1AC vs 2AC vs 3AC in Indian Railways: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. 1AC (First Class Ac) is the highest class of travel available for long-distance trains in India.
  2. 2AC (Second class Ac) is the second-highest class of travel on Indian trains and a step below 1AC in terms of luxury.
  3. 3AC (Third class Ac) is the most affordable and commonly used class for travel on railways.

What is 1AC?

1AC is the most luxurious and expensive class of travel on Indian Railways. The cabins are designed for single or double occupancy and offer the highest level of privacy. The cabins are fully air-conditioned and have lockable doors for added security.

Commuters in 1AC are treated to a lavish ambience and exceptional amenities like high-quality bedding, pillows, blankets, entertainment systems and individual reading lights. The cabins are also equipped with charging points, curtains for privacy and personal attendants to cater to the passengers’ needs. Upgraded food and beverage options are provided; some cabins may have attached washrooms.

The 1AC experience in Indian railways shows luxury and comfort. They are available only on selected long-distance routes.

What is 2AC?

2AC is a step below 1AC in terms of luxury and cost. In 2ac, the private cabins have more berths, four or six. The berths are less spacious but still provide a reasonable level of comfort.

Beddings and meals may be included in the fare, depending on the route and the train. Amenities such as individual reading lights, charging points, storage facilities and well-maintained washrooms are available.

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2AC coaches have a relatively lesser number of berths as compared to 3AC, which ensures a quieter and less crowded atmosphere. 2AC coaches are available in a broader range of long-distance trains than 1AC.

What is 3AC?

3AC is a more affordable class of travel. The 3ac cabins are open and have berths arranged in six bays. The berths are narrower, but they still provide a decent experience. 3AC coaches are air-conditioned but have available bays instead of individual cabins.

The number of berths in each bay may vary, with six berths being the most common arrangement. The bedding is provided with padded seats and sleeping berths. Food and beverage options are provided, although they may be relatively simpler compared to higher classes.

3AC coaches are available on a wide range of overnight trains. The 3AC coaches offer passengers a cost-effective and convenient option, with the added perks of sleeping berths and necessary amenities. 

Difference Between 1AC, 2AC and 3AC in Indian railway

  1. The fare of 1AC coaches is the highest; 2AC has a lower fare than 1AC, while 3AC coaches have the lowest fare.
  2. 1AC coaches are available on selected long-distance routes, 2AC coaches on long-distance trains, and 3AC coaches are available on overnight roads.
  3. 1AC consists of two or four berths; 2AC has four or six berths, while 3 AC has six berths in each bay.
  4. Meals are included in the fare of 1AC and 2AC, while 3AC does not always have meals.
  5. 1AC provides spacious and comfortable cabins, 2AC provides relatively less compartment space, and 3AC has the most compact space.
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Comparison Between 1AC, 2AC and 3AC in Indian railway

FareHighest Lower than 1ACLowest 
RoutesSelected long distanceLong distanceOvernight 
Berths Two or fourFour or sixSix 
Meals Included Included Not always included 
Space Spacious and comfortable cabinsLess compartment space than 1AC Compact compartment space
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856422001185

Last Updated : 24 November, 2023

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