Long train trip...which is better, many stops or few?

#1 Oct 8th, 2011, 08:16
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  • lola sharp is offline
#1
My partner and I will be taking the train from Kerala (Ernakulam) to Delhi and are choosing between the Kerala Sampark Kranthi Express (12217) or Mangala Lakshadweep Express (12617).

Both depart Ernakulam and arrive in Delhi within a couple of hours of each other (theoretically!) - looking at 45-50 hours.

The only discernable difference that I can see is that the Mangala Ldweep makes 44 stops, while the Sampark Kranthi only stops 13 times.

My question is - which is better??!? Being inexperienced with Indian train travel, my thinking varies between...

Less stops = less chance of delays
More stops = more chance of delays, but also more opportunities to jump out for a quick stretch of the legs, or to buy food/drink etc at the station. Or are more stops just annoying?

Any advice greatly appreciated!!

Cheers
Lola
#2 Oct 8th, 2011, 08:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lola sharp View Post More stops = more chance of delays, but also more opportunities to jump out for a quick stretch of the legs, or to buy food/drink etc at the station. Or are more stops just annoying?
While I don't know about those particular trains, I think the last sentence above describes nicely the way I look at it .

A lot of shortish stops at smaller stations are no great use. 30 extra stops in two more hours would suggests, on average, 4 minutes per stop, -- not nearly enough to get down to stretch your legs and/or buy things! Longer stops at major stations spaced a few hours apart would serve you better in that respect. Plus you have the option of buying food (albeit of limited variety) on the train itself, from the Pantry Car staff, anytime you wish (except sleeping time, -- a stop is more useful then ). You can also stretch your legs on the train itself if you feel the need for it (although, admittedly, not as conveniently).
.
#3 Oct 8th, 2011, 08:42
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#3
I don't mind stops during the day, but at night I want my sleep undisturbed as much as possible. Of the two, I would take the train with the fewest stops, train 12217.

But then I'd take the Rajdhani if at all possible.
#4 Oct 8th, 2011, 08:53
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If we took the train the day earlier (ie Friday instead of Saturday) the Rajdhani is running. Currently at 15 RAC - am still getting the hang of the whole reservations thing - think we would get confirmed berths?
#5 Oct 8th, 2011, 12:43
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#5
Kerala Express is a reliable train.

RAC 15 should get confirmed.

What's the date of journey?

2 things.

Monsoon timetable ends on 1st November, so trains on Konkan route speed up by a couple of hours.

Mid December arrivals in Delhi can be seriously affected by fog, Rajdhani would be best if this is the case.

Personally, I love all the extra stops and miss them when travelling on the Rajdhani.
#6 Oct 9th, 2011, 05:08
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Thanks for your very helpful (and interesting) advice all! We leave Ernakulam on 17 December (arr 19 Dec Delhi), so sounds like fog is a potential issue. We have to be in Delhi for a wedding (well actually just found out it's Gurgaon), so can't muck around with the dates too much.

But - we kind of had our decision made for us! After reading some replies, we decided to book the Sampark Kranthi (twice!) but just could not get berths with each other, which we thought might get a bit old for such a long journey. Tried the Mangala Ldweep and managed to get two together, so - there you go! Many stops it is!

When we get home will try to remember to post a little about how it went!
#7 Oct 9th, 2011, 06:18
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Many stops is good for interesting slices of life outside the window. I can't answer for that train, but often many stops means also more interesting vendors, who can get on with fresh things, go through the carriages a couple of times, then get off. Helps with chilled drinking water! There is a bit more bumping at night, but that's ok. One of my best journeys was Kolkata>Mumbai with about I think 58 stops.
#8 Oct 9th, 2011, 11:38
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#8
From 1st November that train departs Ernakulam Jn (known locally as Ernakulam South as there are 2 stations in Ernakulam) at 13:10, so it will be a 48 hour journey.

What website did you use to buy the tickets?

What departure time is on the tickets?

(I just want to know if the website put the correct departure time on the ticket, if not, I can warn others)

The following thread is an interesting read.

http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...n-ride-t27006/

There is another thread worth looking for, it's called "A nice meal for a long journey", there may be a link to it in the above thread.

Do try to come back and tell of your experiences, many people look at such a long train trip with fear, when in reality, it's a great opportunity and experience, just think of it as a very chilled out destination where you've chosen to spend 2 days. Take your watch off and don't check the time, the 3rd day will be the killer day, esp. if Fog becomes a problem or the Gujjas (sp.) get up to their usual tricks. (they have massive protests that block the line and roads for days, but it's normally in November/very early December in the area between Sawai Madhoppur and Mathura)
#9 Oct 9th, 2011, 13:55
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#9
Thanks stevec, good to see a few votes in favour of many stops!

steven_ber, we booked on cleartrip and I've just checked the eticket - yes, ticket says dep ERS at 13:10. Cheers for the link, that's a great thread, as is 'A nice meal'.

Interesting about the Gujjars...I've now googled them and the protests I'll keep my fingers crossed they stay home that day!

I think we are approaching the train journey wuth the right mindset...it will be our first Epic Train Ride (ETR) and we are both pretty pumped! We could easily have flown but wanted to experience this so I guess that is a good sign!!

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