Monday, 2 May 2011

INDIA booking trains on line and getting the tourist (TATKAL) quote

Travelling in India we have learnt that if there is a train making the journey it is almost always better than taking the bus providing you can book a seat.  Rather than waste time queuing at stations (first for the application form then to get a ticket) and getting bad information and outright lies why not book on the Internet.  

The India rail website has improved no end and I have booked on line using a UK credit card.

TATKAL is a type of ticket available to tourists 2 days before departure, as an example to travel on 3rd you can buy from 1st but we found out that with a 5pm train we could not buy it until 1 day before (i.e. the 2nd).

To plan ahead off line buy yourself "Trains at a glance" from the railway station and use the fold out map (hidden in about the 6th page in) to find the cities you want to travel between and then the matching numbers will lead you to the timetable.  This year all train numbers have 5 digits so if the timetable number has 4 you need to add a 1 at the front. 

For day trips we favour the CC (Air Con seat) category.  An open carriage with 2 seats at one side and 3 at the other, large windows, reclining comfortable seats.

TIP - For an overnight journey try to get bunks in the compartment not the aisle and in the centre of the carriage.  There are only 2 bunks here as opposed to 3 in the carriage they are shorter beds.  The bottom bunk is created by putting down the backs of the seats, sags in the middle and has a very uncomfortable join.  Also you get bumped whenever anyone walks down the corridor.  We were also right next to the door so at every stop had people queuing up beside us to get off, as usual talking very loudly and banging around, worse still we got the nasty niffs from the toilets. 


burntout said...

So very true. But if you know how to work the system, then it is very simple

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