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What are the common configurations of IR coaches?  
1 Answers
Aug 05 2011 (14:29)
Coach Construction/Seating Arrangements

Entry# 493     
What are the common configurations of IR coaches?

Aug 05 2011 (14:26)
Blog Post# 215478-0     
SMJ   Added by: xxx  Aug 05 2011 (14:29)
Q. What are the common configurations of IR coaches?
The BG 3-tier sleeper coach is very common, and provides accommodation for 72 persons. Each compartment in it has 6 berths: 3 seats forming a bench on either side of the compartment; these form two bunks, the back-rests of the seats fold out to become bunks at night, and lastly, there are two bunks further up. Across the aisle from a compartment two shorter berths are provided along the length of the coach. Air-conditioned 2-tier sleeper coaches have 46 berths (there is space for 48, but two slots for berths are taken up by equipment, either overhead or on one side at one end. The LHB 2-tier AC coaches have 54 berths. The
AC 3-tier sleeper coaches have 64 berths while the LHB AC 3-tier coaches accommodate 75. (Both the 2-tier and 3-tier AC conventional coaches have 8 bays or compartments while the LHB versions have 9; non-AC sleeper coaches have 9 bays.) Jan Shatabdi second-class sleepers accommodate 78, while the Jan Shatabdi AC Chair Cars accommodate 73 passengers. [12/06] IR is contemplating introducing a newer version of the AC-3T coach that will accommodate 81 passengers.
First-class or AC chair cars have 64 seats. Until the late 1960s or so, they had three 2' windows for each compartment (two for coupes); later first-class coaches have two extra-wide (3') windows (one for coupes). The later first-class coaches are also more spacious with seats 560mm wide (510mm earlier) and backrests 785mm high (645mm earlier). Older second-class chair cars have 72 seats (3 and 2 across the aisle). Newer second-class chair cars, since 1995, are more cramped, with 108 seats in the same space (seating 3 and 3 across)). Executive chair car coaches have seating and 2 on each side of the aisle. Jan Shatabdi chair cars have a capacity of 103.
A sleeper coach with special accommodation for ladies ('Y' classification) usually has one compartment (6 berths) partitioned off with the provision of locking doors to form the ladies' cubicle. These have now generally been discontinued and are rarely seen.
First class AC coaches have compartments with doors for privacy; the compartments are all along one side, without any seats or berths on the other side across the aisle. The first-class compartments are either cabins (two facing sets of berths), or coupes (one set of berths).
The combination first and second class AC coaches (AC1 cum AC2T, also marked 'HA' in accommodation charts) have 10 berths, two cabins and a coupe in first class, and 20 (rarely 22 or 24?) berths in second class, arranged in 3 bays of 6 berths each and a 2 berths in a half-bay at the end. The 3-tier cars have extra-wide (3') windows (one per compartment). AC 2-tier cars used to have normal windows, A few AC 2-tier cars made by RCF had the extra-wide windows; now, since 2001, even the ICF-built AC 2-tier coaches have extra-wide windows.
There are also a few composite AC first-class coaches with one section of the coach having sleeping accommodation and the rest being a chair car. In the mid-1990s a few trains such as the Coalfield Exp. had AC1 coaches with 2x2 sitting accommodation; these appear to have been short-lived experiments, and have disappeared after this train, as with most others, was changed to have air brakes.
Two-tier sleeper cars (non-AC) are being discontinued in preference to the 3-tier sleeper cars which can carry more passengers. [9/00] A new composite first and second class coach has been introduced, which has two first-class compartments (one 4-berth, one 2-berth) in an otherwise second-class sleeper coach with 59 berths (7 full bays + one 3-berth formation). There are only a handful of these, all on NR (#12226A being one of them), and are seen occasionally [1/05] on trains like the Brahmaputra Mail. These are different from the older First Class / Second Class composite coaches which had 10 First Class berths with the rest being Second Class sleeper compartments. These are no longer in use now.
Earlier there used to be an odd mixed accommodation coach which was like a 2-tier sleeper coach but provided sleeping accommodation only for some of the passengers in the upper berths (24); the lower berths were seated accommodation only, for the remaining passengers for the night (48). A 64-passenger version of this is also said to have been in use. In these the sleeping berth was often in a different compartment within the coach than where the passenger was allotted his or her sitting space! Some old 3-tier BG coaches could be seen until the late 1980s with wooden seats and accommodation for 75 passengers (in contrast to the 72 in today's 3-tier coaches).
On MG, the composite AC1/AC2 coaches have 4+18 berths. First class (AC or non-AC) coaches have showers. A few AC1 / non-AC First Class composites, as well as a few AC1 / AC Chair Car composites are in service on a few routes. On MG AC1/FC composites have an AC coupe for 2, a saloon for 4, and a First Class compartment for 6. These composites are now rare.
On NG, in addition to the usual Second Class sitting accommodation, there are a few First Class coaches (seen on the Gwalior - Sheopur Kalan route, Nagpur - Jabalpur 1 NHJ / 2 NHJ, 1 Up / 2 Dn Satpur Exp. and 1 BJ / 2 BJ Passengers between Jabalpur and Balaghat [2005]), as well as some air-conditioned coaches (Jabalpur-Gondia Satpura Exp. had some). The Gwalior - Sheopur Kalan route used to have overnight trains with Second Class sleeper accommodation as well -- the sleeping berths were aligned longitudinally, along the sides of the coach. (These sleeper coaches appear to have been withdrawn now.) In the First Class NG coaches three seat benches double as sleeping berths, and there are a further two berths that open out from the coach walls. The coaches are of the non-corridor type, with 4 to 6 berths per compartment and an attached bathroom.
Air-conditioned coaches
IR has many classes of air-conditioned accommodation, usually referred to by their acronyms:
Air-conditioned chair car: AC CC
Air-conditioned executive class: AC Exec
Air-conditioned three tier: AC 3T
Air-conditioned two tier: AC 2T
Air-conditioned first class: AC I
The ‘chair-car’ classes provide only seating accommodation, while the others have sleeping accommodations as well.
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