Guide to travel India by train.
- How to buy traintickets?
- How to make reservation on trains?
- What about the waiting list?
- Which classes are available?
Buy more than enough traintickets and reservation in advance (E-tickets) as refunding is possible until 24 hours of the scheduled departure time. The official site of Indian railways contains lots of information about connections, schedules , train composition and so. (worth paying a visit) Unfortunately the site is sometimes slow and they don’t accept all credit cards for your online reservation. Official websites: http://www.indianrail.gov.in en http://www.irctc.co.in (note : you need an Indian mobile phone number to open an account)
To travel by train you need both a ticket and a reservation. At the station you can try to purchase a ticket and reservation. On the larger stations you will find a special counter for tourists.
As long distance trains mostly are fully booked it’s better to book online in advance. Once you have your ticket and reservation you should be in time on the station because it’s sometimes completely unclear from what platform your train will leave. On the platfrom itself you will find paper lists with names and coachenumbers. On the car itself you will find the carnumber and a destignation sign. It looks a bit of a puzzle but it works.
When trains are fully booked you can buy a ticket and then you’re placed on the waitinglist. This might work although you better might take a cheap domestic flight.
Class of train coaches in India:
- First class Air-Conditioned (AC) (Code:1A)
- First class (Code:FC).
- Economy AC chair Car (Code:CC)
- Second Sitting (Code:2S)
- AC 1-tier sleeper (Code:1A)
- AC 2-tier sleeper (Code:2A)
- AC 3-Tier sleeper (Code:3A)
- Sleeper Class (Code:SL)
For long distances a car with AC is best. The first class is outstanding. Each coach has its own steward. Food and drinks are included. Unfortunately these cars are not available in all trains. The sleeper class coaches are open coaches with banks which can be changed to a kind of bed. Not quit comfortable but it’s fun to experience and suitable upto a 5 or 6 hour drive. In the sleeper class you can easily make contact and chat with your fellow passengers. Food and drinks are not included. Take it yourself or buy it form the vendors passing frequently.
Hotels in India
You will find a lots of hotels in India. Reservation in advance is not really needed as you will have always plenty of choice. However to make sure that you have a good, safe and CLEAN hotel you can better make some reservations in advance. You can do this on-line. Don’t accept any fuzzy conditions.
What to bring with you to india ?
As less as possible! You have to take hardly any clothing as you can buy everything you need in India. And besides that you can make use of the laundry services of your hotel. Cheap and good! Leave your expensive clothing, jewelry, watches at home. Limit your packing to the most essential things.