A Guide to the India Railway System and the Indian Train

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View Poll Results: Which class you would prefer in Indian train?
Second Class (Unreserved) 44 3.98%
Sleeper Class 330 29.84%
AC 3-Tier sleeper 221 19.98%
AC 2-Tier sleeper 378 34.18%
AC First Class 223 20.16%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1106. You may not vote on this poll

#1 Dec 1st, 2003, 19:21
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NOTE: This is a discussion thread for the article A Guide to the India Railway System and the Indian Train.
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A Guide to the India Railway System and the Indian Train


I’m sharing my practical knowledge about the India railway system, the Indian train, and the India travel ‘culture’. The information in this article covers what to expect when traveling on the India Railway system (as well as what not to expect), types of Indian train classes, India railway facilities, cost of travel on Indian trains, and instructions on making offline and online India Railway reservations.

 ... read more »

Last edited by nadreg; Mar 28th, 2008 at 05:19..
#421 Sep 13th, 2012, 19:58
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#421
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Originally Posted by narendra.d View Post @Murli Garu: After a long time. Good to have you back.
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#422 Dec 7th, 2012, 11:57
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#422
I have voted for sleeper class due to its affordable rates and comfortableness and after reading the article that you have shared its is clear that sleeper class is much much better
#423 Dec 7th, 2012, 20:04
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#423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevshukla View Post I have voted for sleeper class due to its affordable rates and comfortableness and after reading the article that you have shared its is clear that sleeper class is much much better
I too thought sleeper class was doable, but no more.
Sleeper class is affordable but a nightmare these days. I loved to travel by sleeper class as that's how most middle class people travelled. I have taken many trips in sleeper class over the last 40 years, one of which was a two week long Indrail pass in sleeper class. Two trips proved to be hellish. One was on Punjab Mail in 1986 when some local college students forced their way into the car, who were misbehaving with my wife. When I asked them to not do it, they became violent and hit me. Fortunately they got off as they were daily travellers going a short distance. I thought of the aggression as an aberration.
I was never so scared in my life.
I did NZM-Pune on Goa Express in Dec. 2010 when I discovered that even long distance travellers got into the car even without a reserved seat. The TTE ignored their presence. Intruders, they were not violent though, made use of every bit of space on the floor and seats that were not theirs. It was very annoying to see such disregard for the reservation process. I'll no longer travel in sleeper class. Even in 2004 when I travelled on the same train from NZM to Bhusawal with my wife and children, there were no intruders in the sleeper car.
#424 Dec 7th, 2012, 20:28
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#424
On previous trips, i've only ever travelled AC2 Tier. Felt secure and reasonably comfortable.
For my trip in March next year, out of my 7 train journeys booked, 5 of them will be Sleeper class. The value looks great, about 350 RPs for an overnight journey of over 750 Kms. I hope the experience is as good as it sounds! I'm travelling solo, will my backpack be secure if I chain it up (I also use a Pacsafe) and leave it to go to toilet etc? I will be travelling on the railway lines on the West coast of India.
#425 Apr 6th, 2013, 11:41
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#425
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicovilla View Post On previous trips, i've only ever travelled AC2 Tier. Felt secure and reasonably comfortable.
For my trip in March next year, out of my 7 train journeys booked, 5 of them will be Sleeper class. The value looks great, about 350 RPs for an overnight journey of over 750 Kms. I hope the experience is as good as it sounds! I'm travelling solo, will my backpack be secure if I chain it up (I also use a Pacsafe) and leave it to go to toilet etc? I will be travelling on the railway lines on the West coast of India.
Got back last week, and had no problems travelling sleeper, although the one night on the Konkan ana express to mumbai, I woke up at 2.00 am to discover loads of extra people had boarded the train. The floor space was covered in sleeping people. I was on side upper berth, and watched the comings and goings through the night. Backpack was safe and untouched.
More details-
http://westerrnghats.blogspot.co.uk/
#426 Apr 6th, 2013, 14:34
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#426
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicovilla View Post Got back last week, and had no problems travelling sleeper, although the one night on the Konkan ana express to mumbai, I woke up at 2.00 am to discover loads of extra people had boarded the train. The floor space was covered in sleeping people. I was on side upper berth, and watched the comings and goings through the night. Backpack was safe and untouched.
More details-
http://westerrnghats.blogspot.co.uk/
A great read, sounds like you had a great trip.
.
SOS: Missing Person...

Please look at this thread, even if you are not in India.: Have you seen Jonathan Spollen?

