Indian Railway – AC First Class Coach Experience

Not many people would have traveled in Indian railway AC 1st class coach. Reason 1 – Affordability, it’s damn expensive and comparable to almost flight fares, Reason 2 – Availability, due to lack of public interest, Indian railway almost removed the 1st Class AC coaches from most of the trains and with the remaining trains very few seats are made available. I have recently got an opportunity for a lengthy ride on 1st Class AC Coach.

First of all there is a no separate coach attached for the AC 1-tier (1st class AC). AC-1 tier given only half the space of one coach and the remaining of that coach allocated for AC-2 Tier (AC 2nd Class). There were only ten of AC 1st Class seats were available. I heard this seating structure is very much similar for all trains with AC 1st Class facility (except premium trains such as Rajdhani/Shatabdi).


AC 1 Tier Layout, AC 1st Class Layout

AC 1-Tier Layout

There are two coupes with 4 berths and one coupe with 2 berths. Unlike rest of the coaches for the AC 1-tier, the seats will be allocated only during the chart preparation. When the chart prepared if couples any, will get first preference for the 2 berth coupe.

The interior of the 1st AC couches are more colorful (who cares!) and comes with some more small amenities to differentiate from 2nd AC. However they are not that worth for double the money. The real benefit will be experienced only when you are lucky enough to get the 2 berth private coupe. This coupe gives the complete private experience and probably the highest value for money.

The 1st AC coupe is equipped small amenities like trash bin, mini wardrobe, some additional lights, stands, door etc. The couch will be cleaned frequently and trashes will be emptied occasionally as well. There are bells to call the attendants as well.

Here are some pictures taken during the trip:

The Corridor is neat and well finished!

1st AC Coach Corridor

AC-1 tier coach corridor

The trash bin available and cleaned up once in few hours (when the train stops in major stations). The coupe will be cleaned as well. The flooring is of wood or some kind of mica sheet.

Indian Railway 1st AC Coach Trash bin facility

Trash bin facility

The upper berth is nice finished and felt slightly more spacious than other AC coach berths

AC 1-tier upper birth

Upper Berth

Cloth/Coat hangers next to the upper berth. The

Indian railway AC 1st coach coat hanger

Cloth/Coat hangers next to upper berth

Foldable steps/foot steps to get into upper berth conveniently (not something you can see in any other AC coaches)

Indian train 1st AC amenities - Foot steps

Foot Steps to get to the Upper Berth

Lot of switches everywhere! For lights and calling attendants. You will of course get power outlet (110v) as well.

Light and attendant call controls

Light and attendant call controls

Mirror and Lamp. There is another nice night lamp as well at the roof.

Indian railway 1st AC Coach Amenities - Mirror and Lamp

Mirror and Lamp


You can watch the video capture as well:


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  1. ASD says:

    Nice. Which train is this?

    “Birth” needs to be corrected to “Berth”.

    1. electron says:

      Thanks for your feedback and for pointing out the spelling mistake. This is the lokmanya tilak train (runs between Coimbatore to Mumbai).

  2. jay says:

    is food is free in that :P ??

    1. electron says:

      Nope. Food is not free :) I guess only rajdhani and Shatabdi trains would probably include free food options

      1. Sohum Sikdar says:

        And Even Duronto.

  3. Rajeev says:

    food excluded from ticket. only included in shatabdi and rajdhani

    1. electron says:

      Yep. That is what i have learned as well.

  4. Aniruddha says:

    One more correction as well, dont mind. It is not Sadapthi but Shatabdi express.

    1. electron says:

      Thanks for pointing it out :)

  5. Zaheer says:

    Hi Electron,
    Thanks this is very helpful,

    Can i know in 1st AC Coach, how many seats are there in one cabin.

    1. electron says:

      Thanks for the feedback zaheer. In Cabin A – 2 seats, Cabin B/C – 4 seats. On the total 1AC Car – 10 seats (only the half the car is allocated for 1st AC other half for 2-tier AC). This applies only to regular trains (not for Rajdhani/Shatabdi they are special trains)

  6. rohit says:

    i want to know i have booked two seat in ac 1 st class so will i get a cabin because i have to travel with my pet dog..

  7. rohit says:

    hi i want to know that i have to travel with my pet so according to rules i have booked two seatsin first class ac in shatabdi express ..so may i know will i got cabin and there is any objection for travelling of pet…

    1. electron says:

      Cabin will be usually given for couples (if any) as far as i know. But shatabdi is a full AC train, the rules may be different and there could be more cabins so you have good chance to get one

  8. Kaus says:

    I am planning to book a 1st AC coupe from mumbai to amritsar. I want a 1 -tier (2 berth) coupe. How can I be sure if I will get it? Is there any procedure for that?

