July 6, 2020

RAC Means-RAC meaning- RAC means in Railway- All about RAC ticket

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RAC means reservation against cancellation, the meaning of RAC is reservation against cancellation or RAC means in Indian Railway is reservation against cancellation.

Some people do not have proper knowledge about the RAC quota ticket; sometimes, they consider wrong about his RAC ticket. Some people think its a confirm ticket as the birth number and bogie number is mentioned on the printed card.

and some times some people consider it as a waiting list ticket and cancels his/ her journey ticket. So proper knowledge of what RAC means can help you to complete your journey comfortably.

So here will explain in simple words what RAC means or RAC meaning or RAC meaning in Indian Railway. All about RAC tickets on the Indian railway.


rac means
RAC means


It seems so simple that the RAC ticket means reservation against cancellation, which means if someone cancels his confirm ticket, the ticket in RAC gets confirmed. Under RAC reservation, one side lower birth is provided to two passengers.
So on one side lower berth, two passengers will be allowed to board the train. But this is not so simple. It has a complex working. To understand RAC well, we have to follow the following questions well.types of waiting list ticket

  • why RAC ticket is being given
  • which class in railway will have RAC quota
  • what happens if one does not travel with RAC ticket
  • Drawbacks of RAC ticket
  • other benefits of RAC ticket
rac means
RAC means

Types of WL- waiting list ticket- 

Every train in India is having different types of Quata. Usually, long-distance running trains are having fixed no. of seats in each class, as they are running with the maximum number of bogies or compartments one train can carry.

Significant of Railway stations in India have the length to handle a maximum of 24 bogies or compartments, so the railway can not increase the bogies number in any train according to the demand.

Here come the waiting list and reservation against cancellation formula so that the train can run at full capacity, and the maximum number of passengers can get a chance to board the train.

GNWL- General waiting list- this Quota has the maximum number of seats, and it starts with the train start station. the chances of ticket confirmation very high in the GNWL ticket.

RLWL- Remote location waiting list- this Quota has less number of seats, and it belongs to the journey start station comes on the way of the train route. the chances of ticket confirmation are less than GNWL.

PQWL- Pooled quota waiting list- one Pooled quota waiting list ticket is given in each train for the entire run. Many small stations on the route share it. So the chances of ticket confirmation are very-very low. 

RSWL- Roadside station waiting list– Roadside waiting list ticket is generally given on a long route and famous train. Such as Rajdhani Express and others. the journey should start from the train originating station and end at the roadside station. the number of seats under this Quota is very less, so the chances of ticket confirmation are very less.

types of waiting list ticket

Why RAC ticket is being given- 

RAC means Reservation Against Cancellation, so a question that is asked in common, why is an RAC ticket given?

So the answer is that some extra passengers can get a chance to board the train and the railways can also earn some extras.

Under the RAC quota, each seat has to be shared by two passengers. Under this, two people are allotted in AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier and in Sleeper class.

side lower seat in AC two-tier. This side lower seat can seat 2 people if traveling. If TTE gets an empty berth, then he can shift one of these two passengers to that empty berth.

RAC quota seat is issued only after the general quota seat is over. In almost all trains that have AC two Tier,  AC three-tier and Sleeper class, tickets are made under RAC quota.

For example, the Coro Mandal Express runs from Howrah to Chennai every day. If there are 1000 seats for General Quota in this train,

then almost RAC quota will have 50 seats. RAC quota seats will be given only after the general quota of all 1000 seats is over.

So 50 RAC quota seats are on this train, 100 passengers will be given, so this means that 100 people will be able to board the train on those 50 berths. (as you know by the rule of Indian Railway passengers those who are having a ticket in the waiting list at the time of final chart preparation are not allowed to board the train.).

so all passengers who are having a RAC ticket after final chart preparation are allowed to board the train and can share his/her birth with one more fellow passenger.

so the main purpose of providing RAC tickets to passengers is to run the train on full capacity and get extra revenue. at the time of ticket booking, those passengers are given RAC tickets may get a confirm birth before charting if any ticket in general quota is getting canceled.

or at the time of chart preparation if the seats in different quota such as – defense quota, staff quota, and others not filled. 

so till final chart preparation if your ticket got confirmed you will get a confirmation SMS, before 4 hours of your train departure. or else you have to board your train with RAC ticket.

in this case also most of the time you will get a confirm seat as you or the fellow passenger on your birth will be provided a separate birth by TTE after checking the ticket of all passengers.

