Indian railway uses the two types of coaches, first one is ICF (Integral Coach Factory) and second one is LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches. While Indian Railways offers different types of travel classes on its coaches, with different patterns of seating or berths, depending on the class of travel.
ICF Coaches is a conventional railway bogie used on the majority of Indian Railway main line passenger coaches. The design of the bogie was developed by ICF (Integral Coach Factory), Perambur, Chennai, India. The ICF design refers to the conventional design of coaches seen across trains in India.
LHB Coaches are the passenger compartments of Indian Railways that have been developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Germany. The coaches are designed for an operating speed up to 160 km/h and could go up to 200 km/h. However, they have been tested up to 180 km/h.
Types of Travel Classes
Indian Railways offers different types of travel classes on its coaches, with different patterns of seating or berths, depending on the class of travel.
1A - AC First Class
This is the most expensive class, where the fares are almost on par with airfare. There are eight cabins (including two coupes) in the full AC First Class coach and three cabins (including one coupe) in the half AC First Class coach. This air-conditioned coach is present only on popular routes and can carry 18 passengers (full coach) or 10 passengers (half coach). The sleeper berths are extremely wide, carpeted, have sleeping accommodations and have privacy features like personal coupes.
2A - AC Two-Tier
These air-conditioned coaches have sleeping berths across eight bays. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach and two berths longways on the other side of the corridor, with curtains along the gangway or corridor. Bedding is included with the fare. A coach can carry 48 passengers (full coach) or 20 passengers (half coach).
3A - AC Three-Tier
Air conditioned coaches with 64 sleeping berths. Berths are usually arranged as in 2AC but with three tiers across the width and two longways as before giving eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare. It carries 64 passengers per coach.
FC - First Class
Similar as 1AC, but without air conditioning. No bedding is available in this class. The berths are not as wide and spacious as in 1AC. There is one coach attendant to help the passengers. This class has been phased out completely. However, heritage trains still have this class.
3E - AC Three-Tier (economy)
Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, present in Garib Rath Express trains. Berths are usually arranged as in 3A but with three tiers across the width and three longways. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is not included with fare.
EC - Executive Chair Car
An air-conditioned coach with large spacious seats and legroom. It has a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities. This class of travel is available on Tejas Express and Shatabdi Express trains.
CC - AC Chair Car
An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities. AC Double Deck seater coaches are used in Double Decker Express.
SL - Sleeper Class
The sleeper class is the most common coach in the Indian Railways with ten or more coaches of this type attached to the train. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths across the width and two longways, without air conditioning. It carries 72 passengers per coach.
2S - Second Seater
similar as CC, without the air-conditioning. Non-AC Double Deck seater coaches were introduced in a few Mumbai-Pune trains and the Flying Ranee. However, Flying Ranee is the only train that uses Non-AC Double Decker seater coaches.
UR/GEN - Unreserved/General
This is the cheapest accommodation. These coaches are usually over-crowded and seats are not guaranteed. Tickets issued are valid on any train on the same route if boarded within 24 hours of buying the ticket.