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Pooled quota wait list meaning

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by ShielaDa, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. ShielaDa

    ShielaDa New Member

    I am going to be booking some train tickets from Bangalore to Chennai and I would like to know what the pooled quota wait list meaning is.

    If I book a ticket and I get one the pooled quota wait list then what? When can I get confirmation on my ticket?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome to the forum!



    The Indian Railways is a vast train system in India and therefore, it's only inevitable that the terminologies associated with them are also quite complicated. If you're familiar with the Indian Railways website, then you'd understand the different factors that can affect one's chances of getting a confirmed ticket after being put on a waiting list. Simply put, various factors like the class of seating, the frequency of the train itself and finally, the specific quota that the train has. In this guide, we would be focusing more on the last factor, specifically the so-called Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) of the Indian Railways. This waiting list is probably one of the most misunderstood and complicated waiting lists of the Indian Railways.

    Quotas (Waiting Lists) of the Indian Railways

    The Pooled Quota (PQ) or Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) is one of the many waiting list quotas of the Indian Railways. So first, a brief explanation of the all the quotas is necessary in order for you to understand them in their entirety.

    1. General Quota (GQ) or General Quota Waiting List (GQWL) - All Indian Railways trains have a General Quota. This quota is reserved for passengers travelling from the train's originating station up to the train's terminating station. Passengers boarding the train from the originating station up to the nearest station to the terminating station are also included in this quota. The General Quota has the highest number of berths or seats allocation in a train. If you are waitlisted in the General Quota, the so-called General Quota Waiting List, your chances of getting confirmed are higher. All unused berths are usually given first to passengers in this waitlist.
    • Importance - Highest Priority
    2. Remote Location General Waiting List (RLGN) or Remote Location Waiting List (RLWL) - This Remote Location General Waiting List quota is utilised for passengers who are booking tickets from the originating station to an important intermediate station in the train route. Usually, this quota involves big cities with busy stations within the train route. Not all trains have this type of quota though. Once the quota is filled, you would be put under the Remote Location Waiting List quota instead.
    • Importance - Moderate Priority
    3. Pooled Quota (PQ) or Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) - Next is the Pooled Quota which covers all the other stations not mentioned above. Thus, if you're boarding a train from its originating station but departing from an intermediate station, you'd be placed in this quota. Likewise, if you board a train from an intermediate station and depart from the terminating station proper, you'd also be placed in this quota. And for those travelling between two intermediate stations for the specific train, meaning you'd be boarding the train in a station other than the origin station and you'd be departing in a station other than the terminating station, you'd also be placed in this quota. The Indian Railways gives priority to long-distance passengers so there's a smaller number of berths allotted for this quota.
    • Importance - Medium Priority
    4. Roadside Station Waiting List (RSWL) - This is a rare quota which simply means that the passenger is booking for a train ticket from the originating station up to a roadside station, not covered by both the RLGN/RLWL and PQWL quotas above. The chances for being confirmed in this type of waiting list is very low. Further, this type of quota doesn't have RAC provisions so chances of getting even just a seat are low.
    • Importance - Low Priority
    5. Request Waiting List (RQWL) - Last is another rare quota, the Request Waiting List, which covers all other intermediate station to intermediate station ticket booking that are not covered by the GQWL, RLGN/RLWL or PQWL. Again, the chances of being confirmed for this type of waiting list ticket is low, because it is only when a confirmed ticket travelling from the intermediate to intermediate station cancels will your ticket move up in the waiting list.
    • Importance - Low Priority
    Of course, this list does not include the other quotas, like the Tatkal Quota (CKWL/TQWL), Ladies Quota (LDWL) and other Hidden Quotas. But generally, these are the usual quotas open for the public in a train, though it's not necessarily that all quotas are available in one train.

    What is the Pooled Quota (PQ) or Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL)?

