Indian Railways coaching stock

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Indian Railways offers different types of travel classes on its coaches, with different patterns of seating or berths, depending on the class of travel.

Accommodation Types[edit]

The following class-accommodation combinations have been created for the system. The following table lists the classes in operation. Not all classes may be attached to a rake though.

Class[1] Description[2][3]
1AC 1 AC - First class AC: This is the most expensive class, where the fares are almost at par with air fare. There are eight cabins (including two coupes) in the full AC First Class coach and three cabins (including one coupe) in the half AC First Class coach. The coach has an attendant to help the passengers. Bedding is included with the fare. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes and can carry 18 passengers (full coach) or 10 passengers (half coach). The sleeper berths are extremely wide and spacious. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation and have privacy features like personal coupes. This class is available on broad gauge and metre gauge trains routes.
2A 2 AC - AC-Two tier: These air-conditioned coaches have sleeping berths across eight bays. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach and two berths longways on the other side of the corridor, with curtains along the gangway or corridor. Bedding is included with the fare. A broad gauge coach can carry 48 passengers (full coach) or 20 passengers (half coach). This class is available on broad gauge and metre gauge trains routes.
FC First class: Similar as 1AC, but without air conditioning. No bedding is available in this class. The berths are cushioned but not as wide and spacious as in 1AC . There is a coach attendant to help the passengers. This class has been phased out on most of the trains and is rare to find. However narrow gauge trains routes to hill stations have this class.
3A 3 AC - AC three tier: Air conditioned coaches with 64 sleeping berths. Berths are usually arranged as in 2AC but with three tiers across the width and two longways as before giving eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare. It carries 64 passengers in broad gauge. This class is available only on broad gauge routes.
3E AC three tier (Economy): Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, present in Garib Rath Express trains. Berths are usually arranged as in 3A but with three tiers across the width and three longways. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is not included with fare.
CC AC chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities. AC Double Deck sitter coaches are used in Double Decker Express.
EC Executive class chair car: An air-conditioned coach with large spacious seats and legroom. It has a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities. This class of travel is only available on Shatabdi Express trains.
SL Sleeper class: The sleeper class is the most common coach on the Indian Railways, and usually ten or more coaches of SL could be attached to a train rake. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked, without air conditioning. In broad gauge, it carries 72 passengers per coach.
2S Second Seater class: similar as CC, without the air-conditioning. These may be reserved in advance or may be unreserved. Non-AC Double Deck sitter were introduced to few Mumbai-Pune trains and the Flying Ranee. However Flying Ranee is the only train that uses Non-AC Double Decker sitter coaches.
UR/GEN Unreserved/General: This is the cheapest accommodation. The seats are usually made up of pressed wood in older coaches but cushioned seats are found in new coaches. These coaches are usually over-crowded and a seat is not guaranteed. Tickets are issued in advance for a minimum journey of more than 24 hours. Tickets issued are valid on any train on the same route if boarded within 24 hours of buying the ticket.

Classification of berths[edit]

Berths are classified as follows:

  • LB = Lower Berth
  • MB = Middle Berth
  • UB = Upper Berth
  • SUB = Side Upper Berth
  • SMB = Side Middle Berth (Found in AC 3-tier Economy class)

This is applicable to the Broad Gauge coaches,however on the Metre Gauge, coaches don't have side berths (SLB, SMB & SUB). While the Narrow Gauge coaches don't have sleeper berths.

Indian Railways is mostly composed of (Indian) Broad Gauge, while the already less Meter Gauge is being phased out, with mostly undergoing a Gauge Conversion, to the Broad Gauge. A remaining exception will be the Narrow Gauge rail. Two of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

On Broad Gauge trains, there would normally be 64 seats/berths for 3 tier AC coaches (3A) and 72 seats/berths for 3 tier Sleeper coaches (SL) with the coaches having four entrances two each on either sides of the coach at their ends. These coaches would display the seat/berth numbers painted just above each of their windows that would be in alignment to that particular window. The Higher classes have reduction in their seating/berth capacity, for passenger comfort, based on their class respectively. New LHB rakes have 72 seats/berths for 3 tier AC coaches (3A).

Middle berths are found in AC 3-tier Economy class coaches (3E), these coaches are meant for not so well off people, who desire a comfortable travel at lesser fare.

The "second sitting" have 108 seats but with two additional entrances right in the middle of the coaches on their either sides. Therefore these coaches have six entrances.

Gallery of different types of Coaches[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Accommodation Classes in Indian Railways". Indian Railways. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "General Information on travelling by IR". Indian Railways Fan Club. Retrieved 3 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "Class of Travel". S.D. Enterprises Ltd. Retrieved 3 June 2007. 

External links[edit]