Indian Railways

Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest railway networks and is under the control of Ministry of Railways, Government of India. It is also the country’s single largest employer with around 1.4 million employees.It has a seperate budget to finance its functioning. The Railway ministry has one Railway Minister assisted two Ministers of state.

The entire Indian Railways is administered by Railway Board which is headed by a Chairman. There are 5 Members and a Financial Commissioner working under his control. They are:

  • Member – Mechanical
  • Member – Electrical
  • Member – Traffic
  • Member – Engineering
  • Member – Staff
  • Financial Commissioner

To manage the Indian Railways efficiently it is divided into 16 zones. Each zone is further sub-divided into Divisions for more administrative efficiency.The zones, headquarters, divisions are listed below.

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Accommodation Classes in Indian Railways Trains:

  • 1A – The First class AC: This is the most expensive class, where the fares are on par with airlines. Bedding is included with the fare in IR. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes between metropolitan cities and can carry 18 passengers. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation and have privacy features like personal coupes.
  • 2A – AC-Two tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, ample leg room, curtains and individual reading lamps. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach then the gangway then two berths longways, with curtains provided to give some privacy from those walking up and down. Bedding is included with the fare. A broad gauge coach can carry 48 passengers.
  • FC – First class: Same as 1AC, without the air conditioning. This class is not very common.
  • 3A – AC three tier: Air conditioned coaches with 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 in broad gauge.
  • CC – AC chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities.
  • EC – Executive class chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities.
  • SL – Sleeper class: The sleeper class is the most common coach, and usually up to ten coaches could be attached. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked. In broad gauge, it carries 72 passengers per coach. Railways have modified certain Sleeper Coaches on popular trains to accommodate 81 passengers in place of regular 72 passengers. This was done inorder to facilitate benefits like clear the Passenger rush and simultaneously earn more revenue. But this has got lukewarm response with criticism from the travellers and railways has decided to remove them.
  • 2S – Seater class: same as AC Chair car, but without the air-conditioning.
  • G orUR – General or Unreserved: The cheapest accommodation, with seats made of pressed wood and are rarely cushioned. Although entry into the compartment is guaranteed, a sitting seat is not guaranteed. Tickets issued are valid on any train on the same route if boarded within 24 hours of buying the ticket. These coaches are usually very crowded.

Other tutorials on Indian Railways

IndianRailways Seat Availability
IRCTC Seat Availability and Train Fare Enquiry
Indian Railways PNR Status
Indian Railways Reservation
Indian Railways Enquiry by SMS
Indian Railways Tatkal ticket Booking
Indian Railways online ticket booking
Indian Railways Tatkal Reservation

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