the TTE will provide you the seat of those passengers who have not turned up. In many cases, some passengers are not boarding the train because of a last-minute change of plan. Some passengers miss his / her train due to unexpected traffic jams or unexpected strikes also.
So these seats will not go vacant, and the railway will get extra revenue. after train departure, the ticket examiner officer will provide the empty seats to RAC passengers according to their RAC status. Now the passenger is missing from any quota; the places will be given to the RAC passengers only.
Now imagine the situation if there were no RAC tickets, so no extra passenger in the train as waiting list passengers are not allowed to board the train.
Online booked WL tickets will get canceled automatically, and the fare amount will be refunded in the bank account if not confirmed or at least not got the RAC status.
Here loss of revenue will occur. A full birth will be vacant for the entire journey, that would have given to some passenger in need. Because of RAC, some extra passengers were able to travel, and the railway also able to get some additional revenue.

Which class in Railway will have a RAC quota?

in Indian Railway Sleeper class, ac 3 tier, and ac 2 tier have RAC quota in almost all express and mail trains. no RAC quota in AC first class and all Tatkal quota bookings. no RAC quota in all Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, and double-decker express trains.

What happens if any passenger with a RAC ticket does not travel? 

  1. if any passenger who is having a RAC ticket after final chart preparation and not willing to travel because of any reason, he can cancel his /her ticket from any of the booking counters if booked offline. 60 rupees will be charged as a cancelation charge in all classes.
  2. if a ticket is being booked online you can not cancel the ticket once the final chart is being prepared. in this case you have to fine TDR on the IRCTC website. same cancelation charges will be imposed in online mode also. 
  3.  if only one passenger turned up on any RAC birth his ticket will get confirmed automatically. if both passengers do not board the train some other RAC passengers will be given this birth. so in maximum cases, all passengers with RAC seats get a confirmed seat.

check the full detail- RAC ticket cancellation charges and conditions-click here

Drawbacks of RAC tickets- 

over a lot of benefits of RAC tickets, some drawbacks are also there- 

  • In some cases, no vacant birth found by the ticket examiner, so two passengers have to travel. During night time, it’s very uncomfortable for both passengers as you will not get birth to sleep. 
  • If the other passenger sharing birth with you is not a gentleman, you have to face a lot of problems, as he will not cooperate in seating.
  • Keeping the luggage of three passengers below one birth is also a problem, as the luggage of two RAC passengers and one person on the upper side birth will be kept together.
  • For single ladies passengers, it’s not comfortable to share a birth with an unknown person.
  • If you have booked your ticket from the booking counter, you have to visit any of the nearby booking counters again to get your refund.
  • If the final position of your ticket is RAC and you decide not to travel on RAC ticket, and you have made this booking online, you can not cancel it, and you have to file a TDR only. the TTE on the train after train departure will confirm Railway that you have not traveled, then only you will get your refund. This process will take at least 5 to 10 days. In some worst cases, passengers have not reached their return because of corruption bt TTE.

Other benefits of RAC ticket- 

you can save a lot if you are booking a ticket on the famous trains having Dynamic pricing such as Rajdhani Express.  or Shatabdi express.  

note- you can book RAC tickets only after all general quota seats will be booked and before the waiting list quota will start.

benefits of RAC ticket
benefits of RAC ticket


if you are not 100 percent sure about your travel plan. chances are there that you may travel or you may not. at this moment if you are getting a ticket under RAC quota, you should book.

so that at the last moment you will have both options. if you want to travel you have a ticket and if you don’t want to travel, you can cancel it and only some rupees of cancellation charges will be imposed. you will get an almost full refund.                                                                                                                                                       

 note- if you don’t want to travel, and want to cancel your RAC ticket, you should cancel it before the chart preparation, as the chances of getting RAC ticket confirmation are very high. once your ticket will confirm you will get a few amounts only after your ticket cancellation.

it reduces the chances of corruption, as the vacant seats should be provided to the RAC passengers on a priority basis. so TTE can not do any corruption in that list. he will not provide these seats to any other person by making extra money.

Having a RAC ticket- one should travel or not.


If you have a RAC ticket and you are in doubt that you should travel or not. the answer depends on several factors. By law, you are allowed to go.

Now it’s up to you.
Usually, RAC ticket holders are getting a confirm separate seat within two hours of travel. So generally it’s preferable to travel.

If you have some other better option, then you can cancel your plan, or if you have extra luggage with you, then also you should rethink your traveling with the RAC ticket.

up to what time the RAC status of the ticket can change? 

