Train Stuff in India

everything you need to know about train travel in India

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Will my waitlisted ticket get confirmed?

There is absolutely no guarantee that a ticket on the waitlist will get confirmed.  When you buy a waitlisted ticket, you do so with the knowledge that you might not be able to travel on that train in the end.   If you buy a waitlisted ticket, you should always have a backup option in hand.

Having said this, I’ll now help you figure out whether the particular waitlisted ticket you have will get confirmed.  It is commonly believed, though not quite correct, that a low waitlist number will definitely get confirmed and a high waitlist number won’t.  I certainly cannot argue that a high waitlist position (like 200) is better than a low waitlist position (like 5), but there are many other factors that need to be taken into account, like the class you’re travelling, the total quota for your sector, the type of waitlist you have, how frequently your train runs, whether you’re travelling over a weekend or around a big festival, and the number of “hidden” quotas that might help you later.  If you're particularly interested in figuring these out to gauge your ticket's chances, read this article - though be warned, it is quite technical.

This is, however, quite a lot of information to consider, and if you don’t have the time (or desire!) to calculate all this, I can suggest an easy way out.  Two online fora – India Rail Info and Indiamike –allow you to post your ticket details online and have experienced members of the website ‘predict’ whether your PNR will get confirmed.  India Rail Info has a much larger crowd of PNR ‘predictors’, and you can use the general trends to figure out how confident people are of your ticket getting confirmed.  Indiamike’s advantage is that you’re likely to get more detailed responses to your query, including why the predictors feel your ticket is likely to get confirmed or remain waitlisted.

India Rail Info

To get your PNR predicted on India Rail Info, go to and enter your PNR number in the box (highlighted).

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Click on the "Prediction/Analysis/Trip Diary" button after entering your PNR number.  A box will pop up with details of your ticket:

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If the information is correct, click on the "Post PNR for Prediction/Trip Diary" button.  Your PNR will be posted for other members to predict, though your PNR number is never revealed to other members.  The highlighted area in the image below summarises the overall opinion on your ticket.  In this case, everybody thinks my ticket will confirm, though I have my doubts...

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Navigate to the Railway subforum on the Indiamike website here and go to the thread, "Post your waitlist questions here ONLY" (highlighted)

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Read the message on how to post and reply to the thread with your query.

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A word of advice here – PNR prediction is hardly an exact science and it is almost impossible to know for sure how a ticket will progress down the waitlist.  The railways often spring huge surprises in which seemingly hopeless tickets have magically gotten confirmed, and tickets that seemed a surety to get confirmed remaining on the dreaded waitlist once the train’s chart was prepared.  People on these websites take time to analyse your query for no material gain, and if their predictions go wrong, it's in particularly bad taste to hold a grudge against them.

Last updated on 14 November 2013.