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WL vs. RLWL — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on January 8, 2024
WL stands for "Waitlist," indicating a train ticket is not confirmed; RLWL means "Remote Location Waitlist," a specific type of waitlist from certain stations.
WL vs. RLWL — What's the Difference?

Difference Between WL and RLWL


Key Differences

When booking train tickets, particularly in countries like India, one might encounter the terms WL and RLWL. WL, which stands for Waitlist, suggests that the ticket is not yet confirmed and the traveler is on a waiting list. This general status applies when all the confirmed tickets for a particular journey have been booked. Conversely, RLWL, or Remote Location Waitlist, denotes a special category of waitlist.
The intricacies of WL mean that a traveler has to wait for others to cancel their confirmed tickets to move up the list. The closer the WL number is to zero, the higher the chance of ticket confirmation. In the context of RLWL, this list is for tickets booked between intermediate stations on a particular train route, rather than the source or the ultimate destination. This means the RLWL has its own separate queue, distinct from the general waitlist.
While both WL and RLWL imply that the traveler does not have a confirmed seat or berth, the chances of confirmation often vary. Generally, tickets under the RLWL category tend to have a higher chance of getting confirmed than those under the general WL. This is because the RLWL quota is typically smaller, and cancellations might occur more frequently for intermediate station bookings.
To wrap it up, both WL and RLWL pertain to unconfirmed train tickets. However, the distinction lies in the type of waitlist and, subsequently, the likelihood of ticket confirmation. While both are indicative of the uncertainty of securing a spot on the train, understanding these terms can help travelers gauge their chances and make alternative arrangements if necessary.

Comparison Chart

Full Form

Remote Location Waitlist


Ticket is not confirmed.
Ticket booked between intermediate stations is not confirmed.

Likelihood of Confirmation

Generally lower than RLWL.
Typically higher than general WL.


Can be from any station.
Specific to intermediate stations.


General waiting list quota.
Specific quota for remote locations.

Compare with Definitions


A common term in train reservations denoting uncertainty of a seat/berth.
I prefer to book well in advance to avoid getting a WL status.


A waitlist for tickets booked between intermediate train stations.
Her ticket from the smaller town falls under the RLWL category.


Reflects the number of cancellations needed for ticket confirmation.
With a WL of 1, he's hopeful his ticket will get confirmed soon.


A specific type of waitlist distinct from the general waiting list.
Even though he had an RLWL status, he was optimistic about his journey.


The general waiting list category for unconfirmed tickets.
The train is popular, so the WL fills up quickly.


Denotes a specific quota for remote locations on a train route.
The RLWL quota is often limited, so it's best to book early.


A status indicating a train ticket is not confirmed.
My train ticket shows WL 3, so I have to wait for it to get confirmed.


Often has a higher chance of confirmation than general WL.
My RLWL 2 ticket got confirmed faster than my friend's general WL.


A queue for travelers awaiting ticket confirmation.
The WL for this train is quite long; I might consider alternative travel options.


A term signifying unconfirmed tickets for particular station pairs.
For the upcoming holiday, the RLWL was filling up faster than usual.

Common Curiosities

What does WL stand for in train bookings?

WL stands for "Waitlist," indicating the ticket is not confirmed.

Can WL status change to confirmed?

Yes, WL status can change to confirmed if there are cancellations.

What is the meaning of RLWL?

RLWL means "Remote Location Waitlist," a waitlist for tickets between intermediate stations.

Is a ticket with WL status confirmed?

No, a ticket with WL status is not confirmed.

Can I board the train with an RLWL ticket?

If the RLWL ticket doesn't get confirmed, boarding might not guarantee a seat or berth.

How is RLWL different from the general waitlist?

RLWL pertains to intermediate stations, whereas the general waitlist can be from any station.

Do all trains have the RLWL quota?

No, RLWL is specific to certain routes and stations.

Which has a higher chance of confirmation: WL or RLWL?

Generally, RLWL has a higher chance of confirmation than WL.

Can I check the status of my WL ticket online?

Yes, many railway services allow online checking of ticket status.

Are there other types of waitlists apart from WL and RLWL?

Yes, there are other waitlists like PQWL (Pooled Quota Waitlist) and RQWL (Request Waitlist).

Is RLWL applicable for all stations on a train route?

No, RLWL is specific to certain intermediate stations on the route.

How is the WL number determined?

The WL number reflects the number of people ahead in the queue awaiting confirmation.

What happens if my RLWL ticket doesn't get confirmed?

If an RLWL ticket doesn't get confirmed, the traveler may not have a guaranteed seat or berth.

Can I travel with a WL ticket without confirmation?

Traveling without a confirmed ticket might not guarantee a seat, and rules vary by railway services.

Do I get a refund if my WL ticket doesn't confirm?

Typically, if a WL e-ticket doesn't get confirmed, it gets automatically canceled, and a refund is processed.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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