res Fee – Reservation fee (annotation on ticket).
  • Conc. – Concession (given to handicapped, senior citizens, etc)
  • Exp – Express Trains.
  • Jn – Junction (in station names).
  • Pass or Pgr – Passenger (trains).
  • M – Mail Trains.
  • Mxd – Mixed Trains.
  • PF or P/F – Platform.
  • SF – Super-fast trains.
  • Rd – Road (in station names).
  • S Ch/SF Ch – Super-fast Charges (annotation on ticket).
  • HO – High Official / Headquarters.
  • OS – Out-station.
  • RS – Road-side.
  • PH – Parliament House/Quota.
  • DP – Duty Pass.
  • HP – Handicapped Quota.
  • EQ – Emergency Quota.

We hope we’ve helped you overcome your confusion and cleared all your doubts with the commonly used abbreviations of Indian Railways (IRCTC).

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