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beach Dec 1st, 2003 20:21

A Guide to the India Railway System and the Indian Train

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.

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Alan D Dec 1st, 2003 20:52


Excellent and informative post on Indian Railways. It's all true - the swapping of berths, magazines doing the rounds and the questions! Also there are answers to some queries posted on this forum recently about ticket reservation.

timmy Dec 2nd, 2003 15:33

Thnaks beach... yet more tips make it into my LP. It's slowly being stuffed full of post-it notes and printouts :)

beach Dec 2nd, 2003 21:36

Too few votes with so many readers !! ??
Too few votes with so many readers !! ??:confused:

maree Dec 3rd, 2003 06:53


Salute to the Indian Railways for the amazing service they do to the passengers!!
And salute to you, beach, for all that info. Gotta love those trains.

timmy Dec 3rd, 2003 09:32

Whoops, didn't even notice the poll at the top (...or forgot about it by the time I'd read the whole post!)


maree Dec 3rd, 2003 10:10

I think it means one person has chosen 2 options.

bijapuri Dec 3rd, 2003 13:40

it doesn't have MY favorite coach- 1nonAC
but then, few trains do anymore :(

beach Dec 5th, 2003 15:51

Fare Chart
1 Attachment(s)
This is a supplementary to my first JUMBO write-up Knowing the Indian Train . I did a small ‘research work’ with the massive rail fare data and made a chart like this one! I always wondered why the railways haven’t made something like this or do they already have one? The graphs can help you to plan your travel budget visually by looking at the cost and compare among various classes. All the standard costs like reservation fees, supplementary charges, Safety fee etc are shown in the chart, which needs to be added to your basic fare as per the schedule.

The only catch is you need to know the approximate distance between the places you are planning. Use a map (?)

Don’t ask me what are all these titles? I’ll land up in explaining a lot of political recipes in India! All I can say is the ‘Rich’ Indian travel by 1A and the ‘Poor’ by the Sleeper. So the Sleeper is highly subsidized at the cost of 1A. That is what is Socialism is all about!

beach Dec 5th, 2003 15:54

reservation fee schedule
1 Attachment(s)
Add this (res. fee+ Supp. charge+ safety charge) to the basic fare

beach Dec 16th, 2003 13:54

Indian Railways has flagged off a 12-coach exhibition train yesterday. The marigold-decorated train has been a joint project of the Science & Technology and Railway ministry. This exhibition on wheels will travel criss -cross the country as per the itinerary and schedule published.

A newspaper clipping of the train published in 'The Hindu'

A superb Indian railways map is put at the site. Click on "CLICK TO VIEW THE RAILWAY MAP" at the site.
A lot of pictures of the 'under construction train' also is put at the railway site.

PS: ''Jai Jawan Jai Kisan'' printed on the train belly means Hats off to the Soldier and hats off to the farmer, a legendry Indian national slogan

thestens Dec 16th, 2003 18:50

A magnificent resource, Beach - congratulations! Just one point to add - take care when paying by credit card, if you may want to cancel. We did this and were told we could only do it either at the station where we bought the ticket (long passed) or in Mumbai! Went to the office in Mumbai on a Saturday - it was closed and we flew home that night! We filled in forms which stated that the money would be refunded onto our credit acrd, but it wasn't. So we lost about £30.

Colin Dec 17th, 2003 01:57

Using $US is very convenient for Americans on this site but the to the rest of us its a foreign currency! I find myself looking up the US-Rs rate, so I can get some idea of the costs in a currency I understand. Stick to Rupees, we all understand them...

Congratulations beach on your graphics, it must have taken you ages to generate the graph, submit it to Indian Railways, they might engage you in a professional capacity!!

beach Dec 18th, 2003 12:54

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been promoted to the Articles section. You can read the article in its entirety here:

Getting to know the India Railways and the Indian Train

Added later on:
The latest railway budget (2004) abolished the TDR regime. Even the cancellations of unused reserved tickets after the travel date can me done at the regular reservation/cancellation counters. If my understanding is right you can claim the refund 3 hours after the train has reached your designated arrival station.

mdchachi Jan 14th, 2004 23:36

Thank you for your explanations. Very useful indeed. Sure would be nice if thought to include some of this stuff on their site. Anyway, I wonder if you happen to know what "REGRET" means in terms of availability? For example, I see trains labelled "REGRET/WL1" or "REGRET/WL3".

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