Are you looking for traveling in India by a express train? Are you wondering how to travel and how does the whole procedure take place from searching for a train up to reaching your destination? Then read this article to know about complete details.
Traveling in India can be fun and a experience filled “journey”, if you have the proper knowledge and know about how to travel from one place to other in thne quickest, most convenient and if you prefer, the cheapest possible way. There are many possible ways to travel in India. There is no part in India which is not accessible by
The different travel options in India
transport to reach. One can travel by Road by a Car or a Public transport bus or by a Private Travel agent bus. You can also travel by train, also known as the Iron road transport. Or if you want a more faster mode of transport, then you can check to read about How to travel by an Aeroplane. In this article, we will discuss about how to travel in India by a train.
Traveling by an Indian Train
Indian roads are known for their developments and wide roads. Traveling by roads in India is a great experience in itself. But may also be not so. Sometimes you might be left wondering whether the roads are having potholes or whether potholes are having roads! It is difficult to travel in many urban and sub urban areas where too many road revamping works are going on in all major cities and roads are potholed in urban and sub-urban areas. The condition is improving, but will take a decade’s time to improve. Road travel in such conditions can be a tiring experience and your traveling can take away the fun in the travel. So, what’s next? Trains and steel roads are the second best options to travel to near and far places. It is true that you cannot reach to each nook and corner of India by Trains, so you will have to combine your journey with traveling on roads; but still, the major part of the travel is taken care of by the trains.
Benefits of traveling with trains in India
The first clear benefit is the comfort. When you travel by a train, you do not have to face the vibrations and shuddering and back pains that you can get by traveling by roads. All roads are of steel and steel tracks. Thus traveling becomes a pleasant experience. The second benefit is the time required to travel by a train. Local trains move at 30 to 40 kilometers per hour speed. Express trains move at 60 to 80 kilometers per hour speed. SUper fast trains move at 60 to 100 kilometers per hour speed, while special trains like the Shatabdi, Duronto and Rajdhani
Advantages of train travelling on yourself
move at 80 to 120 kilometers per hour speed and have specifically assigned tracks. This speed is constant and is not a nerve wrecking experience. Metro trains in certain cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai also move at fast speeds. So, one gets the benefit of moving at faster speeds, whether it be a crowded city or a long distance travel, and you also get a lot of comfort while traveling in Trains. You have to be at the Train terminal / platform just half hour to 15 minutes before the train departs. So that removes the 3 hours or 90 minutes before departure requirements for Aeroplane. But trains and planes cannot be compared as they are different dimensions and one would always prefer planes when traveling long distances which can be covered in 2 or 3 hours for which one can require 2 to 3 days to travel by train or 4 to 5 days when traveling by road. But when it comes to short distance travel up to 500 kilometers, trains are a better choice to travel if you do not have time constraints.
How to book a train ticket
Train ticket booking is different for different types of travel. If you traveling by a local train which run within city limits, you can book your ticket at the platforms itself and immediately travel. Traveling with longer distance trains which run in between different cities, you need to have booked at least 3 hours before your travel and your seat(s) should be reserved. You can travel with a unreserved ticket in the General bogie, but that can become a hectic travel, as you might not get enough space to even stand or you will have to sit on a adjusted seat! When it comes to traveling by Superfast trains and exclusive trains like Duronto, Shatabdi and Rajdhani, one may require to reserve the tickets up to 2 to 4 weeks well in advance. Booking a railway ticket can be done in many ways. If you are residing in India itself, then booking a ticket can be done at the Booking counters at dedicated
Booking counters, Private agents and online booking of Train tickets
railway stations. Railway ticket booking can also be done at Private agents as well. They charge a nominal charge for their services. A different way of booking tickets to travel with train is through internet. Indian railway tickets can be booked through the official website of Indian Railways and through other Travel websites like MakeMyTrip, Yatra and other related websites. The official website of Indian Railways ticket booking website is known as IRCTC and can be accessed at irctc.co.in. Tickets can be booked through the whole day with a no-booking and server end calculations time span of half to 1 hour in the midnight according to Indian Standard time. On this website you have to first create an account which does not take much time. After you enter your details, you should get a verification mail in your email inbox. Check the mail and click on the link presented in the mail to confirm and verify your account. Now log in at the IRCTC website and you can check through Plan my travel, where you can check out the different trains in your route of travel, check the arrival and departure times of different trains. Most of the times you can travel by a single train throughout the journey. It uncommon, but still not impossible that you might need to changeover two or three different trains, especially if you are traveling very long distances by train in India. when you have selected a train, you should now click to
Several classes to travel in a Indian Train
select the class by which you now wish to travel. There are several classes to travel on a train. Trains typically have General class bogies, Sleeper class, Air conditioned chair car, Three / Two / First Air Conditioned on the train, which can be selected by clicking on the available radio buttons on the right and then by clicking on the radio button on the left side of the train name and , after which you get a drop down information about the seat availability. In the seat availability, you will be presented by various status like
- Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC)
- Wait List (WL)
- Available means that you can have a reserved seat.