    Now we go to discussing the Pooled Quota (PQ) or Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) proper. So as addition to the above description, the Pooled Quota is shared by different stations along the train route. For example, let's take the train route of your journey, that is from Bangalore to Chennai. The originating station is the Bengaluru City Junction in Bangalore while the terminating station is the Chennai Central in Chennai. Here's a simple diagram to make you understand the Pooled Quota more easily.

    Train Route from Bangalore to Chennai (With Originating Station, Intermediate Station and Terminating Station)
    In the diagram, you can easily spot the two originating and terminating stations. In between them, we have the intermediate station of Katpadi Junction. Now let's say that you booked a ticket for Bengaluru City Junction as your originating station until Katpadi Junction as your terminating station, for the Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608 that runs originally between Yesvantpur Junction and Chennai Central. You would then be placed under the Pooled Quota Waiting List as this route is not the priority route for this train.

    Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608 (From Bangalore to Katpadi - A PQWL Quota Route)
    These are the trains plying between Bangalore and Katpadi, which also includes the Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608. As you can see, the quota for the route is mentioned as well, which is the PQWL. Now, let us compare the available seats for this train, for both the GNWL and the PQWL quotas.

    Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608 (From Bangalore to Chennai - A GNWL Quota Route)
    This is the Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608 seat availability for its full route from Bangalore (Yesvantpur) to Chennai. This is the GNWL quota route of the train as well. As you can see, for the Second Sitting (2S) class, there are 1,091 available seats while for the AC Chair (CC) class, there are 90 available seats. Now let's take a look at the PQWL quota route of the train.

    Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608 (From Bangalore to Katpadi - A Pooled Quota Route)
    This is the same train but the gap with the number of seats is quite shocking. From the 1,091 available seats for the Second Sitting (2S) in the previous route, it has become just 108 seats class. And from the 90 available seats for the AC Chair (CC) class in the previous route, it has now become just 14 available seats for the same class.

    Thus, you can now understand why there are lesser confirmation chances when booking a PQWL train ticket as compared to a GNWL train ticket. The higher number of berths and seats, along with higher possibility of cancellations make the GNWL quota train a more viable option. On the other hand, PQWL trains have fewer number of seats and so as a result, the chances of passengers cancelling their journeys are also lower.

    The Indian Railways also gives priority first to General Quota tickets prior to allotting berths for the other quotas, including the PQWL. Once the General Quota is fulfilled, only then are seats allotted to other quota tickets (RLGN/RLWL > PQWL > RSWL > RQWL). If there are any cancellations, the same process occurs, the GNWL ticket holders are given priority before the other quotas. This is why many travellers prefer and also recommend booking a GNWL train most of the time.

    Possibility of Getting Confirmed Tickets with PQWL

    The time that your PQWL ticket can get confirmed varies. Your best option is to go to ticket confirmation prediction websites, one example of which is this website. You can just input your originating station and terminating station and your date of travel. It will then show you the available trains for the route, just like the image below.

    Again, for the same train, the Lalbagh Express Train No. 12608, these are the predictions for the PQWL ticket. For example, for the date of April 1, 2017, anyone booking for the train would be placed under the PQWL. The website would then predict your chances of getting confirmed, based on the previous tickets booked for the same route and quota. You can therefore decide whether you'd like to continue with the train journey or you would rather find alternative trains for the route. Further, it's best to book your train ticket in advance, so that there is a higher possibility of getting confirmed as other passengers cancel their tickets for this route before the scheduled departure of the train.


    The Pooled Quota Waiting List (PQWL) can seem like a very complicated term. But in a nutshell, it simply means that the passenger is booking for a ticket that has a different originating station or terminating station, in contrast to the full route of the train. So it can be that the passenger is going to board the train from the originating station but would be departing at an intermediate station. It can also be that the passenger is going to board the train from an intermediate station and would be departing from the same terminating station. Or it could be that the passenger is going to board and depart the train at different intermediate stations of the train route. As compared to the General Waiting List (GNWL) quota, seats are lesser for the PQWL and chances of passengers cancelling are also lesser.

    I hope this helps you!:)