Travelling India by Train: 11 Tips for a Memorable Journey
India, a vast and diverse country, boasts numerous captivating tourist destinations. Among the most cost-effective, convenient, and scenic ways to explore this incredible land is by train. However, embarking on a train journey in India can be an adventure filled with both wonder and challenges.
To ensure your trip is memorable, smooth and enjoyable, consider the following tips:
1. Book Your Tickets Early: Train tickets in India are in high demand, especially during peak seasons and festivals. To avoid disappointment and hassles, book your tickets well in advance, preferably through online platforms or authorised agents. Apps like IRCTC, redRail and Where is my Train provide valuable information on train availability, fares, and live status.
2. Choose Your Class Wisely: India's trains offer various classes, from unreserved general class to air-conditioned first class. Your choice should align with your budget, comfort preferences, and travel duration. Sleeper class is popular for affordability but can be crowded and less clean. For more privacy and comfort, consider AC classes or premium trains like Rajdhani or Tejas.
3. Carry Limited Luggage: Travelling light is advisable, particularly on Indian trains where you must manage your luggage on and off the train. Avoid carrying valuable items like jewellery or expensive gadgets, as they may attract unwanted attention or theft.
4. Pack Some Food and Water: Train food quality in India can vary. To ensure you have sustenance during your journey, pack snacks and water. Apps like Travelkhana and Railrestro allow you to order food from nearby restaurants to be delivered to your destination station.
5. Befriend Your Co-passengers: Train travel in India presents a unique opportunity to connect with fellow passengers, learn about their cultures, and share stories. Engage with those around you, but exercise caution when sharing personal information or accepting items from strangers.
6. Avoid Arguments and Scams: Unpleasant situations can arise during train travel, such as disputes with co-passengers, encounters with touts or railway staff, or deceptive sales tactics from vendors. Stay calm, be firm but polite, refrain from buying from unauthorised sellers, and check the duration of train stops before disembarking.
7. Keep Yourself Entertained: Train journeys in India can be lengthy, especially through rural areas or at night. To stay engaged, bring along a book, music player, power bank, or a game. Alternatively, take in the scenery outside the window or strike up conversations with fellow travellers.
8. Use the Upper Berth for Better Sleep: If you desire an undisturbed journey, consider booking an upper berth. This allows you to sleep and move around without needing to coordinate with others. However, if you have mobility issues or require frequent restroom access, opt for a lower berth.
9. Avoid Pantry Food Unless Necessary: Train pantry food may not always meet hygiene standards. Unless you're travelling on premium trains like Rajdhani or Tejas with higher food quality, it's advisable to steer clear of pantry food and carry your own provisions.
10. Reach Out To Indian Railways: Should any issues arise during your journey related to cleanliness, safety, service, or feedback, you can reach out to Indian Railways through their X handles. They are responsive and helpful in addressing complaints and grievances. You can also complain through RailMadad about anything.
11. Enjoy The Experience: Train travel in India offers a memorable and unique experience, providing insight into the country's diversity, culture, and beauty. As you traverse changing landscapes, interact with new people, and savour diverse cuisines, embrace the journey's challenges and joys. Following these tips will help make your train adventure in India more comfortable and enjoyable.
Travelling through India by train is an experience that can be both memorable and enriching. It is a great way to explore the country’s diverse cultures, landscapes, and people. The Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks in the world, with over 7,000 stations and more than 23 million passengers travelling every day.
For railway ticket booking in India, you can use redRail, a standalone lite app launched by redBus in collaboration with IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) as the authorised partner. You can book train tickets from redRail in just these simple 5 steps:
- Visit redRail and choose your journey date.
- Select your class and look for available trains.
- Add your IRCTC user ID and passenger information.
- Review your booking details and make the payment.
- Receive your ticket confirmation via email or SMS.
You can also check PNR status on redRail by entering your PNR number on the website.