'Woes of Sleeper Class Travel'

#1 May 9th, 2003, 06:05
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#1
this is the title of a discussion in the Indian Railway discussion boards. The writer complains about the crowded conditions on 'reserved' SL cars due to RR officials, unreserved and short-run passengers, unuchs, hawkers and beggars etc invading cars making use of basins and toilets near impossible in the morning due to crowded aisles.

the crowded, unpleasant conditions I have experienced on many, not all, SL trips are the reason i have moved up to 3ac despite the tripling or quadrupling of price -- the ac is incidental, not really required in cool season. The full-time guard per car, relatively clean toilets/wash-up area, more space, and your fellow passengers are generally business and middle-class travellers who don't bring all their worldly goods with them when they travel (you might be annoyed by the heavy use of cell-phones, however ) are worth it to me.

Here is the link for the ongoing discussion:

http://www.irsuggestions.org/asplist...1.asp?Id=28775

How about you? what kind of experiences have you had on SL class, and have you tried ac or 1st. (actually, my favorite is non-ac 1st but it is not available on many trains any more, i think it is being gradually eliminated)
#2 May 9th, 2003, 07:47
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I travel second class sleeper and generally enjoy it.... usually meet friendly people who are incredibly open and generous. I tend to try and book the "Ladies compartment" which is up one end of the carriage (usually berths 1-8). Why? To avoid having to spend long stretches of time with giggling adolescent boys or strange men who stare for hours!! Sometimes it's not possible though and I have been in the situation where there was just me and about a dozen men.... I think I crawled up to my upper berth pretty early that night. The main drawback is that it is always next to the toilets/basin so you get the associated smells and the sounds of intense morning throat clearing. Sometimes the overcrowding during the day with all the short trip passengers gets me down....another reason to always get an upper berth so you can escape. Most of the time, I just sit back and enjoy the experience.... those eunuchs can f*** off though. They are soooo arrogant and rude and in your face.... I don't care if they do put a curse on me, I'd rather give my money to the kids sweeping out the rubbish.

I travelled 3AC once because my waitlisting for SL didn't come through - it was nice to be provided with crisp white sheets for the journey.
Last edited by maree; May 9th, 2003 at 14:33..
#3 May 9th, 2003, 15:11
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#3
Quote:
Originally posted by -m2-:

...you might be annoyed by the heavy use of cell-phones, however.
That, in itself, would deter me from moving up a class from 2SL.

The luggage does get rather irksome at times, though. Once I travelled Bangalore ---> Delhi with a full-sized veena lodged between the seats, and on the last trip, returning from Goa we had a massive tin trunk in the leg space (so you could only sit with your feet up on the trunk!) from Margao to Jhansi.

For this reason (and the ones maree speaks of), I won't go long distances without the security of an upper berth.
#4 May 9th, 2003, 15:21
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Regarding the upper berths.... Youíll notice that Indian locals tend to grumble and generally be in a foul mood if they get stuck with the upper berth. I was told that some find it an insult to have to work to get into bed. So an upper berth is always easy to arrange even if you donít have one reserved.
#5 May 9th, 2003, 15:24
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Yeah.... why is that?? I would always go for that berth so I can escape whenever I want. Why is it considered the worst by locals?
#6 May 10th, 2003, 00:18
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#6
it's hard to be graceful climbing in and out of the upper -- especially embarassing for ladies, i'd imagine. The lowers are always the most popular, and the middle isn't available during the day so, right, i'll go for the upper in either 3ac or SL for a longer journey with a day-time component, too.

The luggage 'issue' can't be helped, i guess, but control of the unticketed people loitering, perching on your berth, and shuffling through the car all night would be 'do-able' and would improve things a lot. Of course the RR would have to add a car or two for the always busy runs to handle the overflow.

(note: for the record, i've never received a face cloth with the nice crisp sheets on 3ac )

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