  9. kaus says:

    I want a 1 -tier (2 berth) coupe. How can I be sure if I will get it? Is there any procedure for that?

    1. electron says:

      As far as i know it is up to the person who prepares the chart. But my understanding is, they will give priority to couples for 2 berth coupe.

  10. Rail fan says:

    Traveling 1st Ac esp on Rajdhani is an experience and very relaxing.

    1. electron says:

      Yes indeed!

  11. GGK says:

    it is requested to keep the first AC Coach in sabari express Train No.17230, from November 16th it will be grate full to the Pilgrims.

    1. satish says:

      To Railway Dept, I want to travel in Sabari Express on December 19th (Total 05 Nos) but on that day we are not able to see the coach 1st AC, i would like to your good office to keep the first AC Coach in Train No.17230 for the inconvenient to the swamis It will be great full if you provide 1st AC Coach

  12. suhail mohammed says:

    hi is this available in udayan express

    1. electron says:

      Not sure, the best way to find out the current status is to check in the IRCTC website. If you see 1A as booking option then 1AC coach is there

  13. Zingaro says:

    what is the carpet area of 2 berth coupe and 4 berth AC first coupe

    1. electron says:

      Just the size of regular 3rd or 2nd AC size exclude the space for the opposite seat

  14. giri says:

    I booked first ac 2 seat udyan express but now I m confused udyan express first ac 2 breath or 4 breath because I m couples

  15. giri says:

    I want book 2 seat first ac udyan express how I m book e ticket?

    1. electron says:

      unfortunately for first AC the 2 berth coupe cannot booked directly. The allocation is done only when the chart is prepared

  16. Ferrari says:

    In three tier ac , from Tiruchirapalli to Mumbai is there
    Wifi available nd each seat has charger

    1. electron says:

      Nope indian railway not yet advanced to provide wi-fi on the run yet! Charger will be available 1 per cabin (one for 6 seats). Whether they work or not is on your luck!

  17. priyanka says:

    if couples are unmarried,then???

    1. electron says:

      That doesn’t matter, why do railway care if the couples should be married or not! Couples always gets first priority for 2 berth coupe.

      1. asif sabri says:

        Have any chance to get 2 birth cabin for any unmerid couple innany express train

  18. Manju says:

    it is possible to available two seats, because we are couple?

    1. electron says:

      Couples always get first priority for 2 berth coupe. But if there are multiple couples then it is up to our luck!

  19. karthiga says:

    if a couples are unmarried ,there is any rules in railway

    1. electron says:

      Couple = Adult Men + Adult Women, that’s all railway cares. They don’t care about married or not.

  20. adt says:

    How many people per cabin/room

    1. electron says:

      2 berth coupe = 2 people (first preference for couples)
      4 berth coupe = 4 people (similar 2 tier AC but with solid doors)

  21. Amita says:

    shatabdi , gomti and shramjeevi express all three are having separate cabin?
    and in between shatabdi and gomti express which one having separate cabins availability for sure ?

    1. electron says:

      Attachment of 1AC car now a days changed so quickly, so i would recommend to check the railway reservation website and make sure the 1AC car is available for your travel date first. Shatabdi is exception and it is a luxury train (like full AC train), but not sure of 2 berth cabin in it though

  22. arijit says:

    Hi electron,

    Can you clarify if CNF/HA1 is what you usually get when you book the confirm ticket for 1st AC. Or we do get CNF/HA1/c2 for confirmed ticket. How to know which birth is allotted to me.


    1. electron says:

      Hi Arjit, CNF/HA1 is what i see usually. Coach/Berth allocation will be done only during charting.

  23. kuldeep verma says:

    Is any chnges in the interior layout of different train specially in train no. 12181 DAYODAYA EXP.

    1. electron says:

      Sorry i am not sure about this train

  24. kuldeep verma says:

    2 berth coupe me kya married couples ko allow h ya unmarried ko b?

    1. electron says:

      They don’t care about it, its just couple

  25. kuldeep verma says:

    Thnk u vry much.. :)

  26. v wahie says:

    I m 65 yrs & My mother is an age of 95 yrs who is sick. Now I want to book 1AC coup having 2 birth.
    Shall I get the 2 birthcoup ??. For this shall I give some application to Rly ??.
    Pl clearity.

