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9 Helpful Tips for Train Travel in India

Trains are often referred to as the “lifelines of India’ owing to a significant portion of people’s reliance on them for their transportation & India’s socio-economic development. The greatest advantage of train travel is its affordability. On the flip side, the major advantage also entails a huge disadvantage. That’s because of the increased dependence of people of all categories on trains as an efficient and affordable mode of transportation. Therefore, trains are reserved & the railway stations are clogged. That’s why there is a need for our train travel tips. Travelling in trains can become challenging if you are unaware of the following tiny details.

9 Tips for Easy Train Travel in India

1. Pre-book your train tickets

Securing a confirmed seat in Indian Railways is an achievement. We say so because the Indian Railways lifeline of the country facilitates the travelling of over 23 million people onboard, approximately. Given the significant number of passengers that travel via train daily, it is evident that the tickets sell out if not booked in advance. Unless you book priorly, you end up with a waiting list or an RAC ticket. A RAC confirms in case of any cancellations on your train. Hence, you must book your tickets before avoiding waitlisting & RAC.

2. A waitlist train ticket isn’t the end 

If you are late for your train ticket booking & there are no tickets available, you will be granted either RAC or Waitlist. You don’t have to panic if the status of your tickets comes out as “Waitlisted”.

With the ticket under RAC (reservation against cancellation) status, you are allowed to board the train, but your preferred seat/class is not guaranteed. The status of your ticket changes to confirmed only when enough people cancel. Given that many people choose to go for prior bookings because there is a high probability of confirmation.

The term “Waitlist” suggests that all confirmed & RAC tickets got sold. You receive a number with your waitlisted ticket. The lower the number, the higher the chances of you getting a confirmed ticket. To track the status of your train ticket, you can either check at the station or take the help of various platforms that will help you find out if your ticket status has changed.

3. Learn about the differences between various classes

Train coaches are segregated into various classes, covering premium 1AC to the cheapest unreserved coaches. Learning about train classes is important for train travel in India. This is because the train class signifies comfort and provisional of additional amenities. It is directly proportional to how comfortable your journey is going to be.

Just to name a few, CC Chair, AC, 3AC, 2AC, 1AC, Sleeper Coach, etc., are distinct classes of a train. You can choose based on your preference.

4. Verify the timing of the train

 Indian Railways has one of the biggest train networks in the world. However, the network is also among the most complex railway systems globally. Occasionally, your train might get delayed or rescheduled or can even get cancelled owing to various reasons. In this case, you can take full advantage of online train enquiry offered by various platforms. Some of these platforms also offer regular updates related to your train status.

5. Find out the location of your coach

The Indian trains have a lot of coaches who are increasing in length. Along with that, Indian Railway Stations are always super busy. The stations have multiple platforms, with people entering or leaving from every side, making it challenging to move around. It is important to determine the platform on which your coach will be to minimise the eleventh-hour confusion. Be on the lookout for LED signs and big boards that display the platform on which your coach will arrive. Also, keep track of your train status for any major updates related to delays or modifications. Paying heed to these signs will help you make your train journey stress-free.

6. Ensure the safety of your belongings

The trains that travel long distances halt at multiple stations, and it’s easier for anyone to step in and out of the coach. Some anti-social elements can avail advantage of the situation. They can interfere with your luggage and can even steal it. We recommend that you chain your luggage, as Indian Railways also enables you to do so

7. Skip the Train Food

Food is an essential component of any train journey, especially if the journey is of considerable duration. Despite the provision of food on Indian Railways, there might be times when there would be no availability. There are chances that you will not find quality & hygiene in the food. To avoid the anguish of substandard food, you can order takeaway meals at Indian Railways Station. Multiple platforms enable you to order food on the train without hassles from brands like Domino, Haldirams, etc.

8. Carry your bedding 

Even though the premium classes on the train offer bedding, others do not. Therefore, you need to carry your bedding with you. You can check if the bedding accessories are available while booking tickets. If not, you should carry them to prevent sleepless nights while travelling on a train. 

9. A Sanitation kit is a Must

Indian Railways do not offer different toilets for males & females but common restrooms operated by all. Certain classes make sure the toilets are clean & on the other hand, others do not offer the same standard of cleanliness. 

Going to the toilet, especially on a long journey, is inevitable. To ensure your train journey doesn’t make you sick and uncomfortable, carry a sanitisation kit with you.

The abovementioned tips will surely make your journey easier and take off the stress that one experiences as a first-time traveller on Indian trains.

How to book train tickets in India with IRCTC?

 The IRCTC website’s interface can be a bit challenging for first-timers to understand. However, once you have your account and understand how things run, it gets better. Here’s how you can book train tickets via IRCTC:

  1. First and foremost, you need to have an IRCTC account along with a verified phone number and email address. 
  2. Once you log in to your account with your registered user ID 7 password, the “Book your ticket” page appears.
  3. Add in the station from which you will be onboard and the destination station under the “From-To” option. Also, add the date of the journey along with the class you would want to travel in.
  4. If you have not decided on the date yet, then choose the “Flexible with Date” option.
  5. Passengers with disabilities or Divyaan passengers can choose “Divyaan” as an option to access corresponding facilities.
  6. To discover the list of trains, go to the “Find trains” option. You will be displayed a page that shows a list of trains available on the chosen route.
  7. To find out the route and timings of the train, tap on the train name.
  8. You can choose one train from the list by clicking on the type of class that is available on the train.
  9. To find out about the availability & fare, choose the “check availability & fare” tab. The fare shown on the screen is the ticket cost of one passenger.
  10. To initiate the booking of the chosen train, click on “Book now”
  11. After that, you will be redirected to the reservation page. Check all the details like station name, train name, class date of journey, etc, which can be spotted on the left side of the page.
  12. Now, add in the details of the passengers, which include age, gender, berth preference, and food preference if you are booking tickets for a senior citizen (above 60 years of age for males and 58 years of age for females, a senior citizen concession is also available, which is 40% of the base fare for men and 50% of the base fare for women. The concession can be availed by clicking the relevant box. For validation purposes, senior citizens are obligated to carry a legitimate age verification proof while travelling.
  13. If you want to choose another boarding station, click on ” change boarding station”.
  14. Once you have shared all the details accurately, click on “Continue booking”. To make some modifications, users can click on “Replan booking.”
  15. All the details related to ticket, fare, and berth availability are now displayed on the page. Go through all the details and click on “continue booking” to proceed with the payment process. By doing so, you are validating all the information that you have given till now.
  16. Users or individuals can choose from a variety of payment methods like credit cards, bet banking, payment wallets, etc.
  17. Once you are sure about the payment method you want to use, click on “Make payment” & proceed.
  18. If the payment is successful, you will see a ticket confirmation page on your screens.
  19. You will also receive an official confirmation message on your registered mobile number & email ID.
  20. If you want to print the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS), use the Print Ticket option.
  21. For those willing to book a return ticket, click on “Book Return/Onward ticket”.
  22. To book another ticket, click on the “Book another ticket” option.
  23. Your ERS can be found under My Account> My Transactions> Booking History.

To sum up, moving through India’s enormous railway system can be thrilling and full of challenges and excitement. The strategies shared by us will make sure that you enjoy the train journey in a stress-free manner & also allow passengers to acknowledge the scenic beauty, making every journey a memorable and enjoyable experience.  

Read More: Benefits of Using Folding Trolleys in Small Businesses

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