Lokmanya Tilak railway station - what a dump!

#1 Jun 28th, 2008, 00:53
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  • costaguana is offline
#1
There are no way of putting it nicely, so I am just going to recommend that travellers avoid Lokmanya Tilak railway station unless you absolutely have to pass through. It's such a dive, and so much more poorly organized than the other large stations in Mumbai! That and there are these huge groups of creepy-looking men just hanging around, which really made my wife feel uncomfortable. She has been travelling through Mumbai's rail stations all her life, so to single out a station for this nuisance is saying something!

I know our experiences are subjective and all, but having travelled pretty extensively by rail within India, I can safely say that Lokmanya Tilak railway station ranks among the dredges of what is on offer. Barring a "can't miss" train departing or arriving, there is nothing to work in this station's favour. Even the touts seemed more annoying here!

If anyone else has a similar story (or even a vastly different experience!), please do share.
#2 Jun 28th, 2008, 01:24
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#2
Totally agree! It is more of a problem when it is your arrival station, because then the creepy-looking characters will try to get you a taxi, and ALL taxis there have tampered meters. And there will be two people in the front seat, to argue you down at the end of the trip.

If you are catching a train from there out of Bombay, it is better, because the creeps don't have much of a role then. But the trains leaving from there are considered to have a higher percentage of biscuit and other bandits.

It is a pity that they have made that the station for trains going via beautiful Konkan Railway, something to do with the politics between Konkan Railway (a corporation) and Indian Railway (a govt department).
#3 Jul 2nd, 2008, 20:02
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#3
Well, well, well....
Let me expose you my problems.

I'm flying in two weeks time from Paris (France), via Helsinki to Mumbai.
Arriving Mumbai 6:00 a.m.
Then at 12:40 p.m., I have a train at Lokmanya Tilak to Jalgaon (already booked)

Problem 1 :I am a woman travelling alone with 4 children (8 to 13 age old). My husband will meet us two weeks later in Madurai.

Problem 2: My children, (if I don't use heavy drugs on them!)are going to play with the screen, watch TV and so on until late. And 6:00 a.m.in Mumbay means 2:30 a.m. in Paris time. The probability of having 4 zombies when we arrive is close to 100%.

... After reading your posts, I am starting to get (a bit) nervous....The good news is I am leaving Mumbai fom Lokmanya Tilak.

If you have any tips, like hiring someone to carry our luggage or not... what to do and what not to do, I'll be very greatfull!

Thank's.
#4 Jul 2nd, 2008, 21:36
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paris View Post Well, well, well....
Let me expose you my problems.

I'm flying in two weeks time from Paris (France), via Helsinki to Mumbai.
Arriving Mumbai 6:00 a.m.
Then at 12:40 p.m., I have a train at Lokmanya Tilak to Jalgaon (already booked)

Problem 1 :I am a woman travelling alone with 4 children (8 to 13 age old). My husband will meet us two weeks later in Madurai.

Problem 2: My children, (if I don't use heavy drugs on them!)are going to play with the screen, watch TV and so on until late. And 6:00 a.m.in Mumbay means 2:30 a.m. in Paris time. The probability of having 4 zombies when we arrive is close to 100%.

... After reading your posts, I am starting to get (a bit) nervous....The good news is I am leaving Mumbai fom Lokmanya Tilak.

If you have any tips, like hiring someone to carry our luggage or not... what to do and what not to do, I'll be very greatfull!

Thank's.
Don't worry too much, the station is only famous for ripping off people, so at worst you will lose an extra 1000 Rs!

If your luggage has wheels, you can roll it, but the pavement is not very good, at least it was not the last time I was there. So you will probably need to get a porter, but he will ask a fancy amount after. Ask people around whether the amount he is asking is reasonable, they will then help you handle the porter.

Since you are going only up to Jalgaon, you don't need to worry about the biscuit bandits much. Buy your food from around the airport, don't accept food from anyone on the train, and try not to sleep until you reach Jalgaon.

Get chummy with lots of folks in your compartment, so that even if a couple of them are shady, the others would keep an eye on your stuff if you sleep off. Take some chains with you to lock the luggage to the seats. Keep track of when the train reaches Jalgaon, if you feel really sleepy, ask people around you to wake you up when the train nears your station.

You will be okay!
#5 Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:46
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#5
I couldn't find the translation of biscuit bandits. Don't laugh, please, are you talking about people offering you food so that you fall asleep?
Can you buy chain at the train station, or do I have to carry it all way from France. How long should it be?
I'll buy a waker + my mobile phone. You're right I don't feel like arriving somewhere around Varanasi the next morning.
Thank's Mazha for all your advices.
#6 Jul 3rd, 2008, 02:22
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paris View Post are you talking about people offering you food so that you fall asleep?
Yes, the trains leaving from that station via the Konkan route are considered favourites for such people. Not sure about trains towards Nasik. Which class are you travelling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paris View Post Can you buy chain at the train station, or do I have to carry it all way from France. How long should it be?
You can buy a chain at the station, but you may need to haggle/bargain there, you probably want to do that after the long flight! You can bring a couple of bike locks, those should work, most train seats have long steel cables you can put through your luggage and then lock.

