GUIDE TO INDIAN RAILWAYS TRAINS AND CLASSES



 

Here is a complete guide to the train coaches of Indian Railways. After you check your pnr status you can find out exactly what kind of train and class you’re going to be in during your trip.

 

ZONES of Indian Railways

In the chart below are all Indian Railways zones, including their names, codes, headquarter station, and the size of the zone in total railroad length.

Note: The zones you travel through during your trip do not affect your pnr status.

  ZONE CODE CENTRAL ST. KMS
1 Southern SR Chennai 5098
2 Central CR Mumbai 3905
3 Western WR Mumbai 6182
4 Eastern ER Kolkata 2414
5 Northern NR Delhi 6968
6 North Eastern NER Gorakhpur 3667
7 South Eastern SER Kolkata 2631
8 Northeast Frontier NFR Maligaon 3907
9 South Central SCR Secunderabad 5951
10 East Central ECR Hajipur 3628
11 North Western NWR Jaipur 5459
12 East Coast ECoR Bhubaneswar 2677
13 North Central NCR Allahabad 3151
14 South East Central SECR Bilaspur 2447
15 South Western SWR Hubli 3177
16 West Central WCR Jabalpur 2965

 

 

Types of Indian Railways trains

When booking your journey, you may choose from the following Indian Railways train types. Trains are classified by the average speed during their journey. In the chart below, the trains are sorted from the fastest to the slowest.

Note: The type of your train is not stated on your pnr status.

# TYPE NOTES
1 Duronto Express The fastest non-stop trains connecting major state capitals of India. Classes available: first AC, two-tier AC and three-tier AC. Some Duronto Trains also provide a Sleeper Class
2 Rajdhani Express AC trains between major cities and New Delhi. One of the fastest trains with limited stops.
3 AC SF Express AC trains between major Indian cities. One of the fastest trains with limited stops.
4 AC Express AC trains between major Indian cities. One of the fastest trains with limited stops.
5 Double Decker Express AC double-decker trains between major Indian cities. One of the fastest trains with limited stops.
6 Shatabdi Express The fastest Indian trains. Traveling only during the daytime and providing only AC class seats.
7 Yuva Express Similar to Duronto. In service only between Delhi to Howrah and Delhi to Mumbai.
8 Garib Rath Fully AC trains with a maximum speed of 130 km/h.
9 Jan Shatabdi Express Has AC and non-AC classes and is an economy alternative to Shatabdi trains.
10 Sampark Kranti Express Extra-fast trains linking major cities with New Delhi. Have higher priority than Mail trains.
11 Intercity Superfast Express/Mail Trains with higher average speed.
12 Kavi Guru Express Express trains named after Ravindra Nath Tagore.
13 Vivek Express The longest route trains in India
14 Rajya Rani Express Connecting capital cities with bigger cities in their corresponding state.
15 Express Faster trains with fewer stops (only in larger stations).
16 Passenger and Fast Passenger Slow trains that stop at all stations (Passenger Trains) or almost all stations (Fast Passenger Trains). Most of them provide only unreserved seats.
17 Suburban trains Trains in service in urban areas of the following cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, and Hyderabad.
18 Metro Train for city passenger service.
18 Tourist Trains Special Luxurious tourist trains linking major tourist spots in India.

Accommodation Classes

The following seat classes are available on Indian Railways trains. Note that different types of trains have different accommodation classes according to the standard of the given trip. Suburban trains may have only2S class available, while intercity trains provide a variety of AC classes, non-AC Sleeper coaches, and Second sitting class.

Note: You will find the class of your seat in the charting details section of your pnr status.

