New Jalpaiguri-Sealdah: Unreserved Train vs. Bus?

#1 Feb 12th, 2008, 13:09
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#1
I've got myself into a tightish spot, transport-wise, and I'm trying to figure out what my options are.

I'm currently waitlisted for the Kanchenjunga Express from NJP to Sealdah on the 14th (Thursday, I believe). I'm currently at position 8, for sleeper class. I'm pretty confident that I'll end up with a berth, but since I need to be back in Kolkata pretty urgently to make another train, I'm a little worried.

As a back up, my options seem to be either to travel on the same train, unreserved class, or to try and get a bus. It's a day journey, but it's 12 hours. What's the better option here -- a 12 hour bus trip, or the same amount of time unreserved? Is it possible there's a swish tourist bus available, and if so, will it really be better?
Last edited by machadinha; Feb 12th, 2008 at 13:18.. Reason: adjusted title
#2 Feb 12th, 2008, 13:20
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#2
Normally a 12 hour bus trip will be better than an unreserved sleeper.

Drive can get uncomfortable when that long, also poor 'pit stops' but still will probably be better.

Is there a place halfway you want to stop overnight? Good way to break a bus journey, provided the stop is decent, worthwhile and safe.
#3 Feb 12th, 2008, 14:27
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#3
Your waitlisted ticket should get confirmed, or at the very least, become RAC, and RAC is 10 times better than traveling unreserved or by bus over such a long distance, I feel confident you will get a confirmed berth.

There is actually one confirmed berth available if you book from Jalpaiguri Road (about 20-25kms from NJP if I remember right), book this ticket if you can, THEN (and not before) ask questions about boarding at NJP or Jalpaiguri Road or about how to get there.

There are also still 8 berths remaining on the Guwahati-Sealdah quota, and 25 berths on the same Tatkal quota.

Then there are the 20 or so berths the TTE has at his disposal.

So all in all, I think you'll get a confirmed berth.
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#4 Feb 12th, 2008, 14:31
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#4
hello steven, is there a way to know how many seat quote TTE has in his/her disposal for any train?
#5 Feb 12th, 2008, 15:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Neel View Post hello steven, is there a way to know how many seat quote TTE has in his/her disposal for any train?
Maybe, but there are too many things to take into consideration, and I'm not sure of all the numbers in the equation.

First, let me say that I've only slightly looked into this, and only for Sleeper Class (SL).

The TTE seems to have 2 side berths in every 2nd SL carriage (Thanks VSP for pointing this out to me ), so there's the first problem, how many SL carriages (can be anywhere between 1 & 18).

To work out how many SL carriages, look for availability as far ahead as the website will allow (3 months for most trains at the moment), write down the number, then look for availability for other sectors of the journey, if it's different, add that number to the first number, then look for other sectors...and so on....then divide the total number of available berths by (about) 58, that should give a rough idea of how many SL carriages are on that particular train.

Then the TTE has any un-used berths (lower berth quota, foreign tourist quota, defence quota, Tatkal Quota), this number can't really be worked out till the day of departure, and even then, without any guarantee of accuracy.

Then there's the emergency quota (also known as VIP quota), but I've no idea how many berths would be reserved for this quota, and they're more likely to be in air con classes, there are also some other quotas to be added.

All in all, too difficult to work out, but likely to be at least 1.5 - 2 per SL carriage. (this doesn't include unused berths)

Then there is another factor, 10 RAC ticket holders are given 5 lower berths (kept as 10 seats) in every SL carriage, this is to cover last minute cancellations and people who simply don't turn up.

I read recently that the TTE is going to have his trump cards taken away from him, and that station reservation staff (at the train's departure station) will be able to allocate all the above un-used berths and un-used quotas, the TTE will have to also log the numbers of all seat/berths of passengers who didn't show for the train, these numbers would then be entered into his (new) hand held computer, the numbers would then be available to reservation staff further down the line and could be used by waitlisted passengers joining at stations along the route.

I don’t know when this will happen though, I think it’s being tested on some trains.
#6 Feb 12th, 2008, 18:33
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#6
Thanks, Steven -- with your say so, I'm feeling a lot more confident about ending up somehow in sleeper.

I'd ask what, exactly, RAC is, but I know the info is in one of those big obvious train threads, so I'll read there instead of demanding the info of you.

OK, so the TTE has empty berths in each car at his/her (I totally saw a female TTE once, and it impressed the hell out of me!) disposal. How does one secure one of these berths?

Due to the constraints of badly planned travel (AKA I waited WAY too long to decide what I was doing), it pretty much has to be this train, and I can't stop the night somewhere else. I have to be back in Kolkata on the 14th with enough time to make a connecting train that leaves at 11pm. The Kanchenjunga, arriving as it does circa 7pm, is ideal.

And, yes, I realize this is a textbook example of How Not To Travel India. The best part? After 2 full days of complicated multi-leg travel, I arrive in that oh so laid back city of Varanasi...
#7 Feb 12th, 2008, 18:47
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#7
Are you only going to Calcutta to get a train to Varanasi?
#8 Feb 12th, 2008, 18:48
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#8
Ummmm, yeah...

I know there's a train directly to Varanasi from NJP, but, ummmm, it was kinda booked by the time I got around to arranging any of this.

BTW, I just checked and my WL status has jumped to 4. I have a strong feeling this is all going to work out. Thanks for the advice and moral support. I await the tongue lashing in store for not booking the NJP - Mughal Sarai train ages ago in the first place, and avoiding all this drama.
#9 Feb 12th, 2008, 18:54
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#9
Don't do it.

There a well timed overnight train from New Jalpaiguri to Mughal Sarai (about 16kms from varanasi) that has availability in Sleeper Class of about 160 (for departure on the 14th)
#10 Feb 12th, 2008, 19:02
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#10
OK, train 2505 departs New Jalpaiguri at 16:50 and gets to Mughal Sarai at 07:05.

There are 156 berths available via the Tatkal quota in Sleeper Class (and 11 in 3-tier air con).

Sleeper Class will cost Rs 509

It's more expensive because you have to book from Guwahati to New Delhi, and then pay a Tatkal charge.

You can book from Guwahati, and state that you'll be boarding at NJP, then you can get off at Mughal Sarai.

Let me know if you plan to do this and I'll explain how to fill in the reservation form.

You can get refunds on your other 2 tickets, but only do this when you have your confirmed berths on train 2505.
#11 Feb 12th, 2008, 19:18
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#11
Just in case you check this thread later and want to book train 2505.......

Go to the following thread.

Understanding Reservation Forms.

Train number & number - 2505, North East Express.

Date of journey - 14/02/08

Station from - Guwahati.
To – New Delhi.
Boarding at – New Jalpaiguri.
Reservation up to – New Delhi. (it has to be New delhi under the Tatkal rules)

Make sure you write Tatkal in big bold letters on the top of the reservation form.
Last edited by steven_ber; Feb 13th, 2008 at 00:53.. Reason: schoolboy typo
#12 Feb 15th, 2008, 16:04
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I just wonder what did he do at the end.... only if he comes back to this forum for once

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