I enjoy the train ride a lot. And I usually travel from one city to other or from one state to other by train in India. Indian Railway has developed a lot these coming days. With the development of technology people now surely enjoy a hassle-free train ride in India.
Still, there are a couple of things you might need to know or never knew about Indian Railways and train ride in India for a happy safe journey:-
Seat Reservations (Ticket Booking) In Indian Railway –
The main problem we feel is while booking the train ticket. It became much easier with all the online approach now. But still, sometimes it's chaotic. For a hassle-free booking you must know these:-
- Book your ticket in advance. You can book your ticket in advance I.e 120 days before the day of your journey. If you have sudden plans you can always book one day in advance which is tatkal ticket booking.
- Try to keep your info ready in hand while booking your ticket as the seats fill fast in online booking. Try to save all the info beforehand in a text file and copy paste them while booking.
- Use the IRCTC App for booking your ticket or you can always use IRCTC website too.
- If you need to book your ticket the next day, prepare the data today during tatkal booking hours. Goto irctc.co.in and login to your account, now click "Quick Book" link. You get your info filled automatically.
- After booking a ticket I would suggest sending to any of your close friend or relative in case you lose your phone or it hangs( can’t rely totally on technology sometimes) you can ask your friend to send it someone else phone who are traveling with you.
- Another thing I would suggest is to screen grab the ticket you got in your email or SMS and make it your lock screen image of your smartphone, that way you don’t have to go through all of your emails to find your ticket.
- Hygiene is the main issue for most of us while traveling by train in India. Most of the time the compartment is so dirty and you have to sit in that anyway as you have to reach your destination. There’s something you can do when you find a dirty compartment. Go to http://cleanmycoach.com/ put your PNR number and mobile number in the box. Then they will send you a complaint number on your mobile which you have to provide them after they clean your compartment. They have options to clean –
- Petty repairs
- Watering of coach
- Linen(only AC coach)
- Train lighting /AC
Or you can SMS to 58888 or 9200003232 by typing CLEAN< Space ><10-digit PNR number>< Space > SERVICE TYPE CODE
(Service Type available: C for Cleaning, W for Watering of Coaches, P for Disinfection /Pest Control, B for Linen/Bedroll, E for Train Lighting/AC, R for Petty Repairs
- I would suggest to call them when you are about to reach a big station and the halt time is more than 10 min. You can check the halt time of your train and running status on www.etrain.info
- Always carry a newspaper or a spare cloth with you as most of the times the seats are filled with dust in sleeper class.
- Do carry paper soap or hand sanitizer as most of the trains don’t have that facility.
- Please don’t throw the empty bottles and other wastes out from the window of the train. Instead, carry a plastic bag fill it with all the waste and dump it in the dustbin while train stops at any station.
This is something we can't compromise with anywhere. Especially while traveling we have to make sure we are eating the good food.
- You can always buy food from the pantry by train. But as we all have heard about many cases of unhygienic food served on the train I would suggest carrying a lunch box with you.
- If you are on a journey for more than a day then in that case carrying a lunch box won’t be enough. In that case, you can buy food from the pantry by train. I would suggest buying light food like rice-based dishes i.e veg biryani or rice and daal etc.
- You can also try these apps to buy food online they will deliver it to your compartment.
Some of the apps are:-
The food comes from the restaurant which is pretty good in taste too in comparison to food from the pantry.
- You can also buy food from the station but I’ll suggest doing that when the train has a stoppage on that station for at least more than 5 min.
- Do not pay any vendor selling food items price more than the MRP written on it Under the Railways Act of 1989 clearly states that the IRCTC authorized food vendors selling packed food items or water bottles cannot sell their goods over the MRP. Any vendor if caught in the act, would be punished with a hefty fine and may have the license canceled. Railways have a toll free number of 1800111321 to register complains in this regard.
- The minister asked the Railways to implement a policy by March 31, 2018, which allows passengers to refuse payment for the food they have consumed if they haven’t received a bill. So make sure you can a bill for every meal, coffee, tea or water you consume.
- I would suggest carrying chains and locks to tie your luggage with the seats when you are on the long journey. So that, when you sleep your luggage, is safe.
- For women traveling solo, I would suggest not to sit in an empty compartment or a compartment where only a few male passengers are sitting. Go to another compartment where you see few female passengers.
- If you are a female traveling solo I would suggest to book your ticket in ladies quota where you will be provided a seat in a compartment only reserved for ladies.
- Keep checking the train running status as you will be informed if the train is running late and when it is about to reach your destination. You can use- https://runningstatus.in/ or https://railenquiry.in/ for it.
- Always carry a notepad or small diary with important phone numbers of your friends or relatives just in case you need if your phone gets stolen or hanged by any chance.
- Do not wear flashy gold or diamond jewelry while traveling as it catches attention and people may try to steal it.
- Don’t put your phone on a charge of charging sockets and roam around or sleep when the train is stopped at any station. There are chances of it getting stolen by people standing at the station.
- Twitter is very powerful social media I only realized it when I was on a Journey to Pune and a tragic incident of our handbag and phone getting stolen by thieves happened( I have the whole article about that journey if you would like to read- here). I was unable to reach to any helpline number that’s when I saw some info regarding posting a tweet to @RailMinIndia on twitter. And I did the same and immediate action was taken by the railway police. You can use your social media in such conditions it can be life-saving.
- You can always use helpline numbers in case of an emergency situation where you need help. I am posting some helpline numbers which might help you:-
- The All India Railway Helpline number 1512.
- Police Control Room (All over India): 100
- Women's Helpline (All Over in India): 181
- Medical Helpline (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh): 108
- Ambulance helpline (All over India): 102
Hope you enjoyed the article do share your views and suggestions in the comment section below. Have a Happy and Safe Journey 🙂