Reservation Against Cancellations (RAC) Tickets- Everything You Wanted to Know!

Boiking tickets for your up-coming train journey is a hassle task. With ever expanding economy and Indian population, it’s growing tougher day by day to get a confirmed ticket in Indian Railways. Most of us end up with Waiting List (WL), RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) etc. Train reservation system allocated a set of quotas for each of these categories while the booking engine is functioning.

One of the leading curiosities in this regard is around the RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) ticket rules. While you come across hundreds of websites today, that caters the general overview of these rules, no one has really gone forward and taken the pain of explaining them to the general train passengers. As a result this train reservation status still has many unknown areas for the common populace. So, we thought of clearing your RAC related doubts through a series of questions and more importantly their answers.

How many seats are kept reserved under RAC PNR status in a normal express train?

Here’re some brief details on number of seats that are reserved under RAC quota:

  • Taking the Old Coach model as our reference, any normal express train accommodates 142 passengers under the RAC quota. Let us explain, taking Sleeper coaches as our guide: on a general level any express train has 12 Sleeper coaches. There are 72 seats in each of the 12 Sleeper coaches, making the total number of available seats 864 (72X12). In an express train, the total berths reserved under the RAC quota are 71. Each of these 71 berths will be shared by a couple of people, so the total RAC accommodation capacity of a train is conventionally 142 (71X2).


Are you authorized to travel on a RAC ticket?

In more than 95% of cases you can be sure of making a journey, though you might have to share the berth with another person. As you know, passengers with RAC PNR status are allocated the side lower seats on a two person sharing basis. If, at the point of journey, your ticket does not get confirmed and there are no other vacancies you can go ahead a complete the journey using this shared berth. But there is one exception to this rule, that is what we would answer in the next question.

Can a RAC ticket be moved to Wait list?

Yes, though it rarely happens, but a RAC ticket can be moved to wait list. Such a step could be taken when some coaches are unavailable or there is a scarcity of seats. Suppose there are 12 Sleeper coaches in a train and 1 among these coaches develops a technical issue, then your RAC ticket might be demoted to Wait List. This step would be taken to accommodate the confirmed ticket passengers with one less coach.

Are there any categories in RAC tickets?

Though not apparently, there is an Emergency Quota valid within the RAC ticket bracket. The Emergency Quota would be used to accommodate wait list bookings by VIPs, railway staff, etc. The Emergency Quota is also given a higher preference when RAC bookings are queued for Confirmation.

Does RAC ticket confirmation always follow the serial numbers?

No, not in all instances! As you see there are Emergency Quotas in RAC. So, while RAC 1 should be the first to be confirmed, at rare times one of the tickets from lower serial order of RAC may be confirmed due to EQ.

If you have a RAC ticket, are you always allotted Side Lower berth seats?

That is the general norm. However, when the Confirmed ticket cancellations are high, passengers with RAC ticket can also be allotted Middle or Upper berths. But this seldom happens.

Why some passengers on RAC tickets are allowed Solo Berths?

At times you may find that a person with RAC ticket gets a solo berth, without the general convention of sharing. Such a pleasant surprise may come when the person allotted the same seat gets ticket confirmed at the last moment and there is no time for re-allocation.

What is meant by RAC 15/RAC 9?

Many people are confused by such a status. It means when you started the booking process you were at RAC 15, but during the process 6 more tickets were canceled, so you moved up to RAC 9 under the Indian railway PNR status.

If two persons are traveling on the same PNR with status RAC 3 and 4, will they be allotted the same seat?

It may or may not happen. However, Indian Railways generally tries to accommodate tickets with same PNR number in the same space. So, you may share the same seats.

Can the Confirmation chances of a RAC ticket be predicted?

Although prediction is never guaranteed, there are certain player in this field who ascertain confirmation based on past cancellation and confirmation trends over a period of time.

Can we Book Food In Trains while Traveling with RAC ticket?

Every passenger who has a valid PNR can book food in train. The food bookings can be done either via Website, App or on call.

Can I cancel RAC Ticket?

One can cancel RAC e-Tickets upto 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train. No refund is permissible after that.

In case you have added suggestion or information we might have missed to include here, you may share with us in the comments.

Reservation Against Cancellations (RAC) Tickets- Everything You Wanted to Know!

Amit Roy

Amit is a Digital Marketing & Alliance Strategist at Railrestro. He is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. He knows his stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime. In short he’s the buzz creator over digital platforms for every business verticals he handles and help the client achieve their target ROI.

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