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Different classes of train travel tickets on Indian railways

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by ChaiNashta, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    I have seen a lot of new members asking about different classes of train travel and I dont blame them for asking because our railway system is a bit too complex and not very easy to understand. I am going to explain briefly what the different ticket classes are and what they mean.

    These are the different travel classes in India along with their codes that are printed on tickets :

    First class Air-Conditioned (1A)
    This one is a coupe (cabin) which has 4 beds, some cabins come with two beds too. These cabins have a door that can be locked from inside and gives you complete privacy provided you have all the 4 or in some cases 2 seats. There are electric sockets for charging mobile phones and laptops etc.These tickets are the costliest of the lot and some times may cost as much as an air ticket for the same distance.

    AC 2-tier sleeper (2A)
    This one does not have a door and costs half almost half the price of a first class ticket. Not bad for the price. These are bunk beds which can be pulled to make a seat during the day and there are two tiers of bunk beds.

    AC 3 Tier (3A)
    Similar to the above but this one has three tiers of bunk beds on one side and on the other end there are two bunk beds which makes you share the same space with more people. The price reflects this difference very well. This class is also air conditioned and is the cheapest ticket available if you want air conditioning with sleeping arrangements.

    AC chair Car (CC)
    AC chair car is popular among those travelers who travel short distances. There are three seats on each side and in some trains food is also served like Shatabdi express trains.

    Sleeper Class (SL)
    Sleeper class is very similar to AC 3 tier but without the air conditioning.

    General or Unreserved
    This is the cheapest ticket available and you do not get a reserved seat with a general ticket. There can be a lot of people in those general coaches and none of them has a reserved seat so it is pretty much a free for all battle to get your bum on one of the flat benches some how. These coaches are normally very crowded and at times you would find it hard to get in and out too.

    This sums up the different travel classes we have in Indian railways. I hope I have not missed anything. Please feel free to add if I may have left something out.
    DhongiBaba and BadBoy like this.

  2. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    For rajdhani :-

    The size of those bunk beds differ in 2A u have broad and better Beds whereas in 3A you have the normal beds that are for SLEEPER class.. In 2A you have comfort and free space..
    But the food is same for 2A and 3A which is of no use. the quality is bad most of the times..

    The food served in 1A is way way better..

    Nowdays we have curtains in 2A, and in trains like Duronto(AC)..
    DhongiBaba likes this.

  3. DhongiBaba

    DhongiBaba Active Member

    Thanks @ChaiNashta and @BadBoy for putting this thread together. I was almost going to do it because there are many threads asking the same question and now it would be easier to just link to this thread instead of replying individually.

    Food quality is getting a little better as compared to what it was like 10-12 years ago. People are demanding better quality and complain when they don't get it. There was also this media campaign to bring the food quality aspect to the forefront a few days ago. Things can only get better from here I think.
  4. panchabhut

    panchabhut New Member

    Some classes missed.
    Berth type
    1A : First class air-conditioned. coupe (2 berth) or Cabin (4 berth) type
    2A : Air-conditioned 2-tier sleeper. (2x2 inside + 2 on the side)
    FC : First class but non-AC. coupe or Cabin type
    3A : Air-conditioned 3-tier sleeper. (3x2 inside + 2 on the side)
    3H : High-capacity air-conditioned 3-tier sleeper. The number of seats is greater than 3A, with lesser horizontal space between berths.Normally used in Garib Rath.
    SL : Sleeper class. (72 berths, 3x2 inside + 2 on the side)
    SH : High-capacity (81 berths) sleeper class. The number of seats is greater than SL, with lesser horizontal space between berths.Normally used in Garib Rath. Also used in General unreserved compartment.

