Trains are a common way to travel, and Indian Railways caters to thousands of travellers every day! The Indian Railways have evolved to meet the needs of a changing society. New technologies and amenities like sleeper classes and coaches with toilets, washbasins, cushioned berths have been introduced that make travelling a comfortable experience. The different classes of trains in India offer their passengers various benefits and advantages, including options that can be customized to each individual’s needs. Hence, the question now comes is what IRCTC Train Seat should we book?
The various types of train seat classes offered by IRCTC are:
1.First AC (1A)
The most expensive mode of travelling in the Indian Railways, First AC Sleeper Class comes with its own set of exquisite luxuries. They are fairly high priced ( at times the tickets are even higher than flight tickets) however the services offered in this state of the art class is something you should definitely experience in your lifetime.
There are 2 or 4 berths per compartment according to the train with no lower or upper berths. The compartments having 2 cabins are called a couple whereas the ones having 4 berths are called cabin. Each compartment has a door which passengers can lock from inside. The berths are more comfortable and spacious, there is a small ladder to reach upper berth, dustbins to throw garbage and there are small tables for every passenger to have meals. Some trains also have a button in each compartment which when pressed will call an attendant at any time.
Wash basin and shower services per cabin are also provided in some trains to provide a wholesome experience to the travellers. There are generally 18-24 berths in this compartment.
2.Executive Anubhati (EA)
The Indian Railways has provided Executive Anubhuti coaches with all the amenities like two headphone sockets and LCD screens on each seat. The AC coach has audio-visual content provided through headphones on each seat, and it comes with a large food table under each armrest that can be opened just by a click of a button, so passengers don’t have to remove their luggage from their seats when they want to eat or wash their hands.
3.AC Executive Class (EC)
These are Executive Class coaches, used by the Indian Railways. They are similar to Airline Business Class in aircrafts. They have only Chair Car type seating arrangements and no sleeper berths. In these coaches, the seats are arranged in 2 x 2 fashion making them more comfortable and spacious. There is more leg space and a wide middle walkway. Washrooms are clean and hygienic in this class. There are small tables attached to the back of your front seat which can be used for meals or for keeping belongings. Executive Class cars exist on both Shatabdi trains and Tejas Express trains too.”
4.Second AC (2A)
Second AC (2A) Class is a sleeper class provided by Indian Railways. In terms of features, it stands less than the first AC coaches but in terms of service and comfort this class is way above 3A class. It has 6 berths in each compartment, with only 2 berths on each side. There’s also no middle berth. Therefore, it’s also sometimes called ‘AC 2-tier’. This gives ample space to passengers unlike crowded third AC coaches where people have only one seat on each side. The seats are spacious and curtains are provided in each compartment unlike in 3A coaches where curtains were removed recently. There is a reading lamp provided on each berth for anyone to use it personally. The total number of berths in this class generally range between 48-54.
5.First Class (FC)
First-class accommodations are available on certain trains in India. These are generally regarded as more luxurious than the standard second-class compartments and make use of the same facilities, such as washrooms with bidets. This class also offers coupes and cabins similar to the AC First Class.
Its alike AC first but, in it there is no Air conditioning
6.Third AC (3A)
This is the most common and most popular class of travel for Indian middle-class travelers. A third-class sleeper has 8 berths in each compartment, but they are arranged so that one side of each compartment becomes a middle berth: The backrest of the lower berth is pulled upward to make it a middle berth and since each side of the compartment has three seats, it becomes impossible for an adult to sit upright when all three berths are open. There is no reading lamp on either side of this compartment; only those on the upper berth have a reading lamp. Washrooms are not as clean as in second-class coaches; they are more basic, with just one toilet per carriage rather than two. This class comprises of 64-72 berths.
Newer LHB 3AC has reading lights and charging outlets for all occupants.
7.Third AC Economy (3E)
AC Economy class is a third class train available on Indian Railways. This is an economical, first-class accommodation which offers two side berths and six berths in each compartment, making it a total of nine berths per compartment. The extra side middle berth in 3E class makes it bit congested during daytime journeys while it is comfortable or rather manageable during night journeys. Due to the side middle berth, head space in the side berths are too less unlike in 3A coaches where there is ample head space for passengers travelling in 3A coaches. The concept of Garib Rath was introduced by the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in view of passengers who could not afford to travel in AC coaches.
8.AC Chair Car (CC)
AC Chair Car (CC) is an Indian Railways class that has only seating arrangements with 3 X 2 seats per row. Each seat is dedicated to one passenger. This type of class is available in short journey trains such as Shatabdi Express and some Duronto trains (Day Time). Some Jan-Shatabdi train also have 1-2 AC Chair Car coaches. There is a space overhead to keep luggage placed safe in your sight at all times.
Also, they are found in Double decker train Uday express and Tejas trains and 1 to 2 AC chair cars are also very common in Intercity trains
They are sleeper class Non-AC Coaches with 8 berths per compartment. Safety may be compromised in this class considering that the windows are protected by thick rods which allows outside materials to enter the compartment. This class is considered to be one of the most economical classes and is ideal for short or overnight journeys.
Also Read : How to check Train Seat Availability!
IRCTC Train Seats Comparison
IRCTC Train Seats FAQs
The Indian Railways offers the facility of preponing and postponing the date of a journey of a ticket booked at a station counter. The date of journey on confirmed/RAC/waitlisted tickets can be preponed or postponed in the same/higher class or for the same destination on payment of prescribed charges.
The best seat offered by IRCTC for mid budget trips is 3AC. These are air-conditional berths, and the fares is also affordable. They are much cleaner than any other seat.
The most expensive seat is First AC (1A)
These seats are available in Tejas and Shatabdi Trains.
Many trains have a general or unreserved category. In this passenger have unreserved tickets can travel. However, there is no guarantee of seats. Travellers also have to sometimes sit in the floor.