Explaining What PQWL Means in Indian Railways


When it comes to booking train tickets in India, one may come across various codes and abbreviations that can be confusing for the uninitiated. One such code that often leaves passengers perplexed is PQWL. Understanding what PQWL means in Indian Railways booking system is essential for anyone planning a train journey in the country. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of PQWL, how it differs from other waitlist statuses, what factors affect the chances of confirmation, and some tips to keep in mind while dealing with PQWL tickets.

What is PQWL?

Before we decipher PQWL, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the Indian Railways ticketing system. When all available seats on a train are sold out, passengers can still book tickets on a waitlist. As passengers with confirmed reservations cancel their tickets, these waitlisted tickets move up the queue and get confirmed based on their waitlist status.

Now, PQWL stands for Pooled Quota Wait List. This type of waitlist is linked to intermediate stations on the route of a train. For popular trains that have many stoppages, certain quotas are allocated to specific intermediate stations. Passengers boarding or deboarding at these intermediate stations can book tickets under the pooled quota. If the tickets under the pooled quota are not fully booked, the remaining seats are released to the general waitlist.

Difference Between GNWL, RLWL, and PQWL

To better understand PQWL, let’s differentiate it from two other common waitlist statuses – GNWL and RLWL.

  • GNWL (General Waitlist): This waitlist is for passengers booking tickets from the originating station of the train to a station short of the terminating station.

  • RLWL (Remote Location Wait List): RLWL is specific to intermediate stations on a route. It is for passengers traveling between two intermediate stations, and the quota is fixed for that specific route.

While GNWL is easier to get confirmed since it is linked to the train’s point of origin, RLWL and PQWL are more location-specific and may have lower confirmation chances, depending on the demand for tickets on that particular route.

Factors Affecting PQWL Confirmation

Several factors come into play when it comes to the confirmation of PQWL tickets. Some of the key factors influencing the confirmation chances are:

  1. Number of Cancellations: The more cancellations there are for a particular train, the higher the chances of a PQWL ticket getting confirmed.

  2. Date of Booking: Tickets booked well in advance have a better chance of confirmation compared to those booked closer to the date of the journey.

  3. Travel Route: The popularity of the route, the number of stoppages, and the availability of quotas for intermediate stations all impact the confirmation probabilities of PQWL tickets.

  4. Time of Booking: Booking during peak travel seasons or festivals may reduce the chances of confirmation due to high demand for tickets.

  5. Availability of Seats in Pooled Quota: If many seats are already booked under the pooled quota, the chances of PQWL tickets getting confirmed diminish.

Tips for Dealing with PQWL Tickets

While there is no guaranteed formula for PQWL ticket confirmation, there are some tips that passengers can keep in mind to improve their chances:

  1. Opt for Popular Trains: Trains with higher frequencies and popularity are more likely to have better chances of confirmation for PQWL tickets.

  2. Book in Advance: Whenever possible, try to book tickets well in advance to increase the likelihood of confirmation.

  3. Consider Alternative Routes: If the PQWL status on a particular route seems uncertain, explore alternative trains or routes that have better availability.

  4. Keep Monitoring: Regularly check the status of your PQWL ticket as the journey date approaches. There may be last-minute cancellations that could work in your favor.

  5. Be Flexible: If your PQWL ticket does not get confirmed, be prepared with alternative travel plans to avoid any last-minute hassles.


  1. What happens if my PQWL ticket is not confirmed?

If your PQWL ticket is not confirmed, it will automatically be canceled, and the booking amount will be refunded to your account.

  1. Can I board the train with a PQWL ticket?

No, passengers with PQWL tickets are not allowed to board the train unless their ticket gets confirmed.

  1. How can I check the current status of my PQWL ticket?

You can check the current status of your PQWL ticket on the Indian Railways website or by using various mobile applications that provide real-time updates on ticket status.

  1. Is there a chance of a PQWL ticket getting upgraded to RAC or confirmed status?

Yes, if there are enough cancellations, PQWL tickets can move up the waitlist and get confirmed or at least get upgraded to RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) status.

  1. Are there any chances of a PQWL ticket remaining in the PQWL status even after chart preparation?

Yes, there may be instances where PQWL tickets remain in the waitlist status even after chart preparation. In such cases, passengers can check with the ticket counter authorities for any updates or assistance.

In conclusion, understanding what PQWL means in the context of Indian Railways is essential for passengers to navigate the complexities of the ticketing system. While PQWL tickets may seem uncertain in terms of confirmation, being informed about the factors that influence confirmation chances and following some strategic tips can help passengers plan their train journeys more effectively.

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Kavya Patel
Kavya Patel
Kavya Patеl is an еxpеriеncеd tеch writеr and AI fan focusing on natural languagе procеssing and convеrsational AI. With a computational linguistics and machinе lеarning background, Kavya has contributеd to rising NLP applications.