Before the dawn of the information age, booking your ticket on tour trains and enquiring about your PNR status used to be a great hassle, as most of the time information was only available at the actual station enquiry counter or by phone.
As technology gradually progressed, however, numerous new means started becoming available allowing tourists and travelers to book their train tickets and check their itineraries through far more convenient means than those that were regularly available in the past.
What Is PNR Status?
The Passenger Name Record (PNR) is a numerical system designed to record the travel itinerary of passengers or even groups that would travel together by plane or train.
Initially, the system was devised to assist passengers who needed to book multiple flights in order to reach their destinations, however, in places like India where numerous tourists constantly book tour trains to explore the wonders of the land and reservations often get changed or cancelled, the importance of keeping track of your PNR is often even more pressing than in the case of air travel.
Fortunately, the process of keeping track of your PNR status is extremely simple today. When booking an e-ticket for a tour train with Indian Railways or the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation – often abbreviated IRCTC – to explore the exciting routes and places in India, you receive a unique 10 digit number (which will appear on your ticket) that will allow you to check your current status and stay informed of any potential changes that may occur at the last moment and that could influence your journey in any unexpected ways.
Using the number you have received, you can get convenient online information on your phone or through a computer, by accessing either the official website of the service provider you got your ticket from or various travel information websites that can provide you with online forms and phone numbers for free to help you gain access to the data you require.
Checking your PNR Status Online
Checking your railway reservation online has never been easier. All you have to do is find a valid travel information website that can access the information from the official Indian Railways database – preferably their actual official website – and by entering your 10-digit PNR number into a simple input field and clicking the “Submit” button, you can check the status of your reservation and often even get specific information regarding the area or zone you’re traveling through.
While not actually storing information from IRCTC or any other Indian service in their own database, websites that provide travel information can still provide you with access to a lot of additional information as well, including train schedules, seat availability and even updated insight on train routes that have recently been modified.
Additionally, you can also get phone numbers that you can dial to get more information, and the travel websites themselves will usually provide you with articles, blog posts and contact forms you may be able to use in order to find answers to questions you can’t normally get anywhere else.
Since Indian railway services typically allow you to get railway reservations up to 90 days in advance, finding an easy way of enquiring about your PNR status may be a very important asset, especially if you are on a tight schedule and you can’t afford to deal with any travel issues.
Other Ways of Submitting Enquiries
If you own a smartphone, a more convenient and mobile way to submit a PNR status enquiry is through mobile apps designed specifically for train travelers.
With a simple download, you can get real time updates on all the information you need, including your PNR, train running status, seat availability, trains running between stations and even train maps that can offer a convenient visual aid. The only thing you have to keep in mind is to check and see if the app covers the railway service you received your ticket from before downloading it.
In case you’re always on the road, and you can’t get to your laptop or you aren’t able to find a place where they provide wireless connections so you can access your PNR status online, there is also the possibility of an SMS service to get the notifications you may need.
Most services will simply require you to enter a certain keyword that describes your intent (for instance “PNR” or “IRPNR”), followed by your 10-digit PNR number. After that, you simply have to wait for the service to access the database and send you an automated reply with the information linked to your itinerary.
As you can see, checking your PNR status through the various technological means available today is far easier than it ever has been, and should you choose to take care of all the details regarding your travel itinerary online, you can avoid many of the potential issues involving the availability of trains, seats or routes, without having to deal with unwanted surprises at the train station.