Booking Train Travel from the UK

#1 Aug 30th, 2010, 20:06
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  • AmandaP is offline
#1
Hello i hope you can help me. My husband and i are trying to book train tickets from UK Trivandrum Central(Kerala) to Madgaon(Goa)and have basiccaly hit a brick wall. Can anyone advise us how, what website we can use, we only have UK debit card?
#2 Aug 30th, 2010, 20:08
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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#2
Hello Amanda and welcome to IndiaMike!

This thread may help:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...-help-t116528/
#3 Sep 6th, 2010, 00:18
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#3

Kovalam-Car + Driver

Hello, i have given up trying to book Trains, its very streessfull and now there are only waitlist trains from 20 when i started this exercise. Anyway, can any one recomend a company or driver + car that would do a trip Kovalm to Candolim Goa on the 18th November 2010.
#4 Sep 6th, 2010, 14:46
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#4
Amanda, this little train booking test is an example of the frustrations involved when traveling in India, and if you give up quickly, you may be in for a tough trip, maybe even divorce.

Let me tell you a little about a taxi from Kovalam to Goa.

First, you won't be aware enough to realise that you're paying 2 or 3 times more than you need to, though I pray the taxi driver will have an 'all India permit' as you'll travel through 3 states, but this won't bother you too much at the start as Kerala in early morning sunshine is beautiful and you'll be thoroughly enjoying the ride, about 3-4 hours into the ride you'll want to stop somewhere to stretch your legs, back in the taxi and a few hours later you'll be getting restless, then another stop, by now, the driver's limited English and his wish to drive on without all the stops will be starting to irritate you.

After 12 hours of driving, and when it's just got dark, you'll decide that you need to stop somewhere for the night, and you will not be looking forward to the taxi the next morning, but you'll re-assure your husband that it can't be much further, but you'll notice that all the other cars on the road still have Kerala number plates and wonder what the hell you've got yourself into, and worse, you'll suspect the driver is taking you 'for a ride'.

2 hours later you'll enter Karnataka, and you'll be wondering why you had to pay so much just to stay on the same road, is there really a toll charge for crossing into another state, or is the driver pulling a fast one?

Soon after your numb bum will tell you to get out and stretch your legs, at this point you'll see a sign on NH17 saying Madgaon 340kms and you'll realise that it's going to be a long day.

At this point your husband will be asking exactly why you found it so difficult to book a comfortable overnight train.

The beautiful scenery will not be noticed too much as the day drags on and on and on and on, and just as the light begins to fade, you'll get to the Goa border and will be disgusted with the high toll charge for crossing into Goa, and you're husband will flip when he realises there's still another 50kms to go, at this point he may file for diverse.

It's always easier to book a train.

Train 2431 departs Trivandrum at 19:15 and gets to Madgaon at 10:15 the following morning, there is availability in 2A and 3A on the 18th and 19th November, try using Cleartrip to book trains, it's easier to use than the official IRCTC website.
#5 Sep 7th, 2010, 01:32
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  • Nick-H is offline
#5
Kovalam to Goa!

Steven puts it all so beautifully, but let me just add that, when I was an India almost-virgin (second trip, maybe) and maybe just a little scared of actually catching a train in India and still doing every journey by pre-booked car, I argued that I wanted to be driven from Kochi to Kovalam, a fraction of the journey you suggest. My knowledgeable and helpful agents didn't go quite so far as refusing to let me, but they strongly recommended the train, as being simpler and, actually, quicker.

Go by train
#6 Sep 7th, 2010, 22:12
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#6
Steven, the Oracle of Indian Trains, is most definately right.

The trains are not to be missed and were probably my most favourite part of Indian when I visited in february. I can't wait to get back on them in three week's time.

Cleartrip is indeed very good to use as is Make My Trip

I used the latter to make all my rail bookings for my upcoming trip. I found it impossible to book using a debit or credit card on the IRCTC website for reasons unknown as I was able to sucessfullly make payment using the Axis PG earlier in the year.

Don't be put off by the challenge of booking and being a on a small waiting list for a train only adds to the excitment in my opinion!

Best wishes,

Matt
#7 Sep 9th, 2010, 00:57
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#7
Hello steve thank ypou so much for putting the trip into perspective. I have actually managed to now book the train, but only today(tomorrow i was goiung to spend 250 on flights!!!! I have been trying to book a train through cleartrip, mytrip, yatra for over 3 weeks and failed on every occassion, some time 5-6 times a day. Well i stumbled across this company-http://www.primetravels.com/uk/default.aspx who have been fantastic. I paid for the tickets through their HSBC bank account registered in London yesterday evening and this morning i had e-tickets. I have double checked the booking via india rail website and i can see my booking. So my hubby and i are now exstatic. Thank you for your story, you mede me laugh out loud(at work) because it would hve beeen just the way you tell it. Please spread the news about Prime Travels, they are based in Delhi.
#8 Sep 9th, 2010, 01:39
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  • steven_ber is offline
#8
Amanda, can you tell me the carriage & berth numbers for you and your husband?

Not the train or the date, just carriage & berth details.

I'm always skeptical of a company I don't know when it comes to train tickets.

In 2;tier air con the carriage should be A or HA and then the berth number, eg. A1, 22

In 3;tier air con the carriage should be B and then the berth number, eg. B3, 26

I can then show you a diagram showing where you berths are located.
#9 Sep 9th, 2010, 01:57
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#9
A3-33 & 34 please do not give me bad news
#10 Sep 9th, 2010, 02:40
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaP View Post A3-33 & 34 please do not give me bad news
No bad news, I just wanted to make sure you didn't have waitlisted tickets (you haven't)

To have 3 x 2-tier AC carriages you must be on the Rajdhani.

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You have 2 'inside' berths, one lower and one upper (above), during daytime hours you will have the whole lower berth to sit on, a very comfortable way to travel.

Try to sit/stand by the open carriage door at some point, sometime in the morning, and when the train isn't going too fast, it's a whole new and wonderful experience.
#11 Sep 9th, 2010, 18:40
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#11
Thank you, yes we are on the Rajdhani.Can you give any other details, ie food and service?
#12 Sep 9th, 2010, 18:44
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#12
The Rajdhani is one of the best trains of India.

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