Difference Between Coach and Bogie in Railways

What is Coach and Bogie in Railways?

These are commonly misunderstood words in Railway terminology. Not only these, for a “coach”, commonly misused words are

  • Compartment

  • Bogie

  • Cabin(Rarely used word, but I have seen people using this word to refer a coach)

Let me give a pictorial explanation of all these terms.


The coach pulled by the locomotive. Actually speaking, an array of coaches called Rake is pulled by the locomotive.

This is Coach. This is an LHB variant. This Coach is usually made out of Aluminium coated using Bright Vinyl sheets. The coach has Shell, Bogies, and all the interiors furnished.

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  • Shell: The part of the coach which doesn't include Bogies.

  • Interior Furnishing: These include Seats/Berths, Window Sheilds, Electrical Appliances.

  • BOGIE: The whole wheel arrangement of the coach is called Bogie.

This is a Bogie of an ICF coach. This includes wheel-axle setup and all the mechanical equipment like screws, springs etc. are railway bogie parts. Each bogie has 4 wheels.

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The train Bogie of an LHB coach is much more mechanically simpler which reduces the overhaul time of a coach.


This is a term as old as the British trains. Before the independence of India(continued post-independence also), trains used to have First Class coaches that were divided into “Compartments”. These are similar to First Class Cabins in today's First AC coaches. As time progressed, the compartment became a daily-usage word and became a misconception that a compartment is a coach.

This is a compartment. There are multiple compartments in coaches. In an ICF sleeper coach, there are 9 compartments. In that coach, there are 8 berths as shown. (Hence 72 seats per coach).

  • 2 Lower Berths

  • 2 Middle Berths

  • 2 Upper Berths

  • A Side Upper berth and

  • A Side Lower berth

These comprise a compartment.

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Speaking about the common misconceptions about the Coaches, I'm adding 2 more differences that contribute for misconceptions of First AC travellers.

  • CABIN: A cabin is an enclosed compartment with 4 berths.

    • 2 Lower Berths

    • 2 Upper Berths

    • NO side berths in First AC

  • COUPE: A cabin is an enclosed compartment with 2 Berths. Generally, Couples prefer these Coupes in 1AC.

    • 1 Lower Berth

    • 1 Upper Berth

    • NO side berths in First AC


Note that the upper berth in the image is folded up. It can be lowered whenever required.

After reading this post, you can tell the difference between coach and bogie. If you are misunderstood on any other terms then feel free to comment on us.

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