As a traveler, the best way to get to know India is to board a train. Only train travel offers the combination of unique cultural insight into Indian culture coupled with incredible natural scenery; the ability to witness the landscape of a country whose scenery is diverse and continually changing. Mountains, rivers, rural villages; these are the sights which fly into your field of vision and vanish just as quickly as the train speeds by.
First Things First – Ticket Reservation
Budget and level of comfort are naturally the two factors that you need to consider while booking your ticket for the train. The plans offered by Indian Railways are flexible enough to offer some comforts even for those with a tight budget.
The classes available are second class, which is unreserved, sleeper class, air conditioned chair car, three tier air conditioned class, two tier air conditioned class and first class air conditioned. Some trains have one or two more classes.
While booking your tickets make sure you state your preference regarding berths. A berth refers to a bed. Three tiers have three berths on each side while two tiers have two berths. If you have the ability to climb the top berth, it is best to request this as you will have complete freedom and there will be no need to fold it once you wake up after a sleep.
Boarding The Train
If it seems odd that I’m giving you tips on how to board the train, I can guarantee you’ll understand the need from the moment you step into the station!
If you are about to board a train that stops enroute, you need to make sure you are on the right platform. Once you reach the station, you need to find the platform number where the train you are to board will arrive.
The waiting area for travelers in the station is set up with boards which announce the details regarding the arrival and departure time of the trains. On reaching the platform, learn where your coach will stop. This reduces the last minute rush through the crowd with your baggage to reach your compartment.
The overhead indicators on each platforms offers information regarding the coach numbers that will stop in that particular place. Once you get inside your compartment, locating your seats should be easy as these are all numbered.