Young people and children can easily climb middle berth and upper berths, but doing the same is quite problematic for many senior citizens. So naturally we want to reserve lower berths for senior citizens. However, getting a confirmed lower berth is not easy. It’s true that certain lower berths are reserved for senior citizens, but still it’s quite difficult to get them booked. Here we look at why getting lower berth for senior citizen is difficult and what can you do about it.
Total lower berths reserved for senior citizens in a train
This figure varies, since trains have different number of coaches. However, the general rule is that 6 lower berths in every Sleeper coach is reserved for senior citizens. So, if we consider a train with 12 Sleeper coaches, total lower berths reserved for senior citizens will be 12×6 = 72. In case of 3AC and 2AC, the reserved lower berths are three per coach.
One lower berth per ticket rule
On a single ticket, only one berth will be given to a senior citizen. This is applicable even if there are multiple senior citizens travelling. For example, if you are booking for your mother and father who are both senior citizens, only one lower berth will be allocated. The second berth will be middle, upper or side upper. This is done so that maximum number of travelling groups can benefit from having at least one lower berth.
How to get lower berths for all your senior citizen travellers
Travel agents often use this method and you can also benefit from it. All you need to do is book separate tickets to get confirmed lower berths for each senior citizen (provided seats are available). The only problem with this approach is that lower berths may be allotted in different compartment or different coaches. So, the traveller will eventually have to request their fellow passengers to switch theirberths.
Why Indian Railways doesn’t reserve all lower berths for senior citizens
That’s because there are other categories of travellers who require lower berths. Certain lower berths are reserved for other people such as women travelling alone, pregnant women and handicapped persons. There’s also the reasoning that not all reserved lower berths may be filled up by the respective eligible group. For example, if 10 lower berths are reserved for senior citizens and only 5 use that facility on a given day, then Railways will have to suffer loss on the vacant 5 seats.
How berths are allocated?
It may appear that berths are allocated at random, but this is not the case. The ticketing software starts allocating berths from the center of the coach (berth number 36 in most cases) and moves towards both ends of the coach. This is done to ensure that the weight of passengers and their luggage is equally distributed across the coach. In terms of individual berths, the booking progresses from lower to upper berth.
Hope this information will be useful for you the next time you book tickets for your parents or other senior citizens. Do share this info with family and friends, so that they too can ensure the best travelling experience for senior citizens.