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Train Travel in India – Important Tips and Advice

The Indian Railway is, without any apprehension considered to be the support system of India. It is the world’s biggest railway system under a single administration.

From a tourist’s point of view, train journey unlocks an avenue through which you can take a glimpse of India in an exceptional standpoint.

Nevertheless, with approximately 62,000 km of rail, nearly 7,500 stations and more than 7,800 locomotives, roving by the Indian Railway can be a discouraging task. There are certain points given below that would make things a lot simpler.

Various Classes on Indian trains

After seeing the comfort and afford-ability of the travelers there are various classes introduced by the Indian Railways like there are the 1st AC, 2nd AC, First Class which is without the air conditioning facility, 3rd AC, Sleeper Class and the Class which is not reserved and open for everybody. For the ordinary traveler, I would advise Sleeper Class journey. If money is not a problem, and you like to have a modest amount of seclusion First Class travel is an excellent choice.

1st AC – Air-conditioned saloons with 2 or 4 bunks and a personal basin to wash hands, inclusive of all bedding. It’s extremely good and comfortable than you would normally imagine, and pretty expensive as well.

2nd AC – Air-conditioned coaches with 4 bunks and not as good as AC 1st, but still very decent, and nearly half the rate of 1st AC.

1st Class (non-AC) – This is same as to 1st Class AC, but devoid of bedding or air-conditioning, and much economical if you can find it.

3rd AC – Fully Air-conditioned coaches with 6 bunks per compartment and it is over crowded but still relaxing and tidy, and quite inexpensive usually.

Sleeper Class – This is the same as 3rd AC but without the air-conditioning or bedding, and generally very very packed.

Unreserved 2nd Class – Wide open coaches with bench seats and frequently amazingly crowded, and extremely economical.

Exclusive Tip: If you are really keen to have a glimpse of the “real” India, it is an advise do not travel in AC compartments as you would not get a chance to mix up and to interrelate with the common Indian public, as they have a preference of the Sleeper Class to AC coaches.

While traveling seeing the sights is restricted by the highlighted windows.

3rd AC travel is recommended under the following situations: If the journey is more than 12 hours and more than 600 km, or it is during night travel And you ready to bear the heat or the crowd.

Apart from the classes mentioned, you will also have AC Chair Car – coaches with reclining chairs too. It is only advisable if your journey is not more than 5 to 6 hours.
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Posted on Saturday, April 24th, 2010 at 19:15 and under Rail Tours Articles category.