Anyone who's traveled quite a bit on trains in India has no doubt had an Indian Railways waitlist ticket. The waitlist facility allows you to book a ticket but you aren't supposed to board the train unless there are enough cancellations to at least get RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) status. But how do you know if you will? Or how do you know if you will get a confirmed ticket?
Unfortunately, it's actually really hard to predict. Some trains have more cancellations than others. In addition, some compartments (such as sleeper and 3A) have more beds than others. Not knowing if you'll be able to travel makes it hard to plan the rest of your trip.
However, there is an easy way to find out the likelihood of your waitlist ticket being confirmed (or even advancing to RAC status). And it's fast, free, and reliable.
Here's what you do:
- Go to this India Rail Info website and sign up.
- Go to the PNR Forum tab.
- Enter your PNR (passenger reservation number) where specified and click on "Post PNR for Prediction/Analysis".
It will automatically retrieve the details of your booking and post them on the forum. There's a huge experienced membership who have made hundreds and thousands of predictions (with a 75% accuracy) about whether tickets will be confirmed. When I posted my booking details, I got a response from 5 different people in 5-10 minutes.
The website is a fantastic source of information about Indian Railways trains (including delays and arrival times), so you're likely to find it helpful in many situations.