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I have booked a ticket from Mumbai to Jaipur and was advised RLWL2/RAC4.

What does this actually mean - will I have a seat?

I did search a lot on the internet but that just described the full form of individual terms. Indian Railways is providing two numbers, hence there should be some logic behind that.

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    It means you are wanting to board a train at an intermediate stop, not either end (RL), you were originally wait list #2 for a CNF or confirmed berth (WL2) and are RAC4, which means you can board the train, but will only get a seat, shared with another person (RAC4). If you go down from RAC4, to 3, 2, 1, and finally get CNF, you would be confirmed for a single person berth. (If I understand it correctly); you actually started out WL2, went to WL1, then to RAC4, because 2 people cancelled their reservations ahead of you. – CGCampbell May 26 '16 at 1:53
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    If you are on a tourist visa, you can get a ticket under FTQ (foreign tourist quota). Go to the ticket office in Mumbai Churchgate station and ask for one. – Ayesh K May 26 '16 at 15:22
  • @CGCampbell I suppose your comment is good enough to be posted as an answer. – Vince Jun 12 '16 at 10:14
  • Done. I was really hoping someone else would come along and show us some guide making everything easily understood, but I seriously don't think such a thing exists. – CGCampbell Jun 12 '16 at 23:20
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+50

Here is how I understand your codes and what they mean:

It means you are wanting to board a train at an intermediate stop, not either end (that's what RL signifies).

You were originally wait list #2 (WL2) for a confirmed berth (CNF). A confirmed birth is basically a single person bed/bench/bunk. You are RAC, which means you can board the train, but are only going to get a single seat on a bench, which will be shared (the bench) with another person (that's what RAC is). The number 4 (RAC4) signifies your place in the queue to get a CNF. If your code counted down from RAC4, to RAC3, RAC2, RAC1, and finally to show CNF, you would then be confirmed for that coveted single person berth.

As I understand the system, and almost no one does, you actually started out (although maybe you never noticed) at WL2, then someone ahead of you cancelled their reservation and you went to WL1. (WL's are wait list codes, in other words you cannot board the train, but are wait listed for someone else to cancel). Then when a second person cancelled their reservation, your ticket went from WL1 to RAC4, which is good in that you can board, but bad because you have to share your bench and it's a long long LOOOONG trip.

So, now you are hoping that 4 more people cancel, so that you can get a CNF!

This is the single most confusing scheme I've ever heard of, by the way.

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