Which berths?

#1 Jan 13th, 2008, 21:28
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  • eureka is offline
#1
Hi all,

My wife and I will be travelling AC3 Howrah to Varanasi, and then again Varanasi to New Delhi in mid February. Having never been to India before, I have some newbie questions.

1) Which would be the best berths to request on the journeys? The top and middle? bottom and top?

2) How do people safeguard their bags etc. while asleep, particularly when on a top berth?

3) Where are the windows in relation to the berths? We'd like to be able to take in the view, if possible.

4) When do people decide to get into their bunks to sleep? I ask because presumably all three people will be seated on the bottom berth during the day.

5) If one has the top berth, is it possible to climb up for a nap even during the day?

6) What is the difference between Varanasi City, and Varanasi JN, stations? Which should I choose as the destination?


Thanks a lot!
#2 Jan 13th, 2008, 21:58
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  • mirjamd is offline
#2
I always love the top berths, because, as you said, you can take a nap whenever you want It is only a problem is you're not very flexible to climb up the berth. If you are together and not very tall, its also an idea to ask for the side berths. Then you have two seats opposite each other. The lower seat folds into a bed later at night. I am 1.65m and for me its comfortable, but some of my taller friends dont like them.

If you dont get the seat you want and really have a problem with a different berth, you can always ask somebody to swap. Whether they agree is something different, but worth the try!

For safety of your bags, you can buy a chain and a lock at the station and there are hooks in the train to secure them on. I always keep my handbag next to my pillow.

The windows are on two sides, one next to the side berths and one next to the (in total) six berths. From practically every seat you can see the view, which is quite bad from 3rd AC, because the windows are yellowish.

People sleep around 10 or 11 pm and around 6 or 7 am everybody gets up, helped by the vendors who shout 'Chai' or 'Kapi' (which I realised after some time, means 'coffee' ).

Good thing abt 3rd AC is that they give you blankets, sheets and a pillow I always feel cold in the AC, so I bring a scarf or something to keep warm.

Happy train journeys!
#3 Jan 13th, 2008, 21:59
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  • pmvelu is offline
#3
1) If you prefer to have a nap during day time, Top berth might be ideal BUT climbing up might be bit difficult for older people / Heavier people

2)There will be a provision to lock your belongings under the lower berth (And you need to have a chain and lock for lockingup and this Chain / Lock will invariably be available at all railway station stalls)

3)In AC class, anyway the window glasses will be tinted and clearer views might not be possible and the window will be adjacent to the lower berth

4)In AC class, normally people will have a nap after the lunch (Especially) and any time you could request other people when you want to sleep in the day time. When I travel with my Kid , always I will request for the same !

5)If you are allocated top berth, you can climb up for sleep at any time

6)Sorry,I do not have an idea.

Especially, Side lower and Side upper berths will be uncomfortable if you are Taller (I am 6 feet and I always feel uncomfortable with the Side berths !)
And Definitely Steven ber (Our Train Man) would answer this question in a much better way . As he is not online,I tried to answer !.

Hope this helps
#4 Jan 13th, 2008, 23:58
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  • edwardseco is offline
#4
#2 & 3 have it well su,,arized. I have always preferred the relative privacy and security of top bunk. As I get older I will have to think about clambering up. I am too tall for side but have made do..
#5 Jan 14th, 2008, 03:01
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  • steven_ber is offline
#5
The other members have described 3-tier air con better than I could have, so just a few other notes.

Do you plan to do these journeys in overnight trains? (an upper berth loses a little appeal if you're only on the train for an overnight trip, there are also some very well timed overnight trains for these journeys)

Varanasi Jn is the main station, most trains don't call at Varanasi City station, however, also consider using Mughal Sarai station (about 16kms from Varanasi), Mughal Sarai station is on the main Kolkata-Delhi line and there are loads of extra trains using the station, so if you can't get bookings on a well timed Kolkata-Varanasi Jn train, try a train to MGS.

Many people may be shocked to know that the side berths are not much shorter than the other berths, see below....

I give the measurements (in cms) of the useable space, rather than the actual berth length.

Upper Berth = 182 x 60
Middle Berth = 182 x 60
Lower Berth = 185 x 64

Side Upper Berth = 180 x 59
Side Lower Berth = 180 x 59

HOWEVER, side berths do feel smaller, this is partly because the length is absolute and at either end of the berth is a partition wall, so you can't have your feet hanging over the end of the berth (as you can in the other berths), for example, if you're 165cms tall you may think you'd be OK in a side berth, think again, you don't sleep with your feet in the standing position, and you don't sleep with your head touching a wall.

However, I still prefer side berths.

It may be worth looking at the following thread, it's all about Sleeper Class (not air con), but the design of the Sleeper Class carriage is not too different to the 3-tier air con carriage, the 2 main differences being...

1, the air con and fixed windows make 3-tier air con a lot cleaner, but 3A can feel a little isolated (from India) because of this.

2, there are 9 sections (6 inside berths and 2 side berths per section) in a Sleeper Class carriage, but only 8 sections in a 3-tier air con carriage. (that's why the side berths are longer in 3A)

The seat/berth layout should be the same for 3A & SL, but remember that 3A has 8 fewer berths.

