Insights into simplifying train travel

RAC ticket rules you never knew before!

Indian railways rules and regulations are nothing short of a chapter straight out of those thrilling novels. Just like those novels, the more you try reading into these rules more you get confused. 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.


ALSO READ: Tips to Book Tatkal tickets, Seat allocation for Senior Citizens 

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

 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?

RAC PNR Status

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?

RAC PNR status

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?

Yes, it definitely can be predicted and that is what we do here at RailYatri. In order to show proper predictions we carry out a detailed analysis of the rush, cancellation history and train’s on-time performance, among other factors.

Hope we have answered some questions about the RAC tickets. If you have any suggestions, views or queries please do write back to us.

21 thoughts on “RAC ticket rules you never knew before!

  1. Mehul Gadhia-


    Why railway is charging full amount on RAC ticket to both the passenger
    RCA traveller should get half refund after the journey is completed in RAC status.

    Please suggest..


    Nowadays travelling in Indian train became more complicated like Indian politics, just right from the year of 2014 it you should learn the vast rule book before riding a train which has a limited facilities for the travellers, It’s not fair.

  3. Anway Pahari

    If 3 people are travelling by one ticket and the ticket destination is also same for all of them. But two people want to get down in another station before their actual destination and they have xerox copy of ticket then what rule applicable for them?

  4. O.P. khandelwal

    Please let me confirm, is there any difference in tickets buy from window and/ or book on line ? In allocation of RAC seats
    It is learnt that if tickets book on line as RAC , are not allowed to travels in train n will be treated as without ticket.


    Can we transfer the confirmed tkt to relative or friends if a passenger has cancelled his/her bkg

    1. RailYatri

      Hi Ma’am
      Yes If you are holding a confirmed ticket and are unable to travel, your ticket can be transferred to your family members– father, mother, own brother, Own sister, son, daughter, husband or wife but not friends. To transfer your ticket, you must submit your request at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled departure of the train.


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