Long Journey by Train in India


Long Journey by TrainIndian Train image source – Shutterstock

For last few years I had not done any long journey by train. When I was a student I used to do a long journey by train at least once a month and that too in second class and at times without any reservation. But since the time I started working all long journeys started happening by air, though there were a few small train journeys here and there.

When I got an invitation for a friend’s wedding in Nagpur, I thought it was a good opportunity to travel by train from Bangalore to Nagpur and back. I promptly booked myself in Rajdhani Express, two months in advance. But I could get only my onward journey as confirmed and return did not get conformed till the last minute. There were few things that amazed me about the best train of India and the reservation system. Almost half the seats were empty, while everyone on board had tough time getting a confirmed ticket. The train was as dirty as any other train, specially the toilets. There were huge rats in the train, capable of scaring anyone. Good part was that the train was running before time all the time, even though it was stopping at all possible places and I had no hope that it would reach on time.

It was good fun meeting people on board, sharing food and chatting with them, if only the trains had a better reservation system, benefiting both the passengers and the railways, and if only it was a bit cleaner. Now I am sure this reflects the change in my expectations also, because as a student I really did not mind traveling in the same trains, probably in worse conditions. What I am wondering is, is there a change in my expectation as I have moved in life in last one decade, or is this a change in expectation by the whole nation who for sure has moved faster than me in last one decade ?


  1. God is the Rajdhanni that bad…I dont have many experiences on a train in India and hence can’t comment.. I was under the impression that the rajdhani was the flagship of the Indian railways and was intending a journey on it when I return to India….

  2. Are you talking about Rajdhanni (suppose to be one of the best trains in india)…

    I am sure that it is your expectation which has changed I observed the same happeing to me… i am talking about expectation.. not rats..never seen rats in train!@#$intersting!

  3. hi!

    now, aint it true that looks are always deceptive? hahah. rajdhaani! its funny how most of us are fooled by the impressions and well strategically created images thru PR and advertising. well, i could say that cuz i belong to the community who does this thing. lolz.

    wish you much enjoyable journey next time.


  4. hi.. anuradha..

    thank god you didnt travel in train to allahabad.

    You still travelled in a better train to a better place.

    You can certainly believe my word as i am a voracious traveller.

  5. Hi,
    Personally I’ve been on 1 train my whole life…it was the Kanyakumari Express and it was okay. We had a lot of fun! But when compared to the trains here, I wonder where all the revenue is going. I also fancy of travelling in India in a train….I hope to do that soon 🙂

  6. I think the general standard (relative to time) of these special trains has come down.

    Whereas they were initially aiming to be the “Best of class” as far as travelling in India is concerned now the focus has been diluted so the experience for a Rajadhani passanger is not as good as it was before.

    When the Shatabdis and Rajdhanis were new there was a great emphasis on cleaninesss and efficiency. Thats not the case anymore. Moreover they have not added any new services while the fares have headed only north so they will increasingly get marginalised in India.

    One factor that cld delay their death is the “fear of flying” that many people in non metro cities have. Anyways lets see.

  7. oh i truly love trains..and love the second class ones… i cannot wait to travel by train again…
    Everytime i go back home to Baroda i travel by second class and in a train… 38 hours..but its an experience each and everytime…

    i can talk of it forever!

  8. I do agree trains can be bad. But for comfort and cleanliness try the newer ones – shatabdi express and if you must travelotherwise take the second class sleeper – two tier. My experiences in trains were equally good and bad. In younger days had done a lot of trian travel but lately it is more by pane all over the world. But having said that, some of the european trains are just as untidy. No rats ofcourse, but you get a bat toilet.

  9. Are you sure you boarded Rajdhani and not a local passenger train?? It is still the `pride’ of Indian trains and it is true . Moreover you dont carry food on this train — it is served as in shatabdi’s so the question of sharing food ???? Stopping at all possible places — Trains of this order normally dont stop at all possible places . This happens only when there is no line clearance leaving the driver with no choice but to halt at vague places.

    Rajdhani’s are great trains to travel with lot of cleanliness, good food and other comforts…

    Hope your next travel by train is not as distasteful!!