Understanding RLWL and GNWL in Indian Railways: What You Need to Know.



Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks in the world, catering to millions of passengers daily. To manage the immense passenger load efficiently, the system uses various types of waiting lists to allocate seats or berths to passengers who have not booked a confirmed ticket. While the concept of waiting lists is common, understanding the Indian Railways’ specific waiting list codes like RLWL (Remote Location Waiting List) and GNWL (General Waiting List) can be confusing for many passengers.


1. GNWL (General Waiting List)

  • GNWL is the most common type of waiting list found in Indian Railways.
  • It is applicable for the entire journey from the originating station to the terminating station of the train.
  • Confirmed seats against GNWL are allocated as and when cancellations occur.
  • Passengers with GNWL have a higher chance of confirmation as they are the first to be considered for allocation against cancellations.
  • The status of GNWL clears as passengers ahead on the list cancel their confirmed tickets.

2. RLWL (Remote Location Waiting List)

  • RLWL is specific to intermediate stations along the route of a train.
  • Seats against RLWL are allocated when there is a confirmed passenger who cancels their ticket for a specific intermediate station.
  • The chances of confirmation in RLWL largely depend on the number of cancellations from the specific intermediate station.
  • RLWL passengers have a lower probability of confirmation compared to GNWL as they are considered only for specific intermediate stations.

Key Differences between RLWL and GNWL

  • Allocation Criteria: GNWL is for the entire journey, while RLWL is for specific intermediate stations.
  • Confirmation Probability: GNWL has a higher confirmation probability than RLWL.
  • Cancellation Impact: GNWL gets affected by cancellations throughout the train route, while cancellations for RLWL only impact specific intermediate stations.
  • Priority: Passengers with GNWL have a higher priority for confirmation than those with RLWL.

How to Check RLWL and GNWL Status

  • Passengers can check their RLWL and GNWL status on the Indian Railways website by entering their PNR number.
  • The status will indicate whether the ticket is confirmed, on the waiting list, or if it has been canceled.

Strategies for Maximizing Confirmation Chances

  • Booking Early: Booking tickets well in advance increases the chances of getting a confirmed ticket against both RLWL and GNWL.
  • Opting for Multiple Quotas: Choosing different quotas like Tatkal or Premium Tatkal can provide additional chances of confirmation.
  • Checking Alternate Trains: In case of high waiting list status, looking for alternate trains or different travel dates can help secure a confirmed seat.
  • Monitoring Status: Regularly checking the ticket status and being aware of the trends for specific trains can help in making informed decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What happens if my RLWL or GNWL ticket does not get confirmed?
If your RLWL or GNWL ticket does not get confirmed, it will automatically get canceled, and the refund will be processed to the original payment method.

2. Can I upgrade my RLWL ticket to a higher class in case it does not get confirmed?
No, Indian Railways does not allow upgrading RLWL tickets to a higher class. Passengers must book a separate ticket in the desired class.

3. Are there any chances of RLWL tickets being upgraded to RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation)?
RLWL tickets do not have the provision to be upgraded to RAC. However, in some cases, RLWL tickets may directly get confirmed without passing through the RAC status.

4. How does the RLWL priority work for different passengers?
Passengers with RLWL are considered based on the specific intermediate stations they have booked for. Priority is given to passengers who have booked for the earlier intermediate stations along the route.

5. Can I book both RLWL and GNWL tickets for the same journey as a backup?
Indian Railways restricts passengers from booking both RLWL and GNWL tickets for the same journey. Passengers can only have one type of waiting list against a particular PNR.

6. Is it advisable to book RLWL tickets for popular routes with high demand?
For popular routes with high demand, booking RLWL tickets might not be advisable as the chances of confirmation are relatively lower compared to GNWL. It is recommended to book tickets with higher confirmation probabilities.

7. Can RLWL and GNWL tickets be transferred to another person?
Indian Railways does not allow the transfer of RLWL or GNWL tickets to another person. Tickets are non-transferable and should be used only by the passenger whose name is mentioned on the ticket.

8. How does the RLWL/GNWL system impact the overall efficiency of Indian Railways?
The RLWL/GNWL system helps Indian Railways manage the passenger load effectively by prioritizing seat allocation based on different criteria. The system ensures a fair chance for passengers with waiting list tickets to get confirmed berths while maximizing occupancy levels on trains.

9. What are the penalties for traveling with an RLWL or GNWL ticket that has not been confirmed?
Passengers traveling with an RLWL or GNWL ticket that has not been confirmed are considered to be traveling without a valid ticket. Such passengers are liable to pay a penalty onboard the train and may be asked to deboard at the next station.

10. How can I increase my chances of getting a confirmed RLWL ticket?
To increase the chances of getting a confirmed RLWL ticket, passengers can consider booking tickets for less popular intermediate stations, booking well in advance, and exploring alternative travel dates or trains to secure a confirmed seat.


Understanding the nuances of the RLWL and GNWL waiting list systems in Indian Railways is essential for passengers to make informed decisions while booking tickets. By knowing the key differences, checking ticket statuses regularly, and adopting smart booking strategies, passengers can maximize their chances of securing confirmed seats on their desired trains. Whether traveling to specific intermediate stations with RLWL or for the entire journey with GNWL, a clear understanding of the waiting list codes can help passengers navigate the Indian Railways booking system effectively.


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