There are different classes of travel as offered by the Indian Railways. Each of these has its own pros and cons, still making trains one of the most preferred modes of travel. You can find differences in the fare, the services, the number of people, etc. as you go to book your tickets and travel by the selected class after you check PNR status. Let’s take a look at some of the classes of travel on the Indian Railways trains:
First AC Sleeper (1A)
Great comfort comes at a price. This is definitely the case with the highest class of travel, First AC Sleeper (1A). Here is an interesting fact: it is not present in every passenger train. It is the most expensive class with fare that is comparable to an air ticket. It consists of four-berth cabins and two-berth coupes with doors that can be bolted from the inside. The best thing about this is that it provides a greater extent of privacy as in the entire coach only has 18-24 passengers and the coupes or cabins can be bolted from inside. There are several facilities like attendant-on-call, reading lights, clean beddings, etc. The level of cleanliness is maintained better in the toilets in this class as compared to other classes.
Executive Class (1A)
If you’re not flying business class, you can definitely plan some part of your travel via the Executive Class present in the Shatabdi Express trains and few Duronto Expresses. Enjoy a great amount of legroom space in this sitting class which has 2 x 2 seating. Meals served in Executive Class is better in quality and quantity in comparison to other classes in the train. A short or a long day journey by this class can be great.
Second AC Sleeper (2A)
Second AC Sleeper is the second highest sleeping class offered by the Indian Railways. It
accommodates about 46-54 passengers comfortably. Though it offers a fair amount of space, it offers less privacy than First AC Sleeper with the unlockable doors. There are eight bays of berths that are divided into four “inner” berths and two “side” berths. Each set of four inner berths has a curtain for privacy purposes that can be drawn to block views of the corridors. In case you want to relax while reading a newspaper or a novel, you can do so comfortably as each berth has its own reading light.
Three-tier AC Sleeper (3A)
Also known as Third AC, Three-tier AC Sleeper is one of the most popular AC classes in the Indian Railways; it is the cheapest AC class offering sleeping accommodation barring the relatively rare AC Sleeper Economy class. It makes for a fairly comfortable journey.
Unlike in Second AC Sleeper, the inner bay in Three-tier has three sets of berths; lower, middle and upper. It’s interesting to see how the backrest of the lower berth rotates upward to form the middle berth. This class does not have private reading lamps but has bedding provided. Moreover, the Three-tier AC Sleeper coaches now lack the privacy curtains in the aisles which were there before.
Also Read: Why Travel By Train
AC Chair Car (CC)
When you have to travel for short time, AC Chair Car is a good class of travel by. Though one has to sit throughout the journey, it is quite comfortable with a decent amount of leg space. It is air-conditioned with 3 x 2 seating.
Sleeper Class Non-AC (SL)
If you want to travel cheap, like only pay INR 800 to travel around 3000 km, you can do that if you travel by the Sleeper Class. If you want a travel backed by continuous entertainment and liveliness, this coach is definitely better than any other average AC coach. It is like a Three-tier AC Sleeper coach without the AC and the free bedding. In terms of privacy, it does not stand too powerful in comparison to other classes. Moreover, it does not have reading lights. You either feel hot or cold as per the weather conditions while travelling in this class as it does not have an insulated environment of its own.
Second Class Sitting (2S)
This is found mostly in daytime intercity trains. It is the cheapest reserved class which consists of 3 x 3 seating with non-reclining seats. The coaches have bus-like bench system, each accommodating seating 3 passengers. This class is great for short travels but often people board the train without proper reservations.