Can "general" tickets not be booked in advance?

#1 May 24th, 2010, 06:08
Join Date:
Feb 2010
  • sudhi is offline

I have a question re: reservations. As an example, consider this segment on Rani Chennamma Exp :

There are 5 classes - General, sleeper, AC 3-tier, AC 2-tier, AC 1st class. Now, is it correct that I can never book tickets in "General" category in advance? If so, is that because the category "Sleeper" is available for reservation and is also 2nd class, just like the "General" category? What are the criteria for deciding that? And is there any way to know which categories are reservable and which are not?

Please let me know.

#2 May 24th, 2010, 06:33
Join Date:
Jan 2005
  • machadinha is offline
General second class is Unreserved class. It means just what it says, so it's a free-for-all, and can't be reserved, no. (You nonetheless need to have a ticket for it. Normally bought on the spot, or say a few hours or the day before or so. There are in fact no limitations on it that I know of, but you'd just want to be there in time to get a ticket. Or maybe even selling those tickets will stop say an hour or so before departure, I'm not quite sure.)

Not to be confused with the general quota on any class, which just basically means a regular ticket, in any of those classes.

You could think of that general/unreserved class as third class, as it was indeed known until not terribly long ago, I think; Sleeper Class would then equal what you might refer to as second class (it's the first class above Unreserved, that can, and has to, be reserved for). Despite the latter's name, all classes above it can normally be slept in as well, of course, certainly on trains deployed overnight.

See also here for some idea of the various Indian train classes:

Do kindly note that Unreserved class is not recommended for anything like a lengthy, let alone an overnight, ride. It can be quite peaceful and half-deserted; more often than not, will be packed to the brim and beyond. You need to have seen it to believe it. (And you may now perhaps understand why I wasn't immediately warming up to your plans at, besides it just being really both unnecessary and impractical the way you envision it, but I've said that quite often enough now.)

Steven_Ber has a funny pic up of people trying to board such a carriage: Believe me, it doesn't have to, but can really be like that.

Another classic, people sleeping on the floor there, as seen from the top "bunk" cum luggage rack (in Unreserved, there are no "bunks" or berths as such, just the bench you sit on, and the luggage rack, indeed; and both will, needless to say, be at a premium):
#3 May 24th, 2010, 07:42
Join Date:
Apr 2009
  • gaurav1441 is offline
Almost all categories are reservable except for Unreserved Category which cannot be reserved and is referred as General Class on Indiarailinfo. Also General class is not sleeper class it is in most cases Second seating which means that there is no cushion on the berths you gotta sit on metal frames.
#4 May 24th, 2010, 10:26
Join Date:
May 2005
  • vsp27759 is offline
Originally Posted by gaurav1441 View Post Also General class is not sleeper class it is in most cases Second seating which means that there is no cushion on the berths you gotta sit on metal frames.
##Nowadays, this situation had changed. Former Railway Minister announced cushion will be provided to the seating arrangement in Unreserved Coaches; and the authorities have started implementing his decision. I myself have travelled in Unreserved Coaches with Cusion Seating arrangement.

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