Retirement rooms at railway stations - How to get?

#1 Feb 4th, 2006, 09:36
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#1
Has anyone stayed in the so called "Retirement rooms" that they rent out at stations to passengers? How clean/good are they? Is there a reservation process, or, is it booked on a "first come first serve" basis at the station on a daily basis? I heard from someone that you can book the rooms on a half day basis as well. Has anyone done that?

Mucho gr... ermm shukhriya.
LVQ
#2 Feb 4th, 2006, 11:55
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#2
After reaching your destination seek out the counter/office where booking for retiring rooms. These are given by first come first serve basis. Railway employees on official tours stay in these too so sometimes these are full. Depending on the station the rooms could be very good aircon ones to dilapidated ones.
#3 Feb 4th, 2006, 12:56
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#3
Years ago before there were guest houses & hotels everywhere Railway Retiment Rooms were one place you could always be sure of a decent place to stay at a good price. In fact the whole train station set-up used to be pretty good, a refuge from all the melee which was happening outside.
Train station restaurants were quite places too, You could get away from all the stares & questions which was much worse than nowadays, and there was always a place to get a shower.

Actually getting on & travelling on a train though was something completely different,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
#4 Feb 4th, 2006, 13:13
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#4
sh,
These days at many places like Mumbai the tarrif of the retiring rooms specially the Aircon ones have been so hiked that it is same as hotels. The station restaurants at most of the cities serve decent food in a clean atmosphere.
The retirimg rooms at the Udaipur station used to be palacial.
#5 Feb 4th, 2006, 14:36
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#5
I've stayed in lots and lots of retiring rooms - in fact I make a special point of trying to get them, as I think they are the ideal place to stay if you are only going to be in a town for a day or two.

Why?...
you dont have to take a taxi or walk all over town
you don't have to find a hotel
its not far to carry your bags
vegetarian (and non-veg) restaurant is available down stairs
easy to find a newspaper - the station is often the only place to have them
platform shops sell most of a traveller's requisites
room prices are usually good - often exceptional value
security is usually good

The quality of them varies tremendously from spotlessly clean, to filthy and running with rats (that was Ajmer - I've seen nicer horror films! I had to hang ALL my possessions on wall hooks - the rats stole the soap each night) A lot of the time, how nice they are depends on how much enthusiasm the staff put into their job - for instance the rooms at Madurai could be really nice, but the guy there does nothing unless shouted at, and continually looks for tips (oh dear - yet again I didn't have the nerve to make a proper report in the complaints book - I didn't want him to lose his job, greasy though he was).

Note that even the best retiring rooms will be noisy - it is a station after all - so if you haven't got ear plugs, forget it.

To get a retiring room, you must be in possession of a ticket for your inward or onward journey. Go to the ticket collector's office (usually) and ask there if there are any vacancies. They are booked on a first-come first-served basis, so make this your first job as soon as you get off the train. You can get a retiring room for two nights, or more, if the officials agree.

You are supposed to be able to book them in advance by sending a money order for the correct amount, but I have never tried this, or have met anyone else who has done it.

Some places in India have rail-hotels - Yatri Nivas. The one at New Delhi is supposed to be good, though I have never tried it.

Tim in Ireland
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#6 Feb 4th, 2006, 14:43
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#6
Tim,
Advance booking can not be done.
#7 Feb 4th, 2006, 15:23
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#7
LaviQ,
By the way these are called "retiring rooms" not retirement room.
#8 Feb 4th, 2006, 15:29
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#8
I was not able get one a couple of months back at Chennai Central; they were all taken, despite there being lots of retiring rooms at that station.
#9 Feb 4th, 2006, 15:36
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#9
manoj,
Once long time back I along with my wife reached Chennai station very late in the night as the train was late. We tried for a retiring room but was told by the matron that all were booked. So went to the upper class waiting room to pass the rest of the night. The attendant at the waiting room told us to go back to the matron & give her some money, we did that & got an aircon room.
#10 Feb 4th, 2006, 15:38
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#10
I've stayed at a retiring room just once - at Delhi Jn. station a long time back. The room was alotted on a first come first served basis and I got it as two ladies were accompanying me and the Howrah-Kalka Mail, scheduled to depart at 22=45 was running 7 hours behind schedule. The authorities realised that I couldn't wander out looking for a hotel at that hour with two ladies in tow!

The room itself was quite basic, but clean.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#11 Feb 4th, 2006, 16:33
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#11
Tried to stay in Retiring rooms in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh night before last as we arrived late and were due to catch an early train away. Got to station, went to office showed ticket and asked for room. "No retiring room here, Sir" came the reply. Now, I knew there were retiring rooms as I had looked it up on the Indian Railways website, so I insisted. "All full sir, block booked". He also said it was not possible to book in advance so any news on how to do that would be useful. After some discussion it became clear we weren't going to get a room so we made for a hotel - and almost missed the train as we couldn't find an auto at 4am. In the end the chowkidar went for one on his bike. Thank you!!
#12 Nov 21st, 2007, 03:10
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#12

Question Where can I see which station has retiring rooms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewill View Post Now, I knew there were retiring rooms as I had looked it up on the Indian Railways website
Where can I see which station has retiring rooms?
#13 Nov 21st, 2007, 03:51
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#13
This is probably an extremely stupid question, but it reflects more my assumptions about travel in the US than any weird misconceptions about India --

Is it safe for a woman to stay alone in a railway retiring room?

Spending the night in a train station would be considered one of the more risky things a solo woman could do in the US.

BTW, I think this is one of the main reasons for all these assumptions about women traveling alone in India; we have them ourselves in the US (and in fact probably worse - I know women in the US who rarely go out alone in public, let alone traveling, let alone traveling in a foreign country).
#14 Nov 21st, 2007, 04:52
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#14
The retiring room is a great Indian institution.

http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/ret...facilities.htm

In larger stations there is a greater diversity of rooms - dorms (mixed and single sex), private, AC and non AC. Also, some are charged by a 12 hour period.

In dorms, lockable cabinets are always available - bring a good padlock!
#15 Nov 21st, 2007, 17:28
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by the opoponax View Post This is probably an extremely stupid question, but it reflects more my assumptions about travel in the US than any weird misconceptions about India --

Is it safe for a woman to stay alone in a railway retiring room?

Spending the night in a train station would be considered one of the more risky things a solo woman could do in the US.

BTW, I think this is one of the main reasons for all these assumptions about women traveling alone in India; we have them ourselves in the US (and in fact probably worse - I know women in the US who rarely go out alone in public, let alone traveling, let alone traveling in a foreign country).
Come to India, or Europe, it's not dramatic either here or there.

I met a lot of solo women travelling on their own. But, well one asked me to be her "husband" while travelling on an oil truck from Lamayuru to Srinangar, but retiring rooms would be fine, I think.

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