10 Tips For Train Travel In India
Using these 10 tips for train travel in India will make your journey more enjoyable. Travel in India is made easy and inexpensive by the extensive train system. It is also a good way to meet people, see the landscape of India, and learn about the culture of this fascinating country.
- Make a reservation. It is imperative to make a reservation for a long distance or overnight train trip. Even short-distance trains sell out and you don’t want to be left standing in a crowded train for the duration of the trip.
- Choose the right class. Unless you are on a very tight budget and don’t mind roughing it, choose an air-conditioned sleeper class or higher for train travel. The fares are quite affordable by Western standards.
- Find your boarding point in advance. When you arrive at the train station consult the boards to see which platform your train will be leaving from. Compare the carriage number on your ticket with the markings on the platform so you are in the right place to board when the train arrives. There are red-jacketed coolies that you can hire to help you find your compartment and carry your luggage.
- Bring your own food. The selection of food on the trains is limited and not geared toward Western tastes. Unless you are an exceptionally adventurous eater, bring your own fare on board.
- Bring small change. You may want to purchase drinks, water, or small snacks on the train, so bring change to pay for those purchases.
- Be prepared for bedtime. If you are traveling on an overnight train, then you should bring earplugs. Also be prepared to turn in early as Indians are usually in bed around 9:30.
- Avoid the bathroom line. Most passengers are using the bathroom at the same time in the morning. Get up before eight am or sleep in to avoid waiting.
- Secure your luggage. Although the other passengers may not be a threat, thieves may enter the train at night looking for luggage that is easy to snag. So when you travel in India secure your luggage with a bike lock or other device.
- Enjoy talking to your fellow passengers. Usually Indians are friendly and talkative. They may ask you very direct questions and you can feel free to be just as direct.
- Consider taking a tourist train. India Railways has six tourist trains that provide you with a memorable way to travel in India. These luxury trips explore different parts of India in style.