Indian Railways offers several types of travel classes for the passengers that have different types of seating arrangements and patterns of seating based on the class. The type of classes that are followed by the Indian Railways are:
- AC First Class (1AC): The AC First class is the most expensive class of travel in an IRCTC train. The fares here could be closer or even at par with the air fare at times. This coach is fully air-conditioned, and is present only on popular routes. With a full coach that carries 18 passengers and a half coach that carries 10 passengers, the seating arrangement is spacious compared to all other coaches in a train, with amenities like carpeted flooring, personal coupes and wider berths. Blankets, bedspreads, pillows and towels are provided in this coach.
- AC 2 Tier (2AC): This coach has a fare considerably lower that the First AC coach, and slightly higher than the AC 3 Tier coach. Here, a full coach carries 48 passengers and a half coach can accommodate 20 passengers. These air-conditioned coaches have berths arranged in 2 tiers, with berths that are spacious enough. Blankets, pillows, bedspreads and towels are provided for the passengers in this coach.
- AC 3 Tier (3AC): The arrangement of berths in an AC 3 Tier coach is similar to that of a Sleeper class. However, these coaches are fully air-conditioned and the tinted window glasses cannot be opened. The fares are affordable for many, and thus most travellers prefer this class as it gives better comfort compared to the non-AC coaches.
- Executive Chair Car (EC): ideal for city travel during the day, these AC coaches don’t have berths, with the seats that are aided with enough legroom and space. However, not all trains offer this class of travel.
- AC Chair Car (CC): This coach is also preferred by those who travel a short distance during the day. With five seats in a row, these air-conditioned coaches are ideal for short train journeys that do not last for more than a few hours.
- Sleeper Class (SL): Most of the Indian train travellers travel on Sleeper class. These non-AC coaches don’t have curtains like the AC coaches, and the middle berths are folded during the day time so that the lower berths can be used for sitting. The coaches have fans on the ceiling, and are aided with Indian and Western style toilets installed in the coaches.
- Second Class (2S): This class coaches are generally found in intercity trains that run during the day. Being a cheap way of travel, these coaches attract people who cannot afford the upper classes of travel. With no sleeping facility, the coaches are often filled with those who travel without reservations.
- Unreserved General Class (UR): This class is the one that charges the lowest fares. Often over-crowded, Though tickets can be booked, the seats are not assured in this coach due to the rush of the passengers.