Trains in India

On 20 January 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

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Travel in India without taking the train is to miss part of your trip . In fact, in India , the train is king and everyone uses it. You can book your trains on the internet if you have an Indian telephone number to receive confirmations. Or in any station in India. Attention, in smaller stations where there is no window for foreigners, you will need to elbow your way !
I wanted to keep part of a surprise for my trip and not book anything to leave me the chance to stay longer in a place that I love or from a place that I don’t like but it turns out that the trains are full and it is hard to make the last minute. Unless you have some time in India , I advise you to plan your trip and book a minimum trains a little ahead or arrival. Nothing will stop you then to take another or take a bus if change plan, you will lose some money but not that much.

imageThe experience begins at the booking office for tourists from New Delhi Railway Station which makes you ever enter the atmosphere. 3 or 4 special counters for you to book trains, one ticket upon arrival to give you your number, about 1h20 waiting for me between the time I arrived and the moment I booked everything … but you will probably meet another traveler who waits as you and with whom you spend the time! Know that there are tourists quotas on all trains which enables you to enjoy places in trains that are displayed on the internet complete. Do not hesitate to go to the counter (with your passport) to ask them if space is available.

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To book, there are different classes of train, with prices ranging from simple to x10 ! The sleeper class is the lowest , there are no windows (well theoretically there blinds close but they don’t close) , and the cars are huge and filled with bunks. Now I understand why the guy reservation told me it was fine if I had a blanket (which I obviously do not have) . So basically , this season it freezes but the experience damn worth it! Believe me, I have not closed my eyes for 3 h. Indians are damn organized, they have coverage but also everything needed to spend the night . And you meet all kinds of people, sometimes animals , food and more. Then you have other classes: CC (chair class , no bed so even if the night train but quite comf ) , the 3AC (AC for air conditioning, basically the same as sleeper but with windows, not negligible, and better beds , pillow and blanket ) . The 2AC (same as in 3AC but cabin 4 persons) and above there 1AC I think more but do not have the means , I have not tested so I can not tell you about !
During your trips day , keep your eyes open ! India is a huge country and you will never see all of it. Train journeys are an opportunity to discover this vast country including remote corners ! And do not be afraid of long journeys at night, just keep your luggage with you ( but the berth is large enough to put in pillow) and it will be perfect . You will always meet people to talk to, local or foreign , that will make your trips more comfortable and shorter too. And maybe you can even sympathize and decide to spend a bit of your journey with them ! It is in these moments that I took the opportunity to write all those articles and then having to upload them to my site via wifi :)

Last thing, trains in India are rarely on time. Whether departing or arriving, it is most common to be late! So do not plan a trip or other 1h after the arrival time of your train, you take the risk of missing …

image22 days in India and my 8 trains reserved, I have been on time 2 times, 5 times late, finally leave aside 1 ticket to prefer a bus two days earlier, traveled hundreds km, while 78 hours and for the modest sum of 65 €. An experiment itself! Bon voyage to all…

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