Tribes Style: Basic
Indian Railways operates the worlds largest rail network, transporting more than 20 million people a day over 40,000 miles of track. With more than 1.6 million employees, it is said to be the largest employer in the world. Despite the rise of the private car and domestic flights in recent years, Indian Railways remains a vital method for both Indians and tourists to travel around the country.
Travelling by train is a fascinating way to see the "real" India. Stations and carriages are full of travellers of all classes drawn from across India and beyond. You will often find yourself drawn into conversation with your fellow travellers, and can learn an enormous amount about the country. However, travel by train is not for the faint-hearted. Stations can be chaotic and incredibly crowded, and maintenance can be lacking. Toilet facilities are basic, with toilet roll rarely available and water sometimes in limited supply. Clean bedding is provided, but it is good to take warm clothes as the air conditioning can be ferocious. Drinks and meals can be purchased on board, but it is best to ask your hotel or lodge to arrange a box meal for an overnight journey. Note that alcoholic drinks are not allowed on Indian trains.
When you travel by train, our representatives will escort you to your carriage to make sure you depart safely, and you will similarly be met at the platform when you arrive porters will be arranged to carry your luggage. There are two main classes of carriage we book for overnight train travel.
1st Class Air Conditioned Carriage: This is the top level of service available on Indian Railways, used by business travellers, officials and foreign tourists. Accommodation is in lockable four berth compartments, with berths converted into seats during the day. Please note that both men and women share compartments. This class of service is only found on the most important services, and is often in limited demand. Berths are only released 60 or 90 days before travel and can not be pre-reserved, so it is not possible to guarantee this level of service when demand is high.
2nd Class Air Conditioned Carriage: The next level down, these carriages have compartments separated by curtains, with four berths on one side of the aisle and two berths on the other side. There is less space and privacy on these carriages, and the level of maintenance and attention to details is not as good as the 1st class service, but it is still acceptable for an overnight journey as long as you don't have too high expectations.
The Tribes Foundation
Simply by booking with Tribes, you are making a difference. Every booking helps with The Tribes Foundation, the charity we back with admin and funds. Most clients give additional donations which we always put to very good use with one of the wildlife, environmental or social projects we support.
Train travel in India - basic yes, but also interesting!Learn more