All Indian Railway tickets have ticket status printed on them. Sometimes one see status as GNWL, which is followed by some number, and wonders what it means. This is explained in detail below.

GNWL: stands for General Waiting List. When it is not possible to allot a confirmed seat to a passenger at the time of ticket booking, due to all available seats being already occupied or booked, he is queued up in a waiting list of passengers by the railway's Passenger Reservation System (PRS). As and when the accommodation becomes available in train, by means of ticket cancellation by other passengers having a confirmed ticket, or by means of railway attaching extra coach in train seeing the number of waitlisted passengers, a confirm seat may be allotted. Again, the seat allotted can be full seat or a partial seat (where it needs to be shared by another passenger).

general queue of waiting passengers
happy passengers whose railway ticket status changed from 'GNWL' to 'Confirmed'

The general waiting list is the most common type of waiting list. This waiting list has the best chance of getting cleared among all the other waiting lists of railway i.e. passenger has the best chance of seat confirmation under it. There are generally two numbers that follows GNWL or WL on a railway ticket. The first number indicates the position in waiting queue at the time of ticket booking, while the second number indicates the latest status.

General Waiting List (GNWL) waitlisted tickets are issued when the passenger begins his/her journey at the originating station of a route or stations close to the originating station.

The status of the railway ticket can be checked online anytime. To check the passenger reservation status or ticket status one can go to pnr status check page.

One must note, as per railway reservation rules, in case the waiting list status of the ticket does not change to 'Confirmed' or 'RAC', even by the time train chart is prepared, a person having such ticket should not board the train.

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