    1. electron says:

      mr. wahie, please contact railway support for this question. I believe they could make some special setup or allow 2 berth coupe for patients.

  27. akshaant2030 says:

    i and my friend(male), are travelling in march from bangalore to new delhi and we want to book 2 berth coupe, so is it possible if we get the same.

    1. electron says:

      Hi, Usually couples given priority for 2 berth coupe. If no couples booked for 1AC then you have a better chance to get it. Good luck!

  28. Kapil Chauhan says:

    There is problem in utsarg express that by passenger’s get problem to travel .problem is that utsarg express have only 6Gernal ,6sleeper,one 3 a/c class & 2 class a/c couch . we want one a/c couch, 2 Sleeper, Pantry car & one chair car in utsarg express . please sir add this couch . we all have problem to travel . We not get sets in Sleeper or a/c couch and sir please utsarg express remain stop on Fatahghar. Railway not helping passenger . Passenger have problem travel.

    1. electron says:

      Hi Kapil, I am a private blogger not the railway official :)

  29. shiv says:

    Is there any door in 4 seater cabin for separation two seats.

    1. electron says:

      Hi Shiv, The door is available for the entire compartment only not to separate the 2/2

  30. Nikhil says:

    Hi, I have booked 4 seats for my family in Paschim Express, 1 AC…now as per PNR, it says CFN, but the seats will be allocated after the chart. The Family name is mentioned for all the passengers which is same. I want to know will I surely get 1 compartment or will it be different.

    Also like Rajdhani, do they serve food and water free or is it charged.

    Thanks in advance

  31. Nikhil says:

    Hi. I have booked 1 AC coach in Paschim Express. 4 seats, will I get same compartment or different.
    Also is the food and water served free or charged.

    1. electron says:

      Hi Nikhil,Compartment will be allocated during chart prep. Since you have booked 4 seats you are likely allocated the 4 berth coupe. Food and water are not free on regular trains and only served free on trains like shatapti

      1. Bahl AA says:

        It is “Shatabdi” and not ….shatapti !

  32. Aftab Alam says:

    How it is possible for a cupple sits in 2nd ac in Saramjeevi Experess

  33. siddarth says:

    Query regarding the pantry car in udyan express. what kind of food would be available in the pantry car? n are there timings for the pantry car as well?

  34. siddarth says:

    Query regarding the pantry car in udyan express(bangalore to mumbai). what kind of food would be available in the pantry car? n are there timings for the pantry car as well?

  35. rukmini says:

    hi i would be travelling by coimbatore ltt exp this month.and have booked 3 tickets which coupe will i be given and is it safe travelling by this 1st ac? 3 tickets are 2 for my parents and one for me.

  36. JULIE says:

    Hi,i have booked 2 seats,we are couples.I got 1 AC WL but now Confirmed. It is possible to available two seats separate cabins availability , because we are couple and one female child 2 years old.

  37. chaitanya undale says:

    Good one , like to see

  38. Divya u k says:

    Sir am married n I have one year baby. I want to travel from Delhi to Mangalore in Rajdhani express 1Ac. So is it helpful for me to travel in1 AC.

  39. Lanke Dharma Raju says:

    In may 2014 my four friends travelling to 1st
    Can play cards my cabin is restricated or not
    Alchol is permitted my cabin
    Tamilnadu samrkranthi only two seats in 1ac is correct or not

  40. sreee says:

    Is there cc tv in 1st ac coupe????

  41. sreee says:

    is there cc TVs in 1ac??

  42. Hari says:

    Can i have the 1AC ticket for new married couple

  43. ramnik kumar says:

    Hii, Is there possibility of getting RAC ticket in 1 AC tier ?

  44. Raj sharma says:

    Hey i m raj.i will travel from new delhi to gorakhpur .in travelling me and my gf will together.time remains only 22 days for travel and waiting is 4 and 5 in AC 1st tier.I want to know can ticket will be confermed???

  45. Rishav says:

    Berth number is alloted on the spot…isn’t it??

  46. prashant says:

    Thanks so much! This is very helpful!

  47. yashwant singh says:

    I want to go goa in trivendram rajdhani from delhi to madgaon
    I have in four members in my family
    I, my wife one child 5year&second is 8year old
    May i book the seat in first ac &how many rent will be I pay plz tell me

  48. Hitendra says:

    i have booked 1 AC ticket in Sayajinagari train. it shows booking status as CNF PQ. What it means?

