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What Does SL, 1A, 2A, 3A, 2S, CC & EC Mean in Indian Railways Train?

Traveling via Indian Railways is still one of the best, most affordable, and most comfortable ways. When getting tickets from the railway stations, you usually get second-seating tickets. But on the other hand, when you go online to book or reserve train tickets then you see all sorts of options like SL, 1A, 2A, 3A, 2S, CC, and EC.

If you don’t know what these abbreviations mean, then you’re at the right place because we’ll be taking a look at what each of them means and why you’re charged differently for each section. We’ll be going over the basic layout of every train section, and what facilities you’ll get for the price you’re paying for. So let’s get going.

SL Means Sleeper Class


These are the sleeper coaches in the Indian railways. These are the perfect option for those who want to travel comfortably without even paying too much for the travel. SL or Sleeper class is the basic non-AC one, which is more like a modification of the local or second class seating coaches. There are 8 berths in each compartment of the Sleeper class, and since there’s no staff member allocated for this class, that’s why security could be a major concern.

1A Means First AC

1A is the most expensive class on the Indian railways. Most of the time, there are only 2 to 4 berths available in each compartment of 1A class, with one compartment having a door and it is usually called a cabin or coupe. Since First AC is the most expensive one, you’ll see the top-notch facilities in this tier of Indian Railways. There’s usually a food cart attached to this First AC tier. Things like a clean toilet and bathroom for showers make it worth spending on. Railways usually allot staff members for 1A and also passengers can lock the cabin or coupe door from inside, so the safety you get with First AC is top-notch.

2A Means Second AC or AC 2-Tier

2A is a little decreased in terms of facilities when compared to the First AC. But still, this is one of the best and most comfortable tiers of Indian Railways. There are 6 berths in each compartment, and since the middle berth isn’t there, travelers can sit on their reserved berths as well which makes the overall traveling much more comfortable. You have facilities like water bottles, charging your devices, curtains on the windows, reading lamps, better air conditioning, etc.

3A Means Third AC or AC 3-Tier

The third AC tier is one of the most preferred ones by travelers because it is quite affordable as well as very comfortable. The middle berth is present in each compartment of the Third AC, that’s why you can’t sit comfortably on your berth. Other than that, facilities like curtains on the windows, charging ports, comfortable cushioning, and nice air conditioning are there.

2S Means Second Seating

When you buy a train ticket from the station, you’ll most likely get the second seating ticket. Second seating has unreserved seats, so anyone can sit wherever they want in the 2S tier. There are two berths on the opposite side of one another, where 3 people can sit on each berth. Usually, there’s no regulation or checking by Indian Railway, the 2S tier becomes crowded and anyone can board the train, sometimes without even having the train tickets.

CC Means AC Chair Car

AC Chair Cars are usually available in short journey trains or in premium trains. There are only seating arrangements in this tier of the train, however, it is made as comfortable as possible. The seating arrangement is more like a bus where on one side you’ll see 3 seats and on the other side only 2 seats.

EC Means AC Executive Class

While sitting in an AC Executive Class of a train, you won’t feel like you’re traveling by train, it is more like an aircraft traveling experience. It is similar to the AC Chair Car, but there’s more space in the AC Executive Class. With more leg room and better chair placements, the overall journey experience becomes much more comfortable for the traveler.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you’ll have a better understanding of what these different classes in Indian Railways actually mean. So, next time when reserving seats for a journey, consider booking the most comfortable ones as per your budget.


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