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Indian Railways RAC and Waitlists concepts explained

Indian Railways RAC and Waitlists concepts explained

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Published by: loroow on Apr 04, 2011
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Indian Railways RAC and Waitlists concepts explained 
photo byhappysnapper999
Now that waitlisted tickets can be purchased on the internet, it¶s time wehad an article explaining waitlists, waitlisted tickets and RAC tickets. (I¶ll alsoexplain a little about ticket allocation/quotas and how you can use them toyour advantage)
Every day, Indian Railways sell millions of railway tickets for thousands of trains,considering how vast and complex the Indian Rail network is, I think they have devised aneasy to understand system to ensure maximum occupancy in all classes on all bookabletrains.Most trains can be booked 91* days in advance, some short distance trains, normallydaytime trains, can only be booked 30 days in advance, there are a few trains with evenshorter booking periods, but none on the main tourist routes. (*details and example later)If you book early (the earlier the better), you¶ve got a good chance of getting a confirmedseat/berth in the class and train of your choice, this becomes more difficult the later you tryto book your train. (and very difficult if your train departs during the Indian holidays)This is when you start seeing some strange letters and numbers when you try to book aticket, for example...WL 21/RAC 10 or WL 10/WL 4
A quick explanation of RAC and Waitlists
A very quick explanation of RAC (much more details, diagrams & photos at the bottom of this article.)WL = WaitlistRAC = Reservation against cancellation
An RAC ticket gets you on the train (A WL ticket doesn¶t) and in your chosen class, butthere¶s a chance you could end up with just a seat. (very unlikely if you book early)A berth is split into 2 seats for 2 RAC ticket holders, if there¶s any last minute cancellations,or if any quota allocations remain unsold, or if any confirmed ticket holders are given a freeupgrade (more later), an RAC ticket holder is given the empty berth, the other RAC ticketholder can then convert the 2 seats into a berth.RAC tickets are only issued for 2-tier air con (4 seats per carriage), 3-tier air con (6 seatsper carriage), non air con First Class (4 seats per carriage), and non air con Sleeper Class(up to 12 seats per carriage).
ow do RAC and Waitlists all work?
When all the available seats/berths in an individual train/class have been sold, the railwaysstart selling RAC tickets (2A, 3A, FC & SL only), when all the RAC tickets have been sold,then a waitlist is started for all the train classes, and you¶re sold a waitlisted ticket.As people cancel tickets, a RAC/WL ticket will move closer to a confirmed berth. Also, whenthe final reservation chart is prepared, any un-sold quota berths will be used to reduce theRAC/waitlist.Tickets will be sold in the following order....(4 RAC places in this example)1.
Available 022.
Available 013.
RAC 014.
RAC 025.
RAC 036.
RAC 047.
WL 018.
WL 02and so on...
ut my ticket has 2 numbers??
 photo bysannna
All RAC/WL tickets have 2 ¶numbers¶, the first is the position you join thewaitlist, the 2nd is your current waitlist position.So lets imagine you go to buy a ticket online (or at a reservation office), you find the perfecttrain, select your chosen class, enter your date of journey, then notice that the ticketoffered is WL 10/WL 4, you buy the ticket, so we¶ll use this as an example. (with 4 RACplaces)WL 10/WL 4 means that you join the waitlist at position 10, but due to cancellations (beforeyou bought the ticket) you have already moved to waitlist position 4, the first number willnot change, if there were another 3 cancellations, your new waitlist position will be WL10/WL 1, another 3 cancellations would take you to WL 10/RAC 2, a further 2 cancellationswould take you to WL 10/CNF (confirmed reservation, though you wouldn¶t find out yourcarriage and berth number till a couple of hours before the train departs)Think of standing in a queue, as you go to join the queue you are given a number indicatingthe position you join the queue (eg. WL 10), this number will remain the same as that ISthe position you joined the queue, all those in front of you have either confirmed, RAC orbetter waitlist positions than you, if any of the people in front of you decide to leave thequeue, you move forward, and closer to a confirmed seat/berth, some in front of you mayhave already left the queue before you joined, so if 6 people had already left the queue,you¶d be joining the queue in position WL 10, but you¶d already be at position WL 4.The above ticket would move through the waitlist as follows: -
WL 10/WL 4
WL 10/WL 3
WL 10/WL 2
WL 10/WL 1
WL 10/RAC 4
WL 10/RAC 3
WL 10/RAC 2
WL 10/RAC 1
o, can I board the train?

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