  49. jarvis disuza says:

    Hi,I want to know about punjab mail first ac coach.Is it also having only one 2 berth compartment?
    Thank you

  50. sanju says:

    hi sir,
    iam going to plan a travel from secundrabad to vijayawada in cocanada express we are a couple then how many days before i have to book a ticket to get a 2 berth coupe in first class ac.

    1. electron says:

      Just reserve as per standard process. There isn’t a specific reservation can be made for 2 berth coupe directly. It is allotted during charting.

  51. rohit says:

    How many berths r there in ac1 in shramjeevi exp. Varanasi to Lucknow

  52. Pradyut Paul says:

    Hi Electron,
    I have not read all the replies, but if my response becomes redundant, please ignore it. I have traveled on AC1st several times and in different trains (some of my destination cities are not served by airlines or don’t have an airport in convenient vicinity). It is not true that all the trains have split 1st AC coaches (in fact most trains that do have these coaches are carrying a dedicated one, more than one in case of premium trains such as Rajdhanis). Also, the new LHB coaches which are now replacing ICF coaches rapidly, are far superior in noise reduction, amenities and convenience.

    1. electron says:

      Thanks for sharing that Paul. Obviously i have not explored all the types of 1AC coaches. Thanks for sharing your experience and feedback here.

  53. murthy says:

    i booked 4 persons coupe in 22208 super express trivendrum to chennai on 4-10-2014 will we get dinner at night in the train

    1. murthy says:

      hi, i booked 4 seats in 22208 super express in 1 Ac coupe. will i get dinner at night in train

      1. electron says:

        Dinner is not free on regular (common) trains

  54. ramesh says:

    i and my girlfriend are 21 (age). can we take coupe? is there any age restriction for couples? we are not married

    1. electron says:

      That should not be a problem. Railway system not required to worry whether couples or married or not :) They should only care about tickets

  55. sam says:

    hi electron
    I want to know how many 2 berth cabin (for common trains) are available in any 1ac compartment

    1. electron says:

      Only one on common trains it seems

  56. Anonymous says:

    Hi in next may I want to go with my love r to my home we want seperate 2 berth in 1st ac coach can we got that in that we have any problem

    1. electron says:

      I don’t see any problem with it unless there are more couples reserving on 1AC, in that case you might end up in competition

  57. vinay says:

    sir our seat no is p1 n p2 cabin B in puri surat exp its a 2 seater or 4 seater coupe as v r couple . reply as soon as possible

  58. Gowtham says:

    How should we know that we are allotted couple seats before boarding train.

  59. Gowtham says:

    How should we know that we are allotted couple seats before boarding train.
    And while booking the tickets in reservation counter, on the ticket will they mention??

    1. electron says:

      It will be finalized during charting and will be made available through the passenger manifest

  60. Akjal says:

    I want to book a two seats with seperately. Without other peoples distabence is it possible. If possible. How can i book tlis online

    1. electron says:

      I don’t think it’s possible to reserve 2 berth coupe directly

  61. Mr yogi patel. says:

    Can you please tell me if Indian railway’s 1ac class have showers and are the toilets clean. Thanking you.

    1. electron says:

      Showers – No, toilets were similar to 2-tier AC. Can’t expect much!

  62. Amit Kumar says:

    SIr, I want to have a separate 1AC couple birth, Can it be confirmed before purchasing E-Ticket. Please reply how can I get Separate cabin for 2 person

  63. Amit Kumar says:

    SIr, I want to have a separate 1AC couple birth, Can it be confirmed before purchasing E-Ticket. Please reply how can I get Separate cabin for 2 person from NDLS to RNC

    1. electron says:

      I am not sure of any way to get confirmed 2 person cabin. It is decided during chart prep as far as i know.

  64. Ravi says:

    we have booked 8 tickets for 2nd AC, we got 4 in HA1 and 4 in A1, HA1 and A1 are they both different bhogis(compartments)?

  65. santhosh says:

    Is there a lockable door in 1st AC 2berth coupe & 4 coupe.
    what is mean by CABIN
    there is 4 option when I try to book 1st AC ticket
    1 lower
    2 upper
    3 cabin
    4 coupe
    please explain above options

    1. electron says:

      Not sure if the reservation option now changed and allows to pick Coupe directly. I would pick Coupe option for 2 berth coupe

  66. sumit says:

    I hv booked first ac confirmed tkt for myself , my wife and my 2 yr old daughter…While booking the tkt I hv not chosen the coupe preferences by mistake… can I get 2 berths coupe in vikramshila express train…

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