Train travel is one of the most common modes of transport in India for tourists, pilgrims and business people alike. Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the world, and is responsible for transporting millions of people across this vast country every day. It is therefore important to ensure that the railways are up to date with the newest technology. From October 3 to 5, the Indian Railways will host the 10th International Railway Equipment Exhibition at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
Having travelled extensively on Indian Railways, here are my top 5 tips for train travel in India.
1. Always chain your luggage
I have always chained my luggage to the links provided under the seats and I never thought they really provided much protection, until I forgot my chain one day and my luggage was stolen. It is always better to be safe than sorry and it doesn’t take too much effort to lock your luggage and ensure that it is attached to the train, so that you don’t wake up to a nasty surprise.
2. Pre-order your food
Whilst Indian Railways offer a food service on most trains and admirably cater to a large group of people, there isn’t much choice available. I recently discovered a great online food ordering system called ‘Travel Khana’. You can place your order online in advance of your trip and someone will come and deliver a fresh meal to your seat at the station of your choice. The food is prepared at local restaurants and several meal selections are offered. Choose a thali, dosa or perhaps even biryani.
3. Use the time to yourself
Some train rides can be long, and it can get quite tiring sitting around for long periods of time. Spend this time doing things you don’t normally find time for in your busy everyday life. I usually travel with a big book, and enjoy reading it from cover to cover on a long journey, or perhaps you can finally start penning your memoirs as you make your way to your destination.
4. Carry plenty of snacks
Sometimes train journeys could end up being a little longer than planned, or the train could make an unexpected stop in the middle of nowhere. Just in case things don’t go quite as planned, it may be worth packing an extra bottle of water and some snacks so that you don’t get hungry. I make it a point to keep some nuts and biscuits with me, a great accompaniment to a hot cup of tea.
5. Be prepared for noisy neighbours
I like to get as much sleep as possible when on trains, however my neighbours don’t necessarily feel the same way. One way to block out any noise is to wear ear plugs and use an eye mask to block any light. This will help you with uninterrupted sleep, so that you wake up at your destination refreshed and ready to go.
Travelling on Indian Railways can be one of the greatest Indian travel experiences, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.