    Chair Car
    EC : Executive Class, or First Class Air-conditioned chair-car. 2x2 per row.
    CC : Air-conditioned chair-car. 3x2 per row.
    CH : High-capacity version of the air-conditioned chair-car class. 3x3 per row. Normally used in Garib Rath/Yuva
    2S : Second class Sitting. 3x2 per row.
  5. panchabhut

    panchabhut New Member

    Personally I rate Rajdhani First AC as the most comfortable mode of travel, even better than flight.
  6. Shanaya

    Shanaya New Member

    Rajdhani can anytime be rated better than flights, provided you are travelling in First AC in Rajdhani. The comfort difference between First AC Rajdhani and Economy class flight is beyond comparison. Moreover, the food available in train is at a much cheaper rate(quality in train and flight is more or less the same for food). When you are to pay almost the same price for travelling, then why not choose a more comfortable way, including some beautiful scenic sites that can only be traversed by train, provided you are in no hurry to reach in destination. Travelling is equal fun to the destination site seeing. Rajdhani has very less stops as compared to other mail trains, so choosing it won't leave you with a regret. Second AC in Rajdhani is good, but the quality of food served there is not satisfactory and of course no complete privacy like you have in First AC, yet, it is worth travelling. :)
  7. Untamed13

    Untamed13 New Member

    I would highly recommend first class with air conditioning for long trips, it's a lot more comfortable! The only possible downside is if you have noisy people in your cabin. On my trip from Delhi to Mumbai, I was lucky enough to have a very nice family sharing the cabin with me, I even managed to sleep for a while :)
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I had no idea there was that many different classes of train travel in India to be honest. Having never travelled by train there, I just assumed they'd have the usual classes they have in most other parts of the world.
  9. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Member

    First AC is well worth the extra cost if you can afford it. The food is really good, far better than any other class and far better than airline food without a doubt. 2AC is the next recommended choice is the cost of 1AC is too much, although the food in 1AC is far superior to any other class.
  10. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    we also have the worlds best luxury trains... if you want to know more about them and the just chk them out @ Welcome to Indian Railway Passenger reservation Enquiry.
    pwarbi likes this.
  11. Gabydi

    Gabydi Member

    I love this thread, I have spent a lot of time doing research for this because I plan in traveling around India by train. If my budget allows I would love to try first class at least once, but I guess I'll be traveling in class 2A. My sister and some friends told me that class 2A is not that bad at all. It's affordable, comfortable and the scenery is amazing. This information is amazing, thanks for posting!
  12. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Super useful! I love traveling by train, but honestly it can be daunting when you're in a different country with a completely different setup than what you're used to. Part of me thinks that if I hadn't looked at this thread first, I would have just assumed a general ticket would do, without worrying about the other classes of travel. It's given me a much better understanding of what would be more comfortable for me!

    Appreciate your post - thank you!
  13. debilechat

    debilechat New Member

    This a great post! When I went back to India I was booking train tickets and got so confused! I went for 3A which was perfect in terms of the soace available and the price was amazing!

    I was careful to book the end bunks because there is more head room, the bottom bunk has a window and you won't be disturbed/ disturb people by having to fold chairs into bunks or vice versa as they are fixed!

    The man who comes through the train and sells chai is my favourite man ever.
  14. Ankisha

    Ankisha New Member

    I am an India and still don't understand Indian Railways system. It's not that I travel a lot by train. I have travelled from New Delhi to Katra station by train and that was my first and last experience of Indian Railway. The guide you provided is really helpful. It will be easier to get the hang of this complex system.
  15. Joanne

    Joanne New Member

    Thanks for the great guide. You sure saved me a lot of time asking a ton of questions. I do believe that with the help of your guide and the comments here I am all set.
  16. AlapanB

    AlapanB Member

    A very informative and very useful thread! Thank you guys for putting this up!

    I agree with others that the First class AC in Rajdhani Express is in some respects better than flights, particularly in the comfort and the food departments. For long distance journeys, it's one of the best options available.
  17. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Are there any equivalents to Premium Business for an international flight, including catered meals and personal LCD tv? I prefer to fly Qatar Airways, since they are provide such a great level of service, and wonder if the trains match anything on that scale?
  18. traveltipsindia

    traveltipsindia New Member

    Very nice information about train ticket class. 3A is good for comfortable journey. Now in India irctc is running world class leading luxury train like Maharaja Express, Deccan Odyssey, Palace on Wheels, Rajasthan Royal. These trains are super luxury train.