rajdhani train classes

#1 Oct 10th, 2011, 20:56
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  • sam78a is offline
#1
Just curious--on the Rajdhani classes, is the quality of the food/service better in the first class seats than 2 or 3 AC?

Also, is the general train nice in the Rajdhani than in other trains...in other words, if you take away the food and priority on the tracks, is 3 AC the same on the Rajdhani than on say an Express or Mail train?
#2 Oct 10th, 2011, 22:15
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To add more questions than answers:

Some Rajdhani trains use newer "LHB" coaches. The Rajdhanis that don't use them, use the same coaches as the "regular" Express, Mail etc trains (but have only 3 classes, 1AC, 2AC and 3AC).

Poking around the internet, I find decidedly mixed reviews of the new LHB coaches. Can anyone who's ridden in both compare them? Which do you prefer, and why? Which is more comfortable(especially in 1AC!) and how do the bathrooms compare?
#3 Oct 11th, 2011, 13:53
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#3
Here's my opinions, but I've only done about 12 Rajdhani trips, and if I'm honest, I'm not really a fan of Rajdhani journeys, preferring normal trains over the Rajdhanis.

Food served in 1A is better (though I've never tried it), there's more, and it's served in nice containers (I don't remember if plates were included, I've only seen it a couple of times), I seem to remember the food was different, but maybe the just had different meals than me (Veg/non veg), I don't know if it was the same food as served in 2A/3A, just in different containers.

Space in LHB Vs normal Rajdhani.....this is difficult to answer, in theory, it should be more congested in an LHB rake, 24 x 1A berths instead of 18 in a normal Rajdhani, and the carriage is less than a metre longer, it's the same in the other classes, more berths per carriage, but to be honest, I never noticed a difference, the extra berths were gained by drastically re-designing the whole carriage, there was a lot of wasted space in the older carriages and the re-design has been done very well, I'm sure we're losing a couple of Inches somewhere, but it wasn't noticeable to me.

Overall LHB Vs normal Rajdhani......Personally, I wouldn't say the LHB's are a great deal better, they are for the railways, more berths mean more revenue per carriage, there are a few nice touches, but if you were to replace an old Rajdhani with a new (non LHB) carriage, it would be just as nice, so this is the main advantage of the LHB, it's a newer carriage, the windows are also bigger, so more chance to view life through a honeycomb (see below).

Now, above I describe the differences, but I wasn't comparing like with like, in reality, the railways are not replacing the old Rajdhani carriages, so if it's a choice between the old carriages and the LHB, the LHB is better, mainly because it's newer, but there are also some nice touches, curtains everywhere in 3A (starting to happen on other trains as well), the toilets are also better designed.

Rajdhani Vs normal Mail/Express trains.........before I start, 3A in a Garib Rath is FANTASTIC value for money, if cost is important, ALWAYS look for a Garib Rath train first. I have 3 problems with Rajdhani trains.

1, they seem to be forever preparing to give food/drinks out, or clearing up afterwards, and when they do this, they take up almost the whole of one end of the carriage, completely blocking one or 2 doors, apart from the serious safety implications, it stops me from opening the outside carriage door and watching the world go by.

2, those damn full carriage adverts on the outside of the carriage INCLUDING the window, as a passenger, you're left looking through the tiny holes in the adds, it's like looking through a honeycomb, really annoying, it really takes away from the journey and in the end, you stop looking out of the window.

3, the overall journey feel isn't the same for me, first, a Rajdhani feels a little more crowded to me, it isn't, it just feels that way, sitting by the outside carriage door isn't really the thing to do on a Rajdhani, and not just for the reason mentioned earlier, also because the Rajdhani tends to run faster, often too fast to open that door, so everyone stays in the carriage, also, everyone eats at the same time, this shouldn't seem like a problem, but it is, all those dishes, trays etc., all these things then get put on the floor, and left for too long, then the chai, it's poor, bland and the same for the entire journey, (I love the chai changing as you enter different parts of India, then turning to coffee as you go south), then all those plastic teapot and cups get left on the floor for hours sometimes, I also find the curtains are used more often on the Rajdhanis, and this only adds to the more crowded feel.

Then there's the cost, a Rajdhani is damn expensive, and personally, I don't think it's worth the extra money, then there's the carriage attendants, who expect (almost demand) BIG tips, I only give Rs50 if I've had good service (I've never had great service), more often than not, it's the young lads that give the good service, but it's the older (normally fatter) man, the one in charge of the boys who comes for, and almost certainly pockets the tips, if you offer Rs50, he looks at you as if you've just slapped his wife across the face, and if you offer Rs20, it will be thrown back at you, I've seen this once, and when I was on a trip with 20 others, a couple of my travel companions saw it as well, and refused to give any tip, very intimidating.

I do like the Rajdhanis, just not as much as the other trains, if the Rajdhanis were the same price as normal trains, I'd consider taking the Rajdhani, all the problems I mention aren't all that bad, though they do lead to a less enjoyable journey overall, but they may be a price worth paying if speed and punctuality are important.
#4 Oct 11th, 2011, 19:50
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#4
thanks...I went to India 2x and never got on the Rajdhani, so I was a bit curious to see what I was missing.

I went on the Shatabdi once, but I prefered the ability to sprawl out on a berth.
#5 Oct 12th, 2011, 01:00
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Thanks, steven_ber. I'm choosing a Rajdhani from Ernakulam to Sawantwadi because it's a 12-13 hour, overnight journey (10:30 pm to 11:30 am the next day), and the primary objective is to be as comfortable as possible so we can sleep. So, I got us 1AC tickets, and it turns out this train uses the new LHB coaches. I've been in 1AC before on the old coaches, and it was reasonably comfortable, so hopefully it will be the same or better.

I'm guessing we'll board too late for dinner (and won't want it anyway; I'm sure we'll eat before boarding), and it's only after the sun rises that we'll miss hanging out the door to watch the countryside go by! But, apparently the newer coaches don't have the obnoxious wrap-around ads, so with the bigger windows, we may not miss the open doors as much.
#6 Oct 12th, 2011, 01:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snic View Post But, apparently the newer coaches don't have the obnoxious wrap-around ads, so with the bigger windows, we may not miss the open doors as much.
I hope so, I'm sure I seen the wraparound on the Mumbai Rajdhani (An LHB), but hopefully things have changed, surely people complained......

I also hope the temperature difference between inside and outside a 1A cabin has been sorted out in the LHB carriages, it really put me off travelling 1A on normal trains, though it's not the kind of thing a person notices unless they keep moving in and out of the carriage, as I do.

Are you aware that the Rajdhani train times change on November 1st?

Take a photo of your breakfast on the Rajdhani, I'm sure I noticed a fancy tea pot.
#7 Oct 12th, 2011, 01:31
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Yeah, I think I'm sorted out with the time change. It's confusing, but the schedule I booked using cleartrip is different from the current schedule (I think the train leaves Ernakulam at about the same time but in December it arrives earlier than it does now), so I assume that's because it accurately represents the post-Nov. 1 timings.

I'll try to remember to take a picture of the breakfast - but the trip isn't until the end of December, so it may be a bit of a wait!

By the way, steven, thanks for all your great posts regarding Indian rail - they've been extremely helpful!

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