Train travel in India is an adventure! We have never found a person who is not awestruck by a long journey on the trains in any part of the nation. Be it a first-time traveler or a frequent traveler, the excitement is the same. It’s a place where even the chaotic ‘chai, chai’ calls from a tea vendor sound musical, along with the clickety-clack of the tracks! No matter how cheap the flight tickets get, we would always love a train journey as it has been a part of our lives forever. A huge chunk of our population prefers to travel by train even today. If you are a first-time traveler and have some reservations regarding traveling by train, our list of tips for train travel in India is all you will need to make your journey smooth and memorable.

It doesn’t matter how long the journey lasts, following these tips will certainly make you feel less tired and enjoy the journey making you wish to travel more frequently on the Indian Railways. 

1. Book Train Ticket In Advance

Reservation ticket booking counter
Reservation ticket booking counter
Image Credit: Aaj Tak

Getting a confirmed seat in Indian Railways in itself is one of the greatest luxuries any traveler can have. Indian Railways is the lifeline of the country. It is estimated that over 23 million people travel onboard the 13,169 trains that run daily. With such a high number of daily passengers, train tickets are bound to be sold out if not booked well in advance. If you fail to secure a confirmed train ticket you may end up with a waiting list or an RAC ticket which may get confirm if there are any cancellations on your train. So to enjoy a comfortable journey, book your tickets well in advance.

Check Out: How to book a Railway Ticket in India

2. Know The Difference Between Various Classes

Exterior of a Vistadome Coach
Exterior of a Vistadome Coach
Image Credit: Dkroy

The coaches are divided into various classes ranging from premium 1 AC to the cheapest unreserved coaches. Knowing the various travel classes of Indian Railways is one of the important tips for train travel in India, as it defines how comfortable and entertaining your journey is going to be. To list a few, CC Chair, AC, 3AC, 2AC, 1AC, Sleeper Coach etc. are the different classes of a train. You may prefer the solitude provided in 1AC or may enjoy the chattering in the sleeper class, booking a ticket as per your liking would enhance your travel experience quite a few notches. 

3. Confirm The Timing Of The Train

LED Display and Indicator showing the train timing and destination at the Dombivali Station (Suburban Station)
LED Display and Indicator showing the train timing and destination at the Dombivali Station (Suburban Station)
Image Credit: Central Railway Official Twitter Account

Apart from being one of the largest train networks in the world, the Indian Railways is also one of the most complex train networks in the world. There are times when your train will get delayed or rescheduled , and even canceled due to various reasons! All the train schedules are constantly updated online and you can confirm them from the railway stations or your travel agent.

Want to earn extra income? Here’s an extra income opportunity for you – Become an authotised IRCTC Agent!

4. Know The Location Of Your Coach

Indicator showing the train number and the coach number at the Madurai Junction
Indicator showing the train number and the coach number at the Madurai Junction
Image Credit: Southern Railway Official Twitter Account

Indian trains are long and India has some of the busiest railway stations in the world! Most of the important stations have multiple platforms and transitioning from one platform to another is a hectic task. Even if you are on the right platform, knowing where your coach will arrive is most important as it may create chaos at the last moment if you happen to be at the wrong place on the right platform. You get to know the position of your coach on the small LED indicators on the platform and also mentioned on the main notice board before the train arrives. Keep an eye on those indicators!!

5. Your Luggage Is Your Responsibility

Don't be careless and leave your luggage unattended
Don’t be careless and leave your luggage unattended
Image Credit: Shikha a

Long-distance trains in India stop at multiple stations en route and anyone can get in and get out at any stop very easily. It is possible for some anti-social elements to meddle with your luggage and it may even get stolen. We even hear announcements going on saying, “Yatrigan apne saamaan ki zimmedari khud uthaayein.” So, one of the best tips for train travel in India is about making sure your luggage is safe and there is no untoward incident of theft that may ruin your trip. The best thing is to chain your luggage, and Indian Railways has made such arrangements that you can do very easily. Better to be safe than be sorry, right?

Also Read: Central, Terminus & Junction: Know All About The Different Types Of Stations In India

6. Carry Food and Water

Carry snacks or a full fledged meal along with a bottle of water
Carry snacks or a full fledged meal along with a bottle of water
Image Credit: norikko

No journey can be a happy journey if you are thirsty or hungry, it is a golden rule whether you believe it or not! Though Indian Railways is fabled for its delicious food and masala chai, there may be times when there can be a drought of them! If your train has a few stops far away from each other, there may be times when you may get hungry or thirsty for a long period due to the unavailability of food or water. Also, if you are on an overnight train and frequently have midnight cravings then carrying your own snack and water for your midnight munchies is one of the top tips for train travel in India to make sure you are well hydrated and thoroughly fed.

7. Make Arrangements For Your Entertainment

Passengers playing chess aboard a train in India
Passengers playing chess aboard a train in India
Image Credit: Dgtalmontage

Traveling is entertaining, you get to meet new people, talk to them, and get to witness the mesmerizing beauty of the land passing by you in a blur. But at some point of your travel, you may get bored. So, one of the crucial tips for train travel in India to avoid boredom is to carry your entertainment with you. Pick up a book, download a movie or a series on your phone, make a great playlist, carry a board game (if traveling with a group), or anything that will keep your spirits high and entertained during your complete journey. Do this, and you will never get bored on any train journey in India for sure. 

Also Read: Vande Bharat Express and 6 Other Fastest Trains in India That Fulfil Your Need for Speed!

8. Carry You Bedding

Carry your bedding for a comfortable night journey
Carry your bedding for a comfortable night journey
Image Credit: ViDI Studio

Imagine you are on an overnight train journey, and the train is passing through the chilly desert of Rajasthan, add to it, you are in a sleeper class stranded without a blanket! Shivering, isn’t it? Though certain premium classes of Indian Railways do provide us with bedding, various classes do not. Check for bedding accessories, and if not, do carry them with you to avoid a sleepless night on a train. Carry a blanket, travel pillow, eye mask, and anything else you need to feel cozy to avoid arriving at your destination tired and disgruntled. 

9. Keep Sanitation Kit With You

Carry a toiletries kit
Carry a toiletries kit
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot

Indian Railways have common toilets used by every person aboard that coach. Though certain classes have regular cleaning done, while other classes are known for having not-so-clean toilets. One cannot avoid train toilets on a long journey no matter. To make sure that your train journey doesn’t make you sick, always carry a sanitation kit with you. 

While boarding any train, anywhere in India, make sure to go through the above-mentioned list of tips for train travel in India. We are sure these tips will not only make your journey smoother but will also take off a little bit of stress that one may experience as a first-time traveler on Indian trains.

Simply check off the boxes and enjoy a comfortable train ride across the changing regions enjoying nature in its full glory, and truly call it a HAPPY JOURNEY!

Have any other tips for train travel in India? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

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