Your Guide to the Indian Train Classes

Indian Railways is the third largest railway network in the whole world. The track length of all the railway tracks of India can put together can wrap around the earth more than 3 times. That’s how huge the scale of our railways is. And to keep the machine running, there are a lot of things that you as a traveler must know before you take your journey on the railways that is the world’s eighth biggest employer. Here is your ultimate guide to the classes in Indian trains.

AC First Class

This is the most expensive of all the classes in Indian railways. It almost cost as much as taking a flight between two destinations. But it comes with its own benefits.  Some of the benefits include carpeted coach, extra large berths, personal coupes, bedding, food and even your own personal cabin attendant.

AC Two Tier

AC two Tier or most commonly known as second AC is one of the most popular ways of traveling for people on long or overnight journeys. The second AC comes with an AC coach, bedding and blankets, and a pantry through which you can order some food. You can also mark your food preference on the IRCTC train website while booking your ticket.

AC Three Tier

AC three tier or third AC as it is most commonly referred to is also one of the most common class in which people traveling long distances travel. There are usually sixty four sleeping berths per coach and the bedding is included in the fare.

First Class

First class is almost akin to AC first class but with no air conditioning in the coaches. The bedding is not provided and the berths are less wider than First AC. This class has been phased out completely barring a few heritage trains.

Sleeper Class

Sleeper class is the preferred way of traveling for the majority of the population of the country. It is one of the most common coaches on any train and the most number of coaches on any passenger train will belong to sleeper class. This class does not have any air conditioning and no bedding is provided. There are generally seventy two berths per coach in this class and one can book this class ticket easily on IRCTC train website.

AC Chair Car

AC chair car or CC as it is more commonly referred to is available on the trains which run daily between two or more cities. The coach is fully air conditioned and is fitted with seats. Some double decker trains also use this configuration for both the decks to increase the number of passengers that can travel at one time.

Unreserved or General Coach

Unreserved or General coach is by far the cheapest method to travel across the country or between any two given destinations. One can go to a railway station and buy a ticket for this coach on the spot. The tickets are valid for any train on the same route if boarded within twenty four hours of purchasing the ticket. The unreserved coach is generally overcrowded and there is no guarantee of a seat. But it makes for some of the most memorable experiences you can have on your train journey.

Indian Railways daily transports more than twenty two million passengers in a day which is more than any other transportation company in the world. To keep the trains running and on time, it is a huge challenge and it always helps if the passengers are well informed and polite so that Indian Railways can strive to serve us better.