Breaking Down The PNR Number of Indian Railways: What, How, Why?

PNR Number of Indian Railways

Ever wondered how the 10 digit PNR number you get from IRCTC – Indian Railways ticket is generated? Or what do the digits indicate? What is PNR? or What is PNR’s meaning? Or basically why do we even need PNR?

I had the same set of questions. I Googled extensively and tried to find the answers. Learnt many new things about the railway reservation system. Read along to boost your knowledge too…

The PNR – Passenger Name Record: It’s Meaning and Status In Journey

In the airline and travel industries, a passenger name record (PNR) is a record in the database of a computer reservation system (CRS) that has the itinerary for a passenger, or a group of passengers travelling together. The concept of a PNR was first introduced by airlines that needed to exchange reservation information in case passengers required flights of multiple airlines to reach their destination (‘interlining’).

Talking in the context of Indian Railways, PNR number is a unique pointer to a record in the railway database. The record pointed by PNR contains comprehensive journey details. The details may include:

  • Passenger Details (Name, Age, Sex, Birth Preference)
  • Ticket Details (Train No, Date, From, To, Boarding Station, Reservation Upto, Class, Birth, Quota)
  • Transaction / Payment Details (Transaction ID, Payment Mode, Ticket Charge)

The Story Of 10 Digits

Now that we know about what the PNR is and why it’s used, let’s go further and break down the specifics.

First 3 Digits

They tell us from which PRS the ticket has been booked. (PRS: Passenger Reservation System. Developed by CRIS, PRS is a total networking solution to Indian Railways Passenger Reservation System.)

The PNR numbers’ starting digit does not depend on the PRS from which it has been booked.

It depends upon: Zone of the Train, w.r.t. starting station of the train.

1SCRSecunderabad PRS
2, 3NR, NCR, NWR, NERNew Delhi PRS
4, 5SR, SWR, SCRChennai PRS
6, 7NFR, ECR, ER, ECoR, SER, SECRCalcutta PRS
8, 9CR, WCR, WRMumbai PRS

e.g. If a ticket is booked in Rajdhani Express (Mumbai to New Delhi), as the starting station is Mumbai, PNR will start from 8.

The subsequent 2 digits detail specific PRS in the zone.

e.g. If you book from Dadar PRS center, it can be 57 (For an example only). For Ahmedabad, it may be 24.
To sum up, if the first 3 digits are 824, then it says that the zone is either CR, WCR or WR and the PRS center is Ahmedabad.

Last 7 Digits

They are randomly generated numbers using the Rand() function. They represent no information about the ticket or journey. This is done to make the PNR number unique.

One can check status of PNR number of website. Also at every major stations, PNR stats checking counters are available.

Passanger name record number lasts minimum 9 month as the TDR filed can take maximum of 9 months. It then flushed out from the database.

(Normally) The digits of PNR become meaningless. However, PNR details may not be available for the general public once the journey gets over for privacy and security concerns of passengers.

How to Check Status of PNR Number

Indian Railways maintains PNR as the single point of transaction. IRCTC updates PNR status as and when required. For instance, when your ticket gets confirmed. You can also check PNR status.

So, next time when you book a ticket, have a glance at the first digit. And yes, you’re a pro Indian Railways traveler now! 🙂

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23 Comments on "Breaking Down The PNR Number of Indian Railways: What, How, Why?"

Manohar Patel
Manohar Patel

Very useful information Thxs


Nice Information, very useful. Should be share to more people so everybody will know about it


On the ticket it should be printed on data’s are one line that means no view of any details of,pls forward of my ticket random number because of modification of ticket..
Pnr no :4750619783

Jitendra Kumar Gupta
Jitendra Kumar Gupta

My pnr no. 2710730613 passenger name details pls 2 name match nahi Kar rahe he pls help me

Sanju Rana
Sanju Rana

how to make reservation from bhuj city to amritsar


I have booked a ticket from the rly counter . The PNR No cited in it is not legible. I sit possible to get the confirmatioin through the ticket no cited in the ticket

Akhil Kumar Saxena
Akhil Kumar Saxena

Thanks Darpan

Satish Khemani
Satish Khemani

Please let me know when can I know that my ticket is confirm or not?
I have booked ticket and having PNR number but If I did’t get cornfirm ticket then I have to book from bus, so when I will know about confirming so that I can plan further jurney.
FYI please, there is showing “W/L 1,PQWL” as PNR status, and also I want to know that will I get SMS from Railway for confirming ticket.


can i guess the pnr no. by knowing the seat and coach details

K Govind Raj
K Govind Raj

Thanks for clearing my doubt/s.


Thanks for such nice information.
Keep updating more on Indian Railway.

Your way of explaining the whole thing in this article
is really pleasant, every one be able to easily know it, Thanks a lot.

Bhavya Gandhi
Bhavya Gandhi

Wow !! Amazing to know about this hidden fact of PNR . Keep unlocking the secrets !!