Boarding Trains in India

#1 Aug 16th, 2007, 17:39
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  • ScreamingBagel is offline
#1
Greetings all -

I'm going to be on the Shatabi Express on Saturday evening, heading back to Delhi from Haridwar. My ticket is second class AC with an assigned seat in a particular coach.

Since the train will already have taken on some passengers at the route's origination (Dehradun), I suspect overhead storage space may be harder to come by than if I boarded a purely empty train.

SO, I want to attempt to board the correct coach immediately so that I can most efficiently get to my spot and find a place to drop by (rather large) bag before the rest of the world does.

Can anyone give me an indication as to how to "nail" the carriage I'm in right off the bat? How are the cars themselves ordered? Are the 1st/2nd class coaches a different color? Do the 1st class coaches come first, last, or anywhere in between so I can ignore them and start counting up to (in my case) coach #5?

Any ideas/strategies would be appreciated - Don't want so spend 4.5 hours with a big ol' pack on my lap

Russell
#2 Aug 16th, 2007, 17:44
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  • shashank.aggarwal is offline
#2
Dont need to worry about anything, just handover the luggage to Coolie, he will charge you Rs.10-20 will carry your luggage from station gate to right platform and make sure you board the right coach...

About the space for luggage need not worry about that even s small bit..specially in second class AC...even if there is no apparent place, then stuff can be placed below the seats, some one else's sleeper, or over the luggage of fellow passengers...no hassles at all...
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#3 Aug 16th, 2007, 17:47
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  • himmat01 is offline
#3
You don't have to worry about the position of the coach. That will be displayed on a screen at the entrance as well as on screens on the platform.
#4 Aug 16th, 2007, 17:49
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  • steven_ber is offline
#4
It's easier than you'd imaging.

A porter will approach you as you get near the station, show him your ticket and he will take you to the right place on the right platform, about Rs30-40 should be enough to give him....however, tell him you want him to help you on to the train, he will walk away, he will then come back as the train is approaching the platform, he will then store your luggage close to your seat (thus showing you where your seat is), then give him another Rs20-30, it's more than enough, but you'll feel it's worth it.
#5 Aug 16th, 2007, 17:53
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  • steven_ber is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.aggarwal View Post just handover the luggage to Coolie, he will charge you Rs.10-20 will carry your luggage from station gate to right platform and make sure you board the right coach...
This shows the different way an Indian tourist and a foreign tourist travel, and what may be expected of them, a porter would have a heart attack if a foreign tourist offered him Rs10.
#6 Aug 16th, 2007, 17:53
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  • Aishah is offline
#6
Do as Shashank Aggarwal suggests - get the coolie! Many stations do not have the overhead signs for where your carriage will be, the coolie always know. There are no overhead luggage racks, all luggage is stored under the berths. There is usually plenty of room for everyone. And if the coolie quotes an outrageous price e.g. 100 rupees, 50 rupees etc. ask to see his badge and his no. They are immediately dismissed if you report to the stationmaster this information and you will find most coolies will then charge you the correct amount. If you have a really long walk with very heavy baggage, give him a little extra!
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#7 Aug 16th, 2007, 18:06
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  • shashank.aggarwal is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post This shows the different way an Indian tourist and a foreign tourist travel, and what may be expected of them, a porter would have a heart attack if a foreign tourist offered him Rs10.
yeah.. that is why I mentioned Rs.20 also..but If it would have been me I would have paid Rs.10 and if my mother was traveling she would try to settle for Rs.5...

but for us finding the coach and other things is not a major hassle..even though it sometime requires running around a bit, however knowing hindi always helps..you can always ask one of the hawkers, coolies OR stall owners...

I purchase a bottle of water from a stall and ask the details...

but I wont recommend these to people who are alien to such environments..
#8 Aug 16th, 2007, 18:27
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  • vmehra24 is offline
#8
Rs 10 in Haridwar? Is it possible?.
I guess I have let myself horribly overcharged then.
#9 Aug 16th, 2007, 18:31
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  • shashank.aggarwal is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmehra24 View Post Rs 10 in Haridwar? Is it possible?.
I guess I have let myself horribly overcharged then.
Depends on your luggage..even though I was hypothetically speaking..as I never use a porter..

but still for a single traveler carrying a simple bag Rs.10 should be enough...
#10 Aug 16th, 2007, 21:27
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  • southbeach_gal is offline
#10
I am travelling with my husband and son later this year and we will all have backpacks. Should we pay more than 30-40?
#11 Aug 16th, 2007, 21:51
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  • capt_mahajan is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbeach_gal View Post I am travelling with my husband and son later this year and we will all have backpacks. Should we pay more than 30-40?
Not if you are carrying the backpacks yourself

Seriously, and specially if you get the porter to put the stuff inside the compartment, paying 30/40 is not that unusual an amount.
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#12 Aug 16th, 2007, 21:54
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  • southbeach_gal is offline
#12
We're happy to pay for the help of finding and getting to the right place.
#13 Aug 17th, 2007, 01:39
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  • trvl_in is offline
#13
I'm just going to chime in here with another vote for "retain the coolie".

If you can trust your instincts to recognize a police officer in uniform, then you can trust your instincts to identify a proper coolie. Communicate to the coolie your agenda: luggage to the boarding spot, or luggage to be stowed onboard the train, and settle on the price (if I remember correctly, there's actually a tarrif posted in most stations).

Rarely in life will you have an opportunity to obtain such a concentration of useful service at just the right moment for such a modest fee...
#14 Aug 17th, 2007, 09:36
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  • Aishah is offline
#14
From what I understand (speaking one time on a train between jaipur and Jodhpur to a station master who was travelling in same compartment, and where i learned about the badge thing)the correct price is 10 rupees per item, but you should take into account the distance walked and if he helps you put everything into the train after a length of time. I would pay at any time no more than 40 rupees with this consideration - and I usually have 2 heavy bags. A proper coolie is wearing a red coat and has a large metal disk on his arm with his no.
Trvlin - I couldn't agree more with what you are saying!
#15 Aug 17th, 2007, 09:48
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  • Nattusbs is offline
#15
I agree that the coolie is the best approach. It is amazing how they will carry your luggage from the station entrance to the spot on the platform where your coach will arrive, then they disappear. You stand there thinking "gosh, now what? is this the correct place. When do I pay him". Suddenly as the train light appears around the bend, he will re-appear near you, tie his head turban, put your luggage in the correct spot in the coach and you pay him. I would suggest to give Rs 30 for a heavy bag - and tell him this "Mai-ney baksheesh diya" - meaning "I have (mai-ney) included (diya) the tip (baksheesh)".

Have fun

Nattusbs

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