advice on getting from Siliguri/NJP to Varanasi

#1 Aug 8th, 2008, 13:21
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  • Krisztina is offline
#1
dear experienced IndiaMikers,

1. sorry for my bad English. feel a bit anxious that's my first post here. I have searched loads of your mails and have benefitted from them before registering.
I have been planning our (husband+1) 1-month trip to India/Nepal from several weeks and the info you share here has greatly helped me in many ways.
2. but now I feel desperate as we have only 1 week to go and I seem to stuck in the leg between Siliguri/NJP and Varanasi. I have registered at Indian Rail, tried to find and book tickets for 4 September - but all trains in all classes appear 'NOT AVAILABLE'. I tried other routes - for double checking - some trains are available even in the next few days.
3. does it mean that all tickets are sold? is it impossible to travel by train that day between these places.
4. In my despair I have thought about flying to Kolkata and get the possible train from there to Varansi (yes, I have found some available seats from K to V .
5. but before making all these more complicated I have decided to ask for your advice. Should I go for the latter option? Can I arrange tickets upon arrival in Delhi on 17 August? Are there any hopes or possibilities to get directly to Varanasi from NJP?

I would appreciate and thank any suggestion from you.
Krisztina
#2 Aug 8th, 2008, 18:55
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  • steven_ber is offline
#2
I've no time to explain, so you will have to trust me on this for now.

Book from Jalpaiguri Road to Allahabad on the North East Express, get the ticket booked, then ask questions later.

Station codes needed....

Jalpaiguri Rd = JPE
Allahabad = ALD

The north east express departs New Jalpaiguri daily at 17:05 and gets to Mughal Sarai (16kms from Varanasi) at 07:05, but because of distance restrictions, you need to book from JPE to ALD.

Book now, whilst there is still limited availability.
Last edited by steven_ber; Aug 8th, 2008 at 23:44..
#3 Aug 8th, 2008, 22:31
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#3
Dear Steve,

A BIG BIG thank you, thank you and thank you again
I am on cloud nine!!!!
I can't tell how grateful I am! with your help I could do eventually do it. though not for the first time because I had to find the right gateway of payment but finally I overcame this last barrier too and now I have the printout in my hands.
saying the reservation is confirmed.

does it mean that I can just go to the station and check our names and take the seats? or do I need to get 'ordinary' tickets as well?
is it OK that my chosen quota is 'general'? with the 'foreigner' one there were no tickets available.
and the most important question: can we get on the train at NJP and only at NJP Road? I saw that JPE is an hour or so away according to the timetable. Do we need to go to NJP Road for boarding the train?

Once again, thank you for your help.
Krisztina
#4 Aug 8th, 2008, 22:58
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#4
The printout IS the ticket, you'll need to carry the ID you used to buy the ticket (passport I assume).

NJP or NJP Road?

This has been discussed on this website in the past, with no real conclusion.

If it were me, I'd take my chances at NJP and play the dumb tourist if need be, but you really don't want to know some of the situations I've ended up in when I've tried to be clever.

From memory (so double check), I think it's about 25kms from NJP to NJP Road station.

The risk you take if you board the train at NJP, is that the man in charge of the train (the TTE) may think you've missed your train and give the berths to other people (on the wait list), so if you do board at NJP, make sure your standing outside your carriage (a porter will put you in the right place and carry your bags, great value for about Rs50) as the train stops at the platform, this way the TTE wont give your berths to anyone boarding the train at NJP.

The train starts from Guwahati, and (I'm only guessing here) it's likely that the train crew (including the TTE) end their duty at NJP, my thinking is....would I get up and check the tickets after the train departs from NJP Road, unlikely.

But as I said before, you really wouldn't want to travel with me, I'd drive you nuts, and we'd either end up in a station in the middle of nowhere or in a police station, or if we got lucky, we might get to our destination.

However, if any of this worries you in the slightest, or if you have plenty of time, get a taxi from Siliguri to NJP Road.

By the way, even though you've had to book till Allahabad, you can still get off the train at Mughal Sarai.
#5 Aug 8th, 2008, 23:21
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#5
Dear Steven,

I wouldn't mind travelling your way but I am afraid my husband would always want to be on the safer side . I have enjoyed reading your letter and I have to tell you, without your advice I sure couldn't have done it. Great relief!
Yes, I could figure out that we can get off the train at MGS . Nobody can stop us .

regards, Kr
#6 Aug 8th, 2008, 23:30
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisztina View Post Dear Steven,

I wouldn't mind travelling your way but I am afraid my husband would always want to be on the safer side . I have enjoyed reading your letter and I have to tell you, without your advice I sure couldn't have done it. Great relief!
Yes, I could figure out that we can get off the train at MGS . Nobody can stop us .

regards, Kr
If the armed police try to keep you on the train at Mughal Sarai, tell them you're going to buy some toilet roll, that will keep them thinking long enough for you to escape.

Welcome to indiamike.com
#7 Aug 8th, 2008, 23:41
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#7
:d :d :d :d
#8 Aug 8th, 2008, 23:46
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BTW. it's 34kms from NJP to NJP Road.
#9 Aug 8th, 2008, 23:56
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#9
yes, I have checked it out in the eRail timetable. if we can't manage to get there in time, then ..... your way
#10 Aug 9th, 2008, 00:12
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#10
It was hard for me to get a train from there to Varanasi, so I took a bus. I'm sure it took a lot longer, but had a wonderful time & meet a ton of people. I did not book or plan ahead just went as I traveled. Good luck & have fun too... Don't worry no matter what you'll get where you want, it just might take a bit longer...
#11 Aug 9th, 2008, 00:37
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dear Nicole,
thank you for your response. as we will be on a tight schedule I immediately took Steven's advice and now I just feel greatly relieved that the pressure of not knowing how to get there is gone.
your relaxed approach helps me to take things easy about organizing details like how to get to Darjeeling from the Bhutan border or to Sikkim from Darj.
though I won't stop browsing IndiaMike for picking up more useful info about other parts of our trip.
thanks to you all.

Kr
#12 Aug 11th, 2008, 04:14
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  • wsminkapila is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisztina View Post
is it OK that my chosen quota is 'general'? with the 'foreigner' one there were no tickets available.

Krisztina

General...???
#13 Aug 11th, 2008, 05:52
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#13
General quota just means no quota at all, as far as I know. I.e., a standard ticket. (For others: In whatever class; the, or most, quotas bear no relation to train class, or again, to my best knowledge.)
#14 Aug 12th, 2008, 01:08
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#14
General is just the quota for everyone, other quotas are for particular groups, but all those particular groups can also use the general quota.

Tourists should forget about the tourist quota untill they can't get tickets on the general quota, then look for tourist quota tickets.

Tourist quota tickets can only be booked in India, and only at reservation centres that have a tourist window.
#15 Sep 9th, 2008, 12:57
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#15
This thread has been incredibly helpful. You're a godsend, Steve. My girlfriend and I are making the same trip (NJP to Varanasi) a week from Friday. We took your advice and booked from JPE to ALD and we're both adventurous enough to try to game the system and get on at NJP.

Problem is there was just 1 spot left on the train and so while she got on, I'm waitlisted. I'm #1 on the WL (RLWL) and the train isn't until Sept. 18, but does that mean we're going to have to go to the station at JPE if I don't get off the WL before the day of the trip?

This is also the first train trip I'm going to be taking with some serious heavy baggage (it was parked in Bangalore with me for work for the last two months) - would that make this trick more difficult if we have to get our baggage to the luggage car?

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