One more thing, get a prepaid taxi from the airport, there are seedy taxi drivers at the airport as well, and they may ask for more money when among their friends at the station!
#7 Jul 3rd, 2008, 14:07
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#7
We are travelling in class AC3.
I chose Lokmania Tylak because at CST the first train to Aurangabad on Saturday was around 4:00 p.m. I thought it was clever....
We'll probably take a long breakfast at the airport (and not at the railway station!). Then take a prepaid taxi. I'm going to prepare the children in advance to this difficult arrival at Lokmania Tylak and to the cultural choc. I just hope that they will not develope too much anxiety for the rest of our 6 weeks journey.
I will buy bike locks, as you said, before our departure. I'll have enough kepping an eye on all of them! And then I guess I will chew cafeine pills untill Jalgaon!
We'll return from Aurangabad through CST.
Thanks for you're help.
#8 Jul 3rd, 2008, 21:50
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  • adussias is offline
#8
My family (husband, 2 children, and father-in-law) will be traveling out of LT station to Jalgaon in about 3 weeks, so I am grateful to know what we should be prepared for!

We will be arriving at the international airport around midnight and then heading out to Jalgaon from LTT around noon. Can anyone recommend a hotel near the train station? Or would we be better off staying in a hotel right near the airport when we arrive (all exhausted) and then just go to the train station right before the train departs? That sounds like a better plan, I think, but I'd appreciate some advice from someone with more experience!

Also, how soon before train departure should we be at the station, do you think? We already have e-tickets.

And best of luck to Paris with your trip!

Thank you,

Allison in Boston, MA, USA
#9 Jul 3rd, 2008, 23:29
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#9
I didn't see any decent hotels near LTRS so my recommendation would be to crash at a hotel near the airport and make your way to the station in the morning.

Apologies if my OP freaked anybody out. I recognize that LTRS can't always be avoided, but I still feel that the condition of this station should be common knowledge. If it's a toss-up between trains departing/arriving at LTRS or another of Mumbai's long distance railway stations, then I would choose against LTRS nine times out of ten. However, if you don't have this luxury, then just put your game face on, keep your wits about you and you will be fine!

Cheers.
#10 Jul 3rd, 2008, 23:58
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Thank you, costaguana, I think we will just stick to staying near the airport. We'll all be tired anyway, but if someone did recommend a place near the station, I thought it might be worthwhile to stay up a little longer after our flight to go there, and be ready to head to the train station from that hotel.

As for LTT, our Jalgaon train originates there, and I had congratulated myself on finding a train that was not leaving from the center of Mumbai, because I did not want to have to make a long ride into the center to catch a train when we weren't staying in Mumbai. Live and learn! It's just good to know what to expect at LTT--I'm not freaked out about it, just glad to know what we should be prepared for.

Thanks again,

Allison in Boston, MA, USA
#11 Jul 4th, 2008, 00:11
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#11
Same for me Adussias, I thought it was brilliant to be so close from the airport. Well, as you said, most important is to be ready.
Have a nice trip too.
Costaguana and Mazha, thanks again to both of you. At least we are now psycologicaly prepared!!!!
#12 Jul 4th, 2008, 00:34
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paris View Post Same for me Adussias, I thought it was brilliant to be so close from the airport. Well, as you said, most important is to be ready.
Have a nice trip too.
Costaguana and Mazha, thanks again to both of you. At least we are now psycologicaly prepared!!!!
Yup, that's the way to think about it. LTRS is just a bad introduction to India, but maybe it is better to see the bad side first! :-)

I'm curious, what's so hot in Jalgaon these days? The last time I went by, it was a big banana town.
#13 Jul 4th, 2008, 00:54
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  • federica is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paris View Post We are travelling in class AC3.

We'll probably take a long breakfast at the airport (and not at the railway station!). Then take a prepaid taxi. I'm going to prepare the children in advance to this difficult arrival at Lokmania Tylak and to the cultural choc. I just hope that they will not develope too much anxiety for the rest of our 6 weeks journey.
Don't worry too much, it's not so bad in the daytime! I didn't like arriving there late in the evening, but in the daytime I found it not so different from any other railway station in this world. I am sure the crime rate at European railway stations is much higher.

In general: I am sure you'll get a lot of attention because of your kids, but this can happen all over India. And it may sound strange, but they are a kind of protection for you, too. Most Indians love kids.

Side note: As far as I know Mumbai airport is damn expensive when it comes to food. Maybe someone can suggest a better breakfast place? If not, relax, getting ripped off in India is mostly not so expensive
#14 Jul 4th, 2008, 10:15
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#14
I would go for the private taxis with electronic meters like meru cabs or I would call the JUST DIAL, 8888888/ASK ME, 2616666 services and get myself a cool cab bypassing all those old fiats with rigged meters .
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare dream of meeting your heart's longing.
#15 Jul 7th, 2008, 15:39
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#15
Mazha: Nothing really to see in Jalgaon, but same as for Aurangabad, a good start for our 3 days visit to Ajanta & Ellora.

Federica: You are right. Travelling with children is completely different. People are usually more smiling and helpful. It's very easy to meet people. So I'm not too much worrying. My only concern is that they won't get an irreversible bad impression at first. But they are young an adaptable and we'll try to see the positive part of it anyway...
Thank you for you're idea of another breakfast place. I'll take any suggestion.

Navinkurian2002: Thank's, I'll bring all those details with me.

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