- Reservation against cancellation means that the train is full, but you can still travel by the class that you wish to, whether or not you get a seat in the class. You are allotted a number like “RAC 3”, where 3 means that there are 2 more people before you who will get priority to be allotted a seat to sit in the same class bogie. If any cancellations happen, then you get the preference to be allotted a seat in that particular class of bogie.
- Wait List means that RAC status is not available and you can wait until the date of your travel, whether any cancellations take place and if so, you get a priority number. So your ticket gets a number like “WL 21”, where 21 means you have 20 people before you who are on wait list. If any cancellations happen, you will be automatically assigned a seat which can be checked online, or through the internet or on the reservation charts
The meaning of different Status codes on a reservation ticket
stuck on the train. If by the time of travel, the wait list does not get cleared, you cannot travel by the train. You might be able to travel by a different class in the train but not by the same class.
- Regret means that you cannot book any kind of ticket for that class in the train for that particular date of travel.
Getting onto the Train
Now that you have a ticket to travel in a train, you now have to actually train on to the train. Trains stop on Platforms and you have to be at the platform to board the train. Railway stations in India have platforms and the main stations have multiple platforms. Thus, every station has indicators at the entrance of the Station which will indicate about where the train will arrive.
Check the indicators to see where your train is going to arrive. When you know where the train is going to arrive, go to the particular platform. At the platform check where your particular bogie will arrive.
How and where’s of a ticket
If you travelling by local trains, you can get into any bogies of your class. So if you have a First class ticket, then you can get into any first class compartment. The same applies if you have a Second class ticket. Also check for general and Ladies compartments. Ladies can get into general compartments as well. There are separate bogies for handicapped people and people carrying cargo as well.
If you are travelling by long distance trains, then you should be able to see indicators flashing the bogie number as mentioned on your ticket. When the train arrives on the platform, check the chart put up on the train and confirm your name is there. Get into the bogie and then find your seat number and sit on your seat.
Top 10 traveling tips in a Indian train
Once the train starts moving, you are on your way. Your journey can be a pleasant one or may cause you health troubles. Follow these tips to have a pleasant journey:
- Do not read continuously while being in the train. Reading can cause strain to your eyes and can result into headaches. If you do want to read, then stop reading after 10 to 15 minutes and then take a break.
- If you feel like nausea and vomiting, then eat something dry like biscuits and wafers. This will help you keep your nausea at bay.
- Do not eat any food stuff which is sold by local vendors. Long distance trains have pantry cars and authorized vendors will come to ask for any food that you would like to have. Keep with you food cooked at home to be eaten in the train.
- Keep some first aid medicines with you. Medicines for Nausea, Vomiting, Stress, headaches are helpful to have with you. Homeopathy medicines are the best option as Allopathic medicines can cause you allergic reactions and you may not have any immediate help from experts.
- Do not forget to take your regular medicines for blood pressure, asthma, diabetes.
- Do not eat anything that strangers might give you. You never know whether the food is good or not.
- Be aware of using and exposing costly items like mobile phones and jewelry. Thieves might be hanging out just beside you. If possible, travel by first class in a local train and by AC bogies in Long distance trains. The chances of having thieves near you is less. Still, you cannot neglect possibilities.
- Do not hang out of the train doors. There are electric poles passing after every few meters. You might get injured because of the poles or you might also risk of losing your balance and fall down. Railway accidents are really bad and many a times fatal.
- Pay attention to the announcements in the trains. They will help you to know which station is arriving next. You will also be told any other important announcements as and when required.
- If you have a choice to select berths in long distance trains, then choose the longer berths. They are advantageous to sleep than the shorter berths.
Tips and tricks while traveling in an Indian Train
Alighting the train at your platform and the station
If you are travelling by a local train, then you get a 15 seconds time span to alight the train. Long distance trains take a halt of 2 to 5 minutes. This provides you ample time to alight the train. For a local train, you must be ready at the gates to get out of the train. Many times there is a lot of rush and if you are slow, you might not be able to get off the train. Move with the crowd, is the thumb rule. Express trains allow you ample time to come
Coming out of your destination Railway Station
out of the train. Be ready with your ticket to be checked by a Ticket Checker, if asked for. When you come out of the platform, you will probably see a Bus station or a rickshaw and taxi stand. You can now move forward to your destination.
Such is the travelling way by Trains in India. It is very safe, sound and fast. You can reach places faster than road transport and can be less stressful than by travelling by road transport.