Accommodation Classes description

Class Code Description Rs,- approx
100 km 500 km 1500 km
AC First (1A) The top class on Indian Railways trains. There is a choice of 2 cabins with lockable doors: 2-berth and 4-berth. Bed sheets with blankets are included. This is the most expensive class. Rs 550 Rs 1610 Rs 4200
AC 2 Tier (2A) Mostly the same as AC First (1A), only the cabins are separated from the aisle by a curtain. Rs 320 Rs 785 Rs 1610
AC 3 Tier (3A) Just like AC 2 Tier (2A), but with an additional middle berth, so there are 6 beds in a cabins. Rs 230 Rs 585 Rs 1165
AC 3 Tier Economy (3E) This class is only provided on Garib Rath Expresses and some Duronto Expresses. It is similar to AC 3 Tier (3A), but with 3 beds along the aisle, hence being called AC3 Economy.      
First Class (FC) This could be described as the traditional top class of Indian Railways. The beds and cabins are arranged in the same way as in AC First (1A) but there is a significant difference: no air-conditioning, no sheets, and no blankets.      
Sleeper Class (SL) The most common class on Indian Railways trains. It is very affordable and provides reasonable comfort. Most passengers use this class on long-distance trains every day. There are 8 berths in one compartment section, arranged with 3-tier compartments and 2 berths along the aisle. Rs 120 Rs 215 Rs 425
AC Executive Chair Car (XC) Only provided on daytime Shatabdi trains. Includes very comfortable extra-wide seats.      
AC Chair Car (CC) Similar to X, seats have a standard width. Rs 180 Rs 325 Rs 640
Second Class Chair Car (2S) Common class for daytime intercity routes. These coaches tend to get very crowded, so whether or not you have a reservation, you will likely be sharing your space with many fellow passengers.      
General compartments (GS) Unreserved, this is the hardcore travel class furnished only with simple wooden benches. It´s always packed with lots of people. For longer distances, you should consider this only as a last resort and book at least 2S or SL.      

Accommodation Classes photo galleries

Take a look at various photos of Indian Railways train classes; it´s the best way to understand the standards of accommodation classes of Indian Railways trains.

AC 2 Tier (2A)

AC 3 Tier (3A)

 
 

Sleeper Class (SL)

 

Second Class Chair Car (2S)

 
Indian Railways_IRCTC_train exterior_class-SECOND SITTING-2S_01
 

 




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When can I book a Tatkal ticket?

As we all know, Tatkal booking has become extremely difficult these days especially after new update to Tatkal scheme conditions.
According Indian Railways IRCTC:  “Tatkal E-ticket can be booked for selected trains one day in advance excluding the date of journey from the train originating station. It can be booked on the opening day from 10:00 AM onwards. e .g. if train is to depart from originating station on 2nd August, Tatkal Booking will Commence at 10:00 AM on 1st August.”

The problem is that at 10:00 AM all the IRCTC servers get jammed with a number of customers trying to book a ticket. Even to login to the IRCTC reservation system is a challenge at this time. If you manage to login, than being successful in making a reservation is a question of quick filling of the passenger detail form.

Well this is when Autofill tool comes handy.
To use it you need to visit an IRCTC website in advance – anytime, say in the evening outside of rush hours. Just make a test booking with a single purpose of getting to the passenger details page. Once you get there, you fill all your detail you intend to use later for the Tatkal ticket. Use the Autofill tool and later (at 10:00 am) use it again for super fast completion of booking. The tool will then automatically fill all the details required in just one click, so you do not waste your valuable time by typing in those fields.

Here is an easy step by step guide on how to use Autofill.

1. Fill all your details
2. Click the “I´m feeling lucky button”
3. New blue button “Magic Autofill” appears
4. Drag this “Magic Autofill” button in your bookmarks
5. Wait until 8:00am for TATKAL ticket reservation
6. Do your desired train search, when on PASSENGER detail screen just click your “Magic Autofill” bookmark to instantly fill all fields in the form
7. Proceed to payment at the IRCTC payment gate
8. Good luck

The IRCTC reservation website experiences traffic jam every day at 10:00 am and can get very slow during Tatkal booking, so be patient and don´t double click or click the backspace because this would log you off. In case you get a“Service Unavailable” message, just refresh the page. Hopefully IRCTC reservation system will upgrade its hardware so it can handle peak hours traffic.
Autofill tool can definitely help you make a Tatkal reservation because when on the reservation page it is a matter of seconds to finalize a reservation.

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