Realistic to plan to book trains at the stations?

#1 Nov 9th, 2014, 20:10
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  • markglen is offline
#1
First time posting here. I'm finding a lot of useful information, this seems like a great resource.

Two of us are travelling to India in the new year (February, staying until March). We will be travelling in the South West (Kerala region, starting and ending in Kohzikode) and (hopefully!) moving between places via train.

First of all, I was having trouble determining how to book tickets from the UK online, then I found out about Cleartrip. However, it seems that Cleartrip only accept payment via a Credit card when booking tickets from outside India.

Neither of us have a credit card, access to one or the desire to acquire one just for this journey.

Are there any other ways to pay for train tickets booked online? I'm guessing the answer to this will be no.

Is it going to be extremely difficult to book seats on a train (max 4 hours journey) at the station?

I heard that trains get booked out quickly even making advance booking difficult. The trains we are hoping to take are major, main line, long distance trains (16345) (though, our leg will be short) so I imagine availability will be slim. We plan to stay in places for a couple of days at a time so could book our next onward journey immediately upon arrival.

Thanks in advance for any information. We are really excited about this trip and are hoping to not be thwarted by not owning a credit card.
#2 Nov 9th, 2014, 20:17
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  • Dave W is offline
#2
Welcome to IndiaMike

If you are prepared to live with a bit of discomfort what you propose is probably feasible by buying Unreserved tickets shortly before travel time. It would be better to use local trains rather than long distance ones where there is an option. These do not appear on Cleartrip. You would need to use erail or indiarailinfo to find the times of these.

I would not recommend trips much longer than 4 hours in Unreserved and certainly would not use Unreserved for overnight travel.

Do you know about Tatkal tickets and Foreign Tourist Quota?
#3 Nov 9th, 2014, 20:33
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I'd rather be sure we were able to get to our destination, but if there is no other way we'll have to chance it.

I had heard about FTQ, but was unsure where to go to take advantage of this. We plan to visit Kochi by way of Ernakulam Jn and are going to be stopping in Trivandrum so we could enquire there.

I think Kozhikode to Ernakulam Jn is going to be our longest train leg and the most troublesome. Others are:

Kochi - Alleppey
Alleppey - Kollam
Kollam - Trivandrum

Is there a way I can find out how well served these are by local train routes?
#4 Nov 9th, 2014, 20:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markglen View Post I had heard about FTQ, but was unsure where to go to take advantage of this.
Click the link in my previous post. In the first post on that thread there is a list of locations.

Quote:
Is there a way I can find out how well served these are by local train routes?
Use indiarailinfo. I have put a link to a thread about its use in my previous post.
#5 Nov 9th, 2014, 20:41
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Kozhikode to Ernakulam trains are listed here http://indiarailinfo.com/search/1242/0/52.

12075 Janshatabdi could be your best chance. I don't see any FTQ for trains on this stretch*.


*Correction - There is FTQ on trains 12618. 16345 and 16630
#6 Nov 9th, 2014, 21:14
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Thanks Dave W.

I'm going to spend some time weighing up the options here and working out that interface. I think we are just going to have to take a chance getting any train from CLT to ERS, then hopefully it'll get easier with the shorter legs from there on or possibly book FTQ tickets for the next few legs at ERS and Trivandrum.
#7 Nov 9th, 2014, 21:19
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You are welcome. It might be worth asking about FTQ at Kozhikode. Nobody has reported that they can be bought there but maybe nobody has tried. If you can elaborate any details about ERS or Trivandrum after your trip please post on the FTQ thread.
#8 Nov 10th, 2014, 00:53
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Reply #1
Have you thought about the busses, they go everywhere, at least once a day, you just have to be tenacious about asking, and if you are just going to Kerala I would have thought it will be doable, a different route from the train, but nonetheless enthralling
#9 Nov 10th, 2014, 00:58
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There is also the daily steamer through the backwaters between Alleppey and Kollam.

http://www.swtd.gov.in/index.php?lan...am_boatservice

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