Indian Railways – Travel Classes / Compartments / Coaches Codes:
Indian Railways have different travelling coaches with different services and prices including Non-AC and AC coaches. There is no necessity that a train have all of these class coaches but have at least one of these travelling class coach.
General Class (Code: GEN):
This is Travel without seat guaranty, with General ticket you can board only General compartment of train however seat availability is totally based on first come first get and mutual adjustment (that’s why they are always overcrowded). Also not all trains have General Compartment. So you can travel in very few trains which have General Coach (some people call bogie in common language).
The good thing about General Class travel is it is not bound to train. If there are multiple trains running on a route and have General Compartment, you can travel in any of them as there is no seat reservation. There is only one or two General Compartment in most trains.
Second Seater Class (Code: 2S):
This is considered best affordable way to travel short distance journey. In 2S class there are multiple seating sets (usually 3 x 3 seats sets) and total 108 seats. You need to reserve a seat before travelling. 2S coaches are most common in Jan Shatabdi Trains.
Sleeper Class (Code: SL):
Sleeper class is regular sleeping compartment and most common for travellers. With a Sleeper Class Travel Ticket you get a whole seat like shown above on which you can comfortably sleep. Usually there are 72 seats in each Sleeper class bogie. Almost all trains have Sleeper Class compartment, in fact in many long route trains more than 50% coaches are sleeper class. Some trains which have Sleeper class are Karnataka Express, Mussori Express and Golden Temple Mail.
Air Conditioned Chair Car Class (Code: CC):
AC Chair Car is same as Second Seating but Air Conditioned and better served. Mostly Day Trains (Short Distance Trains) and Special Trains (AC Double Deck Sitter) have Chair Car coaches. Some trains which have CC class are New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi and New Delhi-Ajmer Shatabdi.
Executive Chair Car (EC): Some trains have EC class instead of CC class which is almost same as CC, the only difference is there are 4 seats per row in Executive Chair Car and Chair have 5 seats per row.
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Air Conditioned Three-Tier Class (Code: 3A):
Like Sleeper class 3A also has three sleeping beds (bunks) i.e. Upper, Middle and Lower but these are Air Conditioned and well appointed than Sleeper class. There are total 64 seats (bunks) in each coach. Some Trains which have 3A class coaches are Garib Rath, Duranto, AC Special, Chennai Express etc.
Second Seating Class (Code: 2A):
Second seating coaches are more private, spacious and comfortable than 3A class as they have only 48 seats / Bunks. There is private curtain and reading light for each passenger. Almost all important trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi have 2A class compartments.
First Class AC Coach (Code: 1A):
First Class or 1A coaches are most expensive travel class in Indian Railways hence most maintained, spacious, private and luxurious. There is one attendant per coach and usually there are 16 to 18 seats in each First class coach (including Couple Coupe). Only some trains on Popular routes have 1A class coaches.