Till the final chart preparation, the RAC status of your Railway ticket can change. the final chart prepares before 4 hours of scheduled train departure. if the train schedule is after 12 am at night or in the early morning then the chart will prepare by 9 PM itself.

check the current status of your ticket- click here

note.- the chart of any train will prepare according to the actual scheduled departure of the train. if any train delayed because of any reason then also the chart will prepare before 4 hours of actual departure only. 

No. of RAC seats in a train-

the number of RAC seats on any train is not fixed. it depends on certain factors like- type of train (express or Mail), the distance that train covers, the demand for tickets on that train and the number of bogies in each class.

usually, when there will be no crowd and the demand for tickets of any train is low, only a few RAC tickets issued by Indian Railway. as the RAC tickets are being provided in AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, sleeper class, the number of RAC tickets in all these classes increases or decreases mainly according to the demand for tickets.

when there is less crowd then the number of RAC seats in AC 2 tier is 20, but it also depends on the number of bogies and side lower berths in that bogies. during high demand, it will go up to 40.

similarly, in AC 3 tier the maximum number of RAC tickets in any train depends on the no. of 3 AC bogies and side lower berths. so this number will be approximately up to 50, but during high demand, it will reach up to even 100.

In sleeper class when there won’t be a huge crowd, then the number of RAC seats will be up to 100. and during high demand, it will increase up to 200.

rac in railway
RAC in railway

RAC ticket confirmation chances-RAC means

RAC ticket confirmation chances are always high. Your RAC ticket can get confirmed before chart preparation or even after chart preparation also. if your RAC ticket getting confirmed at the time of final chart preparation, you will get a confirmation SMS.

after chart preparation, if your ticket status is RAC, you can board the train with your seat number. after train departure, the TTE will provide you or your co-passenger a separate berth. so this way your ticket got a confirmation even after train departure. chances of getting a separate berth are also high but depend on the crowd in that.

during festive seasons crowd the chances of RAC ticket confirmation are very low.

RAC Means FAQs

Can RAC Get confirmed?

Chances of getting an RAC ticket confirmed are very high. 

As soon as a passenger who had a confirmed ticket cancels his ticket, the ticket of the RAC status passenger is confirmed first.

Even at the time of chart preparation, prioritization is given to the RAC people, if any seat is left vacant for any quota, then it is given to the RAC only such as defense quota, medical quota, MP quota, etc.

As is the rule now, RAC tickets can be canceled up to 30 minutes before the train departure, so if some RAC passengers took the decision not to travel and canceled their tickets, then that seat is also available to passengers with RAC quota ticket.

Even after starting the journey, if an empty berth is found, the ticket or seat of the RAC passenger gets confirmed.


Which is better RAC or Waiting list?

A RAC ticket is much better than a waiting list ticket.

whether the ticket is a confirmation chance or the right to travel, if you have a RAC ticket then you are in advantage.

You can travel on a train by taking an RAC ticket whereas with waiting list tickets you are not allowed to board the train.
At the same time, if you want to cancel your ticket, then you have to pay the same charge on both the RAC and the waiting list.

If you have a RAC ticket, you can plan your journey but with a Waiting list ticket you can not, You do not know if your ticket will be confirmed or not.


What is RAC Ticket?

RAC means Reservation Against Cancellation.

Meaning when a ticket is canceled, your ticket will be confirmed.

Under RAC, two passengers are allowed to sit at 1 berth of side lower.


How Many RAC Tickets are confirmed?

There is no fixed number of seats to be confirmed under RAC.

Depends on how many people have canceled their confirmed ticket or different types of quota, such as defense quota, MP quota, medical quota seats are left vacant. 


How many RAC seats are there in the sleeper class?

There is no fixed rule on how many seats will be in the sleeper class under the RAC quota.

But as you know that only side lower seats can be given under RAC quota, then if a train has 10 bogies of Sleeper class then it will have less than 90 RAC quota seats.

Each sleeper class bogey has 9 sides lower seats, but some seats are reserved under TTE and other quotas, so you can estimate the RAC seats of the sleeper class of a train.


Which Ticket gets Confirmed first?

The seats which are under RAC quota are first confirmed even before the seats of the Tatkal quota.


Is online RAC ticket valid for the journey?


even if you have taken your RAC ticket online, you are still permitted to travel on the train.

Even after the final chart preparation, if your ticket status remains RAC, you are still allowed to travel.

In case of online tickets, the problem is with the waiting list, if their ticket status remains waiting list at the time of final chart preparation, then the ticket will be automatically canceled and refund will be processed in their account.

RAC Means related important topics- 

which Ticket is better, RAC or Tatkal?

All about RAC- watch this Video

RAC Full-Form– Visit this website

RAC Full form in Hindi– Visit this website

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