He could be anywhere now: You might have met him, be able to help, or give information.
#427 Apr 7th, 2013, 00:23
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#427
Video of Sleeper class carriages

http://youtu.be/4JevBcZy95s
#428 Apr 7th, 2013, 03:09
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#428
I'm going to be travelling from Delhi to Haridwar in mid-late May, and I've just finished all of the IRCTC-Cleartrip sign up stuff. A little late I know (especially for the season), but there are three main options left for me. Which would anybody recommend?

1) The Haridwar Mail, sleeper class, which is the longest (6h45m), and also leaves quite early (5:30AM).

2) Ddn Janshtbdi, Second sitting. This is the shortest (4h), and leaves in the afternoon so I get there at sunset, just in time for Aarti? It it also the cheapest option, but filling up fast.

3) Dehradun Shtbdi, AC Chair Car. This train takes only a little longer than Ddn Janshtbdi, leaves at a more reasonable time in the morning (650AM). However this is much more expensive than the other two.

I would like to take number (2), but I am wondering about how hot it will be? Also the comfort, because it is very cheap yet the train is the fastest. I would like to not be isolated from too many people, and meet and chat with other travellers (Indian and/or foreign) at least a little bit. I read that the AC Chair Car has more business and military men, so maybe not the best for chatting the time away?

Many thanks!
#429 Apr 7th, 2013, 03:17
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#429
I would go for 3 as it gets you there in the morning and you are not then scrabbling around for a bunk for the night. It is 100 rupees more.

Has the Canadian dollar collapsed lately?

If not it will cost you about $2 more and there is FTQ availability which you might need if you haven't booked yet.
#430 Apr 7th, 2013, 03:26
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#430
The Canadian dollar against the INR is pretty strong right now (yay!). The price of the Haridwar Mail is Rs. 172, the Janshtbdi 147, and Shtbdi is 447 (I'm quoting these off the top of my head but those are the general prices). While not significantly expensive, option 3 is quite a bit more compared to the other two. But price isn't as much of an issue as comfort, timing, or interaction while on the train. The Shtbdi has plenty of space, the other two I should have a couple of more days I hope.

I can't quite book for sure yet since the timing is dependent on something else. Could I book a few seats and cancel in the next week or so the ones I don't need without incurring much (if any) of a cost?
#431 Apr 7th, 2013, 03:33
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#431
There's nothing to stop you making multiple bookings and then cancelling. The costs are pretty minimal but the bookings do count against your allowance of 10 per month via Cleartrip or IRCTC.

The fare on the Shatabdi includes a half decent breakfast and these trains are pretty good at running on time. Both the Shatabdi and the Jan Shatabdi are chair cars - airline style seating - so the interaction really depends on your immediate neighbours. You will get more space in CC than 2S. How much luggage will you have?

If comfort is important to you then the morning Shatabdi is a no-brainer in my view.
#432 Apr 7th, 2013, 03:47
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#432
This is likely to be the only train travel I'll be booking, so maybe I'll book two or three just to keep my options open.

I won't have very much luggage (just a backpack really). Comfort isn't terribly important, but the very cheap price of the Jan Shatabdi had me a little worried it would be one of the cars with lots of people standing all around, and possible dirty. It sounds like it isn't though, so why is it much cheaper? Not AC and no meal? I suppose the problem with the Jan Shatabdi, is that it does get in a little bit late (if only it were an hour or two earlier).

Thanks for the info!
#433 Apr 7th, 2013, 12:17
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#433
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCPacific View Post . It sounds like it isn't though, so why is it much cheaper? Not AC and no meal? I suppose the problem with the Jan Shatabdi, is that it does get in a little bit late (if only it were an hour or two earlier).

Thanks for the info!
Less space (3x3 seating vs 2x3 seating in the Shatabdi), seats don't recline, food's not included in your ticket cost, no AC.
#434 Aug 4th, 2013, 11:36
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#434

Thumbs up

I will reading it deeply,thank for the writer.It's very wonderful for me.I wanna send you flowers,but here have none,so
I want to go to kochi goa mumbai jaipur delhi agra varanasi and alleppey
#435 Aug 4th, 2013, 13:36
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#435
Preparing for my previous trips to India (2004, 2007), I had no trouble booking train tickets on-line from the US. This time I've had nothing but trouble. I seem now to have satisfied all IRCTC requirements except for providing information for a "Mobile OTP." I haven't the first idea what IRCTC is asking for. Does anyone on this board know?
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