Exploring the Meaning of RAC in Indian Railways


The Indian Railways is an extensive network that connects the length and breadth of the country, providing transportation to millions of passengers every day. The Railways Administration in India is divided into various zones, each responsible for a particular geographical region. One of the crucial aspects of the Indian Railways system is the concept of RAC, which stands for Reservation Against Cancellation. Understanding RAC in Indian Railways is essential for passengers who frequently travel by train, as it can impact their journey significantly.

What is RAC in Indian Railways?

RAC in Indian Railways is a unique system that allows passengers to book tickets even after the seats in a coach are full. RAC essentially means that a passenger is guaranteed a seat on the train, although it might not be a fully-confirmed berth. When a passenger books an RAC ticket, they are provided with a seat number and a shared berth that needs to be shared with another RAC ticket holder.

How does RAC work in Indian Railways?

The Indian Railways system allocates two passengers to the same berth in case of RAC tickets. As the journey progresses, there is a possibility that some passengers cancel their tickets or do not show up for the journey. In such cases, the RAC ticket holders may get a full berth each, depending on the number of cancellations or no-shows.

Advantages of RAC tickets

  • Assured Travel: RAC tickets guarantee a seat on the train, even if it is not a fully confirmed berth.
  • Higher Chances of Confirmation: RAC tickets have a higher probability of getting confirmed compared to waiting list tickets.
  • Flexibility: RAC passengers have the flexibility to board the train and not worry about seat availability.

Disadvantages of RAC tickets

  • Shared Berth: One of the drawbacks of RAC tickets is that passengers have to share a single berth with another passenger.
  • Uncertainty: Until the chart preparation, RAC ticket holders do not know if their ticket will be confirmed or not.

Difference between RAC and Waiting List

While both RAC and waiting list tickets imply that the ticket is not fully confirmed, there is a distinct difference between the two. In the case of RAC tickets, passengers are guaranteed a seat on the train, even though it might be shared with another passenger. However, in the case of waiting list tickets, passengers do not have a reserved seat on the train and can only board if their ticket gets confirmed post chart preparation.

RAC Allocation Process

The allocation of RAC tickets is done by the Indian Railways system based on cancellations and other factors. If a fully confirmed berth is available due to cancellations, the RAC ticket holders are accommodated in those berths on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Tips for RAC Passengers

  • Board Early: To ensure a smoother allocation of berths, RAC passengers should try to board the train early.
  • Carry Necessary Supplies: As RAC passengers might have to share berths, it's advisable to carry essential supplies like beddings and toiletries.
  • Check PNR Status: Keeping track of the PNR status can give RAC passengers an idea of their chances of confirmation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can RAC tickets be upgraded to a fully confirmed berth?
  2. Yes, RAC tickets can be upgraded to a fully confirmed berth if there are cancellations or unoccupied berths on the train.

  3. What happens if both RAC passengers do not show up for the journey?

  4. In case both RAC passengers do not show up, the berths are allocated to passengers on the waiting list based on priority.

  5. Is the RAC system prevalent in all classes of travel on Indian Railways?

  6. Yes, the RAC system is available in all classes of travel on Indian Railways, including Sleeper Class, AC 3 Tier, AC 2 Tier, etc.

  7. Can RAC tickets be booked online?

  8. Yes, RAC tickets can be booked online through the Indian Railways reservation portal.

  9. Is it possible to know the status of an RAC ticket before chart preparation?

  10. Yes, passengers can check the status of their RAC ticket through the PNR status enquiry on the Indian Railways website or app.

In conclusion, RAC in Indian Railways is a beneficial system that ensures passengers have a seat on the train, even if it is not a fully confirmed berth. Understanding the nuances of RAC tickets can help passengers plan their journeys better and navigate the Indian Railways system effectively.

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