Darjeeling toy train from NJP-DJ and DJ-NJP (classes of travel and punctuality)

#1 Jun 9th, 2018, 04:27
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#1
Hello,

The Darjeeling toy train from NJP to Darjeeling and back has two classes: First Class and Chair Car. The latter has more availability but is slightly more expensive, I guess, because it is now air-conditioned. I was wondering which one is better to take if one ignores the air-conditioning aspect? Any information/suggestions?

Btw, how good is this train with regard to rpunctuality. We are considering taking the Darjeeling Mail to NJP from SDAH and back. The going up may be tight because there is a difference of a half hour between when the Darjeeling Mail comes in to NJP (08:00) and the toy train leaves (08:30) but I was wondering about the return, for which there is a 4:50 window. The toy train arrives at 15:10 and the Darjeeling Mail departs at 20:00. Is this a reasonable window? Many thanks!
#2 Jun 9th, 2018, 15:33
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Hi, my computer is showing slightly different information. 52541 is an unreserved train leaving NJP at 08.30, and 52540 is an unreserved train arriving back at NJP at 16.00

(I use e.train.info)

The arrival time of the Darjeeling mail is shown as "significant delay" at least 25% of the time at NJP:

https://etrain.info/in#!PAGE=runningHistory--12343--1m

I assume that the "toy train" will wait for this connection, but have no evidence for this.

The 52540 is shown as on time almost always.

Because your info about chaircar and first class is so different to unreserved, something is wrong with either my info or yours...

Ed.
#3 Jun 9th, 2018, 18:57
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post Hi, my computer is showing slightly different information. 52541 is an unreserved train leaving NJP at 08.30, and 52540 is an unreserved train arriving back at NJP at 16.00

(I use e.train.info)

The arrival time of the Darjeeling mail is shown as "significant delay" at least 25% of the time at NJP:

https://etrain.info/in#!PAGE=runningHistory--12343--1m

I assume that the "toy train" will wait for this connection, but have no evidence for this.

The 52540 is shown as on time almost always.

Because your info about chaircar and first class is so different to unreserved, something is wrong with either my info or yours...

Ed.
Thanks! There is a chance that the Darjeeling Mail may not make it in on time, it appears then.

My info on First Class and Chair Car is from the "new" IRCTC site. https://www.irctc.co.in/nget/

Try NJP -> DJ and the FC is R1295 while the chair car is R1595.

Thre is less availability for the CC than for the FC (12 seats a consistent maximum as opposed to 29 seats if you go all the way to the end of September).
#4 Jun 9th, 2018, 20:46
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#4
That is a new website to me, and it shows different train information.
I notice that there is no "foreign tourist" quota viewable on that site, for any train, although the site looks simple, tidy, and easy to use.

Bon Voyage however you travel!

Ed.
#5 Jun 10th, 2018, 01:22
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Quote:
That is a new website to me, and it shows different train information.
Wow! Looks smart and modern, eh? I have read several news items that irctc has completely updated its site, but I had not been to see. I think it is in beta testing at the moment: you have to click a link to get it. But booking your next trip could be a very different experience!
~
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#6 Jun 10th, 2018, 01:46
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Wow! Looks smart and modern, eh? I have read several news items that irctc has completely updated its site, but I had not been to see. I think it is in beta testing at the moment: you have to click a link to get it. But booking your next trip could be a very different experience!
I thought it was not on beta testing.

But the old IRCTC site has FT quota (none for the DJ Mail). But both of them have the same (not so great) credit card experience.

Btw, Cleartrip has a R40 charge in addition to a R278 Agent Service charge for this train. Just curious what is the agent service charge?
#7 Jun 10th, 2018, 01:47
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post That is a new website to me, and it shows different train information.
I notice that there is no "foreign tourist" quota viewable on that site, for any train, although the site looks simple, tidy, and easy to use.

Bon Voyage however you travel!

Ed.
The old IRCTC site also has the same fares as the new one. Yes, there is no FT quota there, but it appears that the DJ Mail does not have that on the old website either.
#8 Jun 10th, 2018, 02:04
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#8
I think that the answer may lie here:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/state...coaches-215271

This must be the chair car, as it also has 12 seats that I can count.

Now to find out a layout for the first class.
#9 Jun 10th, 2018, 04:45
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#9
I checked on the new site for foreign tourist quota on the Trivandrum Rajdhani, which I know has an FTQ, but this option did not show up.

I hope the site will work correctly for us all!

Cleartrip has always charged a small extra fee, but that "agent fee"amount seems very high...

Ed.
#10 Jun 10th, 2018, 04:59
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#10
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Originally Posted by aarem View Post I thought it was not on beta testing. ... ... ...
I think I am out of date on this now, by a week or two!
#11 Jun 10th, 2018, 18:03
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#11
Hello aarem,I took the the train from Darjeeling to Siliguri last April.
I would recommend getting a seat were you can open the window,i.e. non ac,you really notice the change in the air the further up or down you go . With an open window you can hear and chat/shout with the many people who will be waving at you as you travel.At times you could put your hand into other people's homes if you were brave enough.Its a steam train so the smell and noise adds hugely to the fun.
The train I got left Darjeeling half an hour late and arrived in Siliguri about seven hours later,not the four hours as advertised.A good 40 minutes was spent at a stand still in the middle of a bazaar waiting for ,well something.
I would thourghly recommend taking the train in at least one direction even if it means altering your plans as it is unquestionably the most amazing train journey I have ever taken.
#12 Jun 10th, 2018, 19:37
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lismoresimon23 View Post Hello aarem,I took the the train from Darjeeling to Siliguri last April.
I would recommend getting a seat were you can open the window,i.e. non ac,you really notice the change in the air the further up or down you go . With an open window you can hear and chat/shout with the many people who will be waving at you as you travel.At times you could put your hand into other people's homes if you were brave enough.Its a steam train so the smell and noise adds hugely to the fun.
The train I got left Darjeeling half an hour late and arrived in Siliguri about seven hours later,not the four hours as advertised.A good 40 minutes was spent at a stand still in the middle of a bazaar waiting for ,well something.
I would thourghly recommend taking the train in at least one direction even if it means altering your plans as it is unquestionably the most amazing train journey I have ever taken.
Thanks! I am thinking of taking the FC(non-AC) up, and the AC chair car on the way down.

Btw, are you sure that the train was pulled with a steam engine? I thought it has been diesel all the way now and the steam was only for the joyrides to Kurseong.

One aspect of the new pricing that I do not like is that ordinary/local people have essentially been priced out and that this train is now a tourist train.
#13 Jun 11th, 2018, 01:45
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No the train was definitely pulled by diesel,sorry for getting things wrong.There are some trains that are still pulled by steam but I thin know they are on shorter journeys.
As for the cost,the toy train has been for a long time a tourist attraction,locals travel by jeep because it's cheaper,quicker and far more reliable.
#14 Jun 11th, 2018, 01:57
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#14
Btw, from the website erailinfo.in, I gather that the Darjeeling Mail has been late everyday on the way to NJP by 32-76 minutes for the past week. Does the toy train wait at NJP for thie Darjeeling Mail to come in? I think that it used to be the case several years ago, but I do not know the current state. On one hand, with so few passengers, some of whom are perhaps on this train, it makes sense to wait, on ther other hand, who knows.

I wanted to mention that it does not appear that the train information for the toy train is accurate on the site. It shows that the train has not departed any of the past days from NJP but is on the right time.

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