In a railway station, it is a common scenario for passengers looking in the reservation charts to know the confirmation status of the tickets. Railways open tickets for booking four months before the scheduled departure of the train. If the trains happen to be running through the busy routes, a majority of the passengers opt for advanced reservations of their travel tickets. But unlike others, a large number of passengers book tickets a few days before the journey. Hence, such passengers will have travel tickets either in the waitlist category or the RAC tickets.
To get to know the final status of their travel tickets, they need to wait for the train charting. Indian Railways makes final reservation charts only four hours prior to the scheduled departure of the trains. Once the final chart gets prepared, the waitlist and RAC travel tickets might get confirmed. Hence, the passengers keep on checking their PNR status from time to time, hoping for travel ticket confirmation.
Indian Railways has introduced a new feature called PNR probability, where passengers would be able to know the probable confirmation status of their booked travel tickets. With this feature, one can stay informed whether to book or not book a ticket at the time of booking itself rather than buying a waitlisted ticket and wait for the confirmation. Not only that, but they can also use this information beforehand prior to booking journey tickets. Whatever may be the case, the passengers with RAC and Waitlist status have to wait for the final chart prepared by Indian railways to know their train ticket confirmation.
A passenger who has booked a ticket online on IRCTC and if the status of the ticket remains in waitlist even after chart preparation, then he is not eligible for boarding the train. These tickets get automatically canceled within a week’s time, and the amount after deduction of clerkage charges would be refunded to the passengers. But before that, one must be well aware of the refund rules of the Indian Railways. In this article, we discuss in detail about the train charting, final chart preparation, train chart online, and more.
Table of Contents
What is the Train Chart?
A train chart is a confirmation record of all the passengers who are eligible to board and travel in the train. The train chart features comprehensive information of the passengers that include:
- Train No
- Coach Number
- Seat/berth number
Although the passengers check their confirmation status online using the PNR Number, they further wait for the arrival of the train. The train charts featuring the details are usually pasted at the entrances of all the compartments of the train. Besides, the reservation charts are also pasted on the reservation boards present in the railway stations. These passengers further do a recheck, and after finding their name on the list, they then board the train. Also, many passengers are seen flocking towards the TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) who has a bunch of reservation charts. Many of the RAC and waitlisted passengers enquire with the TTE to know the confirmation status of their journey tickets. Further, TTE has the right to fill in the empty seats/berths in the trains that are left unfilled due to last-minute ticket cancellations, missing the train and many other factors.
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Messages and Their Meanings in Train Charts
Every passenger who makes a reservation via offline railway counters or through IRCTC online will be provided with a PNR number. Passengers with waitlist and RAC status keep on checking their PNR Status from time to time. In such circumstances, you might have come across messages such as “Chart Prepared,” “Chart is not yet Prepared,” and so on. Let’s check in detail the underlying meanings behind such messages.
Message: Chart Prepared
Whenever a passenger encounters a message such as “Chart Prepared” when checking the PNR status, it means that the final chart is prepared and finalised. The final chart comprises the list of eligible passengers for boarding the train. The final chart is usually prepared 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. When the final chart is prepared, the passenger waitlist and the RAC status might be upgraded and get a confirmed berth/seat number.
Message: Final Chart Not Yet Prepared
When the charting status means “Final Chart not yet prepared,” then there is a probability of the waitlisted or RAC tickets getting confirmed. Before the final chart preparation, there are a whole lot of factors to consider, such as the RAC adjustment, Tatkal seat confirmation, quota seat placement, and so on are yet to be finalised.
Final Charting Time for Different Trains
In Indian Railways, a final chart is prepared four hours before the scheduled departure of the train. Let’s check out the charting times for morning trains, evening trains, and midnight trains. The final chart is not final since there would further be a 30 minutes update before boarding the train at the source station. Hence, the passengers can wait for upto this time before making any changes to their travel plans.
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Final Charting time for Morning Trains
For trains that are scheduled to depart from 12 am in the morning to 11 am in the next day, the final chart is prepared at 8 pm on the previous day before the scheduled departure of the train. There is an exception to the general rule wherein the final chart is prepared four hours before the scheduled departure of the train. The main reason is to keep the passengers informed well in advance about their waitlist and RAC status.
Final Charting time for Evening Trains
For evening trains, the final chart preparation is prepared as usual 3-4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train at the originating station.
Final Charting Time for Midnight Trains
The final chart for the midnight trains is prepared at 8 pm on the previous day, i.e., the closing time of the previous day.
New Facilities in IRCTC
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has introduced a new facility in Indian Railways. The passengers can now check for the vacant seats/berths in the coaches in real-time and can make a booking at the instant. The facility titled “Public Viewing of Train Charts and Vacant Berths” is available on the IRCTC website and offers the real-time accommodation status of the train coach. You can find the graphical representation of the coaches and berth wise accommodation status on the train. The facility displays 120 different coach layouts and coach layout of the nine classes present in the reserved trains. The customers then use the information to make booking real-time or can approach TTE for the same.
Linking PNRs for a Connecting Train Journey
Now the passengers travelling in Indian Railways can connect two PNRs for a connecting journey. It is applicable for reservation tickets purchased via IRCTC or through the railway counters. As per this rule, if a passenger travelling in a train misses the connecting train due to delay in the running of the first train, then the train fare for the first train is retained. The other amount corresponding to the untravelled train is refunded to the passenger.
Hand-held Terminals (HHT) in Premium Trains
Indian Railways has introduced a new facility called Hand-held terminals (HHT) in Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains. It allows the passengers to book tickets even after the preparation of second charts, i.e., 30 mins before the scheduled departure of the train. It enables the waitlisted and RAC passengers to get the confirmed tickets. The TTE, while checking the tickets of the passengers in a running train, can update the status of seats/berths that remain unoccupied on the tablet device. The vacant berths can, therefore, be allotted to the RAC or the Waitlist passengers.
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