Indian Railways Classes and Coaches – A Guide to Ticket Booking
With new and improved trains in India, number of people trying Indian trains for transportation and experience has increased. Are you planning to book tickets in the trains? You have to choose one of the travel classes to book.
Here is everything you need to know about railway classes. Know more about the Indian Railways Launches Train 19 Soon This Year.
Coaches and Classes of Travel on Indian Railways Trains
Q. How many Classes of Coaches available on Indian Railways?
A: There are several classes of coaches that are available for Indian Railways. Out of them, there are the general chair cars and without reservation class coaches, with comfort level little low. The railways planned 2 types of bogies for Passengers, The ICF and LHB Coaches.
With different classes of reservations as per the customer budget and level of comfort available, Indian Railways segregated 9 classes for travellers. These classes are named as AC First Class, AC Two tier, AC Three Tier, First Class (Without AC), Executive Chair Car, AC Chair Car, Sleeper Class, Second Seater and the Unreserved/General Class.
AC First Class (1A)
This is the most luxurious and expensive class in the railway system. The price of this class will be almost equal to air tickets. The berths are fitted with many amenities, personal coupes, carpets, entertainment elements and others. These facilities and amenities differ from train to train. Four or two berths confined within a doored room is called coupe. The travelers can lock from inside.
Certain trains like Duronto, Rajdhani and others provide special menu for this class. In some, washbasins are provided within the compartments.
AC Two-Tier (2A)
These are coaches with air-conditioned environment. Semi-privacy is guaranteed with thick curtains. There are just 6 berths in each of the compartment section (no middle berths). Reading lights, pillows, bedsheets and other amenities are provided.
AC Three-Tier (3A)
These look exactly like AC two-tier, but many amenities like curtains, reading lights and other will bemissing. Pillows and bedsheets are provided just like 2A and 1A. There are middle berths in each section. The class can be a little crowded, when the middle berth is erect. This is why, people prefer the upper berth.
First Class (FC)
This is similar to 1A, without air conditioning, bedding or special lighting. Many trains do not have this class. However, you can find these in a few heritage trains. The amenities are similar to second class. There are not attenders. Thus, people preferred choosing third class over the expensive first class and this class has diminished. However, the compartments are very clean and reading lights are provided. Read more about the List of Heritage Trains in India.
AC Three-Tier Economy (3E)
These are found only in Garib Rath Express. These are air-conditioned coaches with curtains and better walking space. Bedding, reading lights and other facilities are not provided in this coach. There are 9 berths in each compartment, making it more congested. Bedrolls are provided for an additional charge.
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Executive Chair Car (EC)
This is a non-sleeper class with exclusive amenities. Each row will contain four chairs. The coaches are extra spacious and have good legroom. Usually, these coaches are used for day travel. These coaches are common in Shatabdi Express and Tejas Express trains. This class is also called as AC Executive class. In certain trains like Shadabti Express, meals are included in the tariff.
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AC Chair Car (CC)
These are air-conditioned chair cars with five chairs in each row. These are used in trains for day-travel between two cities. Many premium trains provide these classes. Additional space is provided over-head for luggage storage. Thus, your legroom is not compromised. Small trays are attached to the chairs, just like airplane seat. These coaches are well maintained and hygiene.
Sleeper Class (SL)
This is the commonly booked class in Indian train. Most of the trains have 10 or more coaches assigned for this class. These classes have three berths horizontally and two along the length, in each sections. Around 72 people can travel in one coach. This is one of the loud classes in the train. You can find vendors venturing into the compartment, every five minutes. Your privacy will be compromised.
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Second Seater (2S)
It is very similar to CC. The coach does not have air-conditioning. Double deck second seater coaches are found in trains running between Mumbai and Pune. People might even fight for comfortable seats. This is the worst class to choose during summer. Here you can read the Different Types of Trains in India.
General Class or Unreserved Class (GEN/UR)
This is the cheapest class of the train. The tickets issued are vaild for a day and the passenger can board the trains as they wish. The seats are not guaranteed and the crowd is extreme. Read more about the PNR Status Guide – All You Need to Know.
Certain special classes are available in unique trains like heritage trains, luxury trains, toy trains and others. Find here Indian Railway Ticket Cancellation Charges and Rules.
There are few trains which are also run through Indian Railways named as: