Indian Railways are very economical as compared to the other rail network of the world. It provides complete package of facilities to the passengers according to the class of seats one chooses to travel. In the era of 21stcentury, where social media and digitization techniques are ruling all over the world, Railways have adopted it and reassured the fact that it has an ultimate motto to provide a wonderful journey experience which acts as an anecdote to pass over to your peers. It’s an era where tickets can be booked via mobile applications and food in train can be ordered easily via e-catering services which deliver restaurant style food on seat/berth.
Though Indian Railways have imparted multiple journey rules and regulations which facilitate travelers and are in accordance with comfortability and relief of passengers; still strategizing a perfect train journey seems to be a tough task ahead for those who are unacquainted and clueless about the coaches and rules on how to book them for a complete joyful journey. We have always been very mindful and observant while traveling via train. Whether it’s a general or an Air conditioned class compartment, we can easily measure the level of comfortability and security in the available compartments. Let’s study in details about each of these classes and how to book tickets for them.
Types of Train Coach Classes
Unreserved General Class (UR): This is the most common class for traveling in train. Only poor section of the society travels in this class. The seats are of wooden planks with a total of four berths in a compartment. Reservations aren’t required which leads to overcrowding in these compartments. In express trains these carriage are placed just behind the engines and in some trains they are placed behind the engines and in the last. You might not get seats and sometimes have to cross your entire journey standing in a corner with your luggage. These classes are less secured and not meant to travel even for a mediocre traveler.
Second Class (2S): These classes are present in the day time intercity trains. There are three seats on either side of the aisle, and they don’t recline. There are no sleeping facilities in this carriage. Reservations are required for this class to travel. Some of the new style intercity trains have replaced the bench-style seats with chair car style seats. These trains are good for a short journey of 6-7 hours.
Sleeper Class (SL): The sleeper class carriages are divided into open-plan compartments with six beds in each. Most of the middle class travelers use this carriage for their journey. There are six berths in each compartment which is reserved by the travelers. Fans on the carriage ceiling provide some cooling, and the windows have bars to keep intruders out as they are usually kept open. These days you will find people who were pruned to travel in unreserved class have shifted their preference to Sleeper class. There is no privacy in sleeper class. Temperature is also an issue as the carriage gets heated easily in the sunlight. You can travel in this carriage during winters, but do not forget to carry your bedding like a bed sheet or a thin blanket. Most important is to have an eagle-eye on your luggage.
Three Tier Air Conditioned Class (3AC): Three tier AC compartment is a boon during summer, especially when a long journey has to be planned. It offers a significant comfort level and quietness in the compartment. There are six seats in the compartment which are better and comfortable than those in the sleeper class. Windows are not open. It is locked with tinted sound-proof glass which restricts the increasing chugging sound of rail which is in rigorous touch and movement with the tracks. The locked window keeps the compartment cool. The best part of traveling in this compartment is that you don’t have to carry beddings of your own. IRCTC provides a set of bedding which contains one pillow, two white bed sheets, a hand towel and a blanket. The compartments are cleaned and sanitized on major stations and feedback is collected from the housekeeping team for the same.
Two Tier Air Conditioned Class (2AC): Two tier air condition classes attract the upper level of the society. There are only four berths in this carriage lying vertically in two tiers. The one who boards the 2AC compartment will find bedding set already placed on their berth. The best part is that it provides the benefit of privacy curtains on the entrance to each compartment. The side lower and upper berths have separate curtains to lock privacy.
First Class Air Conditioned (1AC): These carriages are found in most important interstate routes. Compartments have lockable doors, carpet and either two or four beds, stacked vertically in tiers. Food is served to the passengers for free. The seats are much wider than the other classes. If comfort and privacy are your concerns, then select this class which will provide you the world class experience by Indian Railways. Along with the bedding a room freshener is also provided to the passengers.
Executive Air Conditioned Chair Car (1A): Executive air conditioned class is available in Shatabdi trains or in the recently launched the Vande Bharat Express which provides you an experience of an airline business class. These carriages have only two seats on each side of the aisle. The passengers are provided with food and free magazines and newspapers for their journey.
Second Class on Jan Shatabdi (2S): It’s the best value for your money spent on booking tickets via railways. It is also called the “budget people” train. It’s different from the shatabdi trains. The Jan Shatabdi provides both AC and Non-AC chair car carriages for booking seats and traveling. Though it is not highly-priced, but you won’t find any overcrowding.
It’s time for you to book tickets as per your choice.