Skip to content

What is RAC – Reservation Against Cancellation Explained

You might be thinking, what is RAC in Railway? In this article we have explained everything you need to know about the RAC ti
You might be thinking, what is RAC in Railway? In this article we have explained everything you need to know about the RAC ticket.


  1. Introduction
  2. About Indian Railways
  3. What is RAC?
  4. Benefits of RAC


We all have been through the stress of not having a confirmed seat while traveling by train. Emergencies in life make you face such situations. In these situations, a small space on the train can be a lifesaver. RAC is the key to this problem. You might be thinking, what is RAC in Railway? Or what is RAC in train? After reading this article, all your doubts will be cleared. Below we have explained everything you need to know about the RAC ticket.

About Indian Railways

What is RAC

Indian Railways is the national railway transport system operated in India operated by the Ministry of Railways. It is one of the giant webs of railway tracks and ranks fourth in the world. The route length of our railway system is 67368 km. More than 20000 passengers travel daily using the web from around 7349 stations across India. The system has passenger trains as well as premium trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express. To reserve your seat, there are two modes available, offline, and online mode. There are also facilities like tatkal and premium tatkal available for passengers who have to book tickets on short notice. Services like RAC are provided to the general public of our country to benefit a more massive crowd.

What is RAC?

RAC means Reservation Against Cancellation, which is a type of ticket that is given to a person to assure him that he can travel on the train. The ticket only ensures that the person can travel on the train; it does not reserve a berth for the person. The only way RAC holder will get a berth is if the train has last-minute cancellations, someone does not board the train from a confirmed ticket. When a ticket is available due to the above reasons, the berth is split in two and assigned to 2 RAC reservation holders.

The circumstances when a ticket is assigned are:

  1. When there are last-minute confirmed cancellations
  2. If the reserved quota seats such as tatkal are left unsold.
  3. If some passenger is upgraded to another class and their seat is left empty.

With the RAC system, two people can travel on one berth, which is a lifesaver in emergencies.

When you have an RAC ticket, it will have two numbers looking like RAC/WL. For example, RAC20/RAC3 or WL2/RAC2, the first number shows the status of the ticket when it was booked; that is the initial status, and the second number indicates the current state of the ticket. So if the number is RAC20/RAC3, that means your number as gone up by 17 people in the list in the RAC list. With an RAC ticket, you will be able to board the train at least.

Benefits of RAC

After answering the question such as What is RAC in IRCTC? Or What is an RAC Ticket? We should focus on Why an RAC ticket? Why do we need such a facility in our Indian Railways? Let us focus on the benefits of this scheme.

RAC is like a blessing in disguise for a person on the waiting list. There are a certain amount of seats which are made available for reservation, and when these get filled, RAC quota starts, when even RAC is booked, then waiting list stars. Whenever a berth is canceled, two people gain the RAC ticket from the waiting list.

The following are the benefits of RAC:

  1. You get a confirmed seat that ensures your boarding.
  2. It is better to have something than nothing.
  3. You get the easily accessible side lower berth with the big window.
  4. A female passenger always gets a female in her RAC berth sharing. If a female is traveling in a group, she will get an RAC with her group only.

From the perspective of Railway, the Indian Railways is always in loss due to numerous reasons. RAC is a way to earn profit over berths. A typical seat is booked for a certain amount; in RAC, you are only using one berth and receiving ticket money from two people. That is one berth for two tickets. This policy gives a little boost to our Indian Railways, which is always at our service. You can book RAC ticket from the IRCTC website.