train travelling in India..

Published by old tiger in the blog old tiger's Blog. Views: 135

Well..during my Indian trips..I took some train rides..
it's a big adventure..be prepared for hassles..adventures..
first have a peep at this information site..it will tell you a bit..
what Indian railways is about..it's a huge network...real huge..
http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/
to be able to travell in trains..you need a ticket..now..
in a country like India..getting that reservation..takes time..
patience..and first..you have to make a choice about the class..
there are express trains=quick..there are mail trains=less quick..
and there are passengers trains=very slow..but you will love it..
I took all 3 of these types of trains..now..reservation..oh...
in early 70's..I met another Belgian by chance..
it's in my journal somewhere..I bet it was in Agra..we travelled..
together by train..without a ticket..we just took a train...and..
when the conductor came..we were just put out of the train..
that's all..in these days..it was a hassle to get any reservation..
long waiting rows on the reservation counters...
no computers,you know..now..it takes 2 minutes to book a seat..
some trains..like the Shatabdi Express..need special reservation..
I always found it a big hassle to get a reservation..it's very confusing..
keep your cool..even if you got a reservation..well..even then??
you will have to find the right boogie..your seat..your sleeping berth..
be extra careful for theft..pickpockets in India profit from the confusion..
take a little chain+padlock with you..so..you can chain your luggage..
I've known a case..where an Indian in my compartiment..woke up..
from his upper berth...and his shoes..were stolen at night..
there are a few considerations about classes in trains.. confusing??
1/AC first class=bit of a luxury..very expensive..
2/First class without airco=comfortable..
3/Chair car=second class with airco...
4/Sleeper without airco=I took this one a lot..it's O.K.
5/General class=big hassle..overcrowded..but the real India..
I can tell you stories about these trains..
6/without reservation=risky..in the 70's..lenient towards foreigners..
no fines..sadhu's etc..never get a ticket..they are put out of trains
daily...I believe nowadays..if you travell black..you'll be fined..booh..
Indian trains are mostly not so punctual...you're in India..
be patient,peeps...a good advice..If you got a problem..
ask for the TTE=ticket inspector...usually friendly to foreigners..
ask for the foreigner quota in railway stations=this is a service..
mostly in train stations with computer systems=even then...
if you really face a problem anywhere..poke the station master...
and if he's not helpfull..tell him..you will make a complaint..
to the folks on top of him..India is 1 big bureaucraty,you know??
Indian railway stations are HECTIC..there are LOTS of peeps.
keep your cool..eating..no problem..buffet=for little snacks..
a cup of Indian chai(tea)refresh yourself in the waiting rooms
first class..I always took a shower in there..in the refreshment
room of any station=always good for toast/eggs=morning breakfast..
left luggage=they call it cloakroom in India..not bad..
don't huff and puff around in the Indian heat..leave your luggage..
I do wish you a happy train journey...if you ever make it to India...
http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/maps/all_india.htm
crazy Tiger...



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