Sleeper Class details & photos.
#6 Jan 14th, 2008, 21:12
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  • gianni66 is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post side berths do feel smaller, this is partly because the length is absolute and at either end of the berth is a partition wall, so you can't have your feet hanging over the end of the berth
There is also another disadvantage of the side berth, in particular the lower one, which I have experienced sometimes: since the berth is obtained pulling down the two backs of the chairs, you can have a strip right in the middle where the foam is interrupted and you have the metal frame of the chair pushing on your back.

i remember a whole Delhi-Varanasi overnight journey with a nasty pain on my back caused by this problem... but it should be present only if the two backs of the chairs don't match perfectly leaving a gap in the junction or the foam of each chair doesn't cover completely the frame.
#7 Jan 14th, 2008, 22:17
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  • Nick-H is offline
#7
They really seem quite a lot narrower, and leaving a foot or arm hanging out can lead to painful accident if someone rushes past with a suitcase.
~
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#8 Jan 15th, 2008, 18:30
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  • Ann is offline
#8
If only two, then definitely I would have prefer the side berth. We can sit & enjoy the window scenery as well we can take nap whenever I feel like. There is no need to request others to give you a chance to be seated near to window (as always in case of six seats). Regarding the luggage, tie it with a Chain & lock it properly. Eatables bags and other bags which you might need while traveling can be kept in seat itself.

The only problem is that its difficult to get that seats as this seats are allocated for RAC people.

And also the seat size. Tall people can face a problem as they cannot stretch their legs completely on seats.
Love traveling & Indian Food.
#9 Jan 15th, 2008, 19:29
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  • atala is offline
#9
A drawback of Upper Berth is that the AC blows right into your face, if your head is toward the window side. I normally stick some paper or a towel into it (when cold), not in the hot season of course.

When travelling alone Side Berth is a real nuisance, because you cannot leave your extra-things which you might keep on the upper berth easily alone (when going to toilet or standing at the door to get a view).

On my last trip I noticed another (Indian) passenger using "not his" upper berth for a nap without even asking. Have you seen that too? Would you dare using one, with asking perhaps, if your ticket is allocated with a lower berth?

Lower Berth is easier in dealing with your shoes. With Upper berth you almost need to take them up with you (which I do for fear of losing them*), so that you do not stand on the not so clean floor in the morning. How do others deal with that?

* I have a shoe size that I could not replace in India if lost (Indian shoes do not go beyond size 9 normally)
#10 Jan 15th, 2008, 19:56
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  • steven_ber is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post Lower Berth is easier in dealing with your shoes. With Upper berth you almost need to take them up with you (which I do for fear of losing them*), so that you do not stand on the not so clean floor in the morning. How do others deal with that?
Put them on top of the ceiling mounted fans. (all classes)

or

Put them in the string/canvas pouch on the partition wall. (AC classes & FC)

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#11 Jan 16th, 2008, 11:31
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  • Ann is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post A drawback of Upper Berth is that the AC blows right into your face, if your head is toward the window side. I normally stick some paper or a towel into it (when cold), not in the hot season of course.
I think you are saying about the the AC compartment. may be as I never got seat in upper berth. in non AC compartment, you can easily adjust the fans. Sometimes when fan is not adjustable, the upper berth becomes more hotter in Summer. In my last trip to Cheenai in May, we two friends got lower berth but after request from two other elderly ladies, we got shifted to upper berth. It was a hit summer day, and the fan was not at all adjustable. The whole night I couldn't sleep because of hot.

Quote:
On my last trip I noticed another (Indian) passenger using "not his" upper berth for a nap without even asking. Have you seen that too? Would you dare using one, with asking perhaps, if your ticket is allocated with a lower berth?
I believe they are the RAC people. As they don't get reserved seats to sleep in night, in daytime they prefer to take a nap in the upper berth. It happened mostly while I travel but i never mind. Whenever I feel like to take a nap I make the person to get down from my upper berth. You wont imagine but in the night the RAC & waiting list people sleep in between the lower berths in Non AC Compartments. You will find them sleeping n between of the way.

Quote:
Lower Berth is easier in dealing with your shoes. With Upper berth you almost need to take them up with you (which I do for fear of losing them*), so that you do not stand on the not so clean floor in the morning. How do others deal with that?
* I have a shoe size that I could not replace in India if lost (Indian shoes do not go beyond size 9 normally)
I usually keep my shoes over my lugguage in night. At least this keeps my shoes safer. My dad put his shoes (in a packet after wrapping it with a paper) back in the carrying bag & lock it. You can do so as well to safe your shoes from thiefs.
#12 Jan 16th, 2008, 11:41
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  • atala is offline
#12
Well thanks for the feedback and the ideas about the shoes, Steven and Ann. I wonder how brahmins would react if they saw my birkenstocks on the ceiling fan. LOL. I was always a bit scared to take my shoes up to the upper berth hiding them well in the corner, and feel now a bit reassured with your suggestions.
#13 Jan 16th, 2008, 11:54
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  • nayan is offline
#13
putting the shoes on the fan is a very common thing..... but more prevelant in the unreserved compartment or sleeper class (non AC).
I have personally never seen anyone do it in 3AC or 2AC.
#14 Dec 23rd, 2013, 20:44
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  • Ruby Tuesday is offline
#14
I realise that this is an old thread but it is what came up when I did a search.

Has anything critical changed in the last 5 years?

Three of us are travelling together (1M 2F). We are looking at booking our first train trip from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri on train 12377. Which class would be best for us to book to be certain of being together? The choice seems to be 1AC, 2AC, 3AC and Sleeper.

Thanks

Roobs xx
#15 Dec 23rd, 2013, 20:57
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  • aarosh is offline
#15
I would suggest train 12343 and 3AC.

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