Indian Railways Accommodation

Berths: these are cushioned and used for overnight journeys. The Berth may be designated as one of six types, based on the position in a coupe.

These designations are:

  • Lower Berth
  • Middle Berth
  • Upper Berth
  • Side Lower Berth
  • Side Upper Berth

The side berths afford one with more privacy in the lower classes of accommodation.

Seats: these are calculated for day travel. Most Indian Railways Accommodation trains have bench like berths that will be divides over two to three seats.

Chair Car: these are proper seats with arm rests - meant for day travel. They are arranged in rows, mostly facing the same direction.

Except with the first class coaches (AC and Non-AC), the seat/berth numbers are allotted when confirming reservation. For the First Class, they are assigned when the reservation charts are prepared.


A variety of classes of accommodation are found on the Indian Railways Accommodation. On any given train, some or all of these may be found, though very few trains actually have coaches of all classes.
Super Deluxe Express trains, amongst others like the Rajdhani, Jan Shatabdi, Deccan Queen, Hazrat Nizamuddin - Gwalior Taj Express, etc only have reserved accommodations, while some others have provision for unreserved travel.

  • AC classes:These accommodations are in Air Conditioned coaches. These tend to be cleaner and less noisy. There is also less interaction with the outside world, as the windows cannot be opened.
    • First class AC (1A): Each coach has a carrying capacity of 18 passengers, and has a variety of comfort and privacy features like personal coupes with lockable doors and carpeting. It is found on mostly metropolitan routes. The coaches are designated as 'H' followed by the serial number. Example: H-1, H-2, etc.
    • Two Tier AC (2A): These are less private, but have a lot of amenities like privacy curtains and reading lights included. The berths are arranged one above the other, with six in a bay – four widthwise and two lengthwise. The coach designations are A-1, A-2, etc.
    • Three tier AC (3A): These berths are arranged in bays of eight – six width wise (two sets of three berths facing each other) and two lengthwise. The coach is designed to carry 64 passengers. The coach designations are B-1, B-2, etc.
    • Indian Railways AC Chair Car (CC): This is a day – travel coach having a seating capacity of five per row, each row facing the same direction. The coaches are designated codes of C-1, C-2, etc.
    • Executive Chair Car (EC): This is similar to CC, but has a seating of four per row, and in more comfortable. Coach designations are E-1, E-2, etc.
  • Non-AC classes: these are cheaper, and so, more popular.
    • First Class (FC): The dimensions of this coach are similar to 1A; the only difference being that there is no air conditioning. The coach designations are FC, or F.
    • Sleeper Class (SL): The coach arrangements are similar to 3A; the difference being that there is no AC, and the coach capacity is 72. This is the most preferred of the different accommodations, as it is cheap and tolerably comfortable. The shortcoming is that one has little privacy. The coach designations follow S-1, S-2, etc.
    • Seater Class (2S): This is a day travel seat based accommodation, with each row seating six persons – three on a bench type seat on either side of the aisle. Each coupe consists of two rows facing each other. The coach designations are D-1,D-2, etc.
    • Indian Railways General / Unreserved (G/UR): The seats are either of wood, or plastic padded. These compartments are usually very crowded, as the tickets only guarantee
  • Ladies Accommodation (LDS): One coach in each passenger train is reserved for women travelers. Normally, this coach belongs to the lowest designation of accommodation on the train. Reserved seats for women travelers are also found in coaches of other denominations. Boys till the age of 12 years are allowed to travel in this compartment along with some woman companion.
  • Garib Rath: Garib Rath trains have Chair Car accommodation (designated as J-1, J-2, etc) and AC 3-tier coaches (designated as G-1, G-2, etc). The accommodation types found on these trains are not very different from the other trains but the fares are lesser. This is an amenity for the less privileged population.

Indian Railways Fare Classes Explained

Code Class Name Berth/Seat Arrangements Tatkal Bedding
1A AC First Class 2-berth
2A AC 2-Tier 2-berth
3A AC 3-Tier 2-berth
FC First Class 2-berth
N Extra
CC AC Chair Car 2-seat
SL Sleeper 2-berth
2S Second Sitting -- N N