Booking Train Tickets – A Brief Overview
When traveling is the topic of the conversation in India, there is a 95 percent chance that the mode of transport being spoken about is the railway. Traveling by train in India is an entirely unique experience as compared to other nations. The Indian Railway is perhaps one of the most extensive railway services across the globe. Reasonable prices and brilliant connectivity has led to over 17 million people traveling by train on a daily basis. Bookings open 90 days before the train’s scheduled departure. If you have your dates planned and route maps locked in, you can book your train tickets even before you reach the station. A small briefing of how to book tickets in the Indian Railway is given below.
Buying a Ticket
The Indian Rail has many options of buying a train ticket. You could buy the ticket online, through real estate agents, or in the station itself. Keep in mind that the queues at the station counter can be a lot, hence having a confirmed ticket much before the departure is vital. In case you get a waitlisted ticket due to the accessible route of the train, you need not return to the agent or the station to confirm your ticket. You can perform the PNR status check either online or through the many applications available in the market.
Reserving a Seat
You should understand that seat reservations are not meant for the general category tickets. For 1 AC, 2 AC, 3 AC, Chair Car, and sleeper class, seat reservation is compulsory. For overnight journeys, bookings are strongly recommended. Some tips about trains and classes are mentioned below:
- Not all passengers have all the existing categories as expected. The type of coaches and classes depends on the kind of train.
- General Category seats cannot be reserved, but they cost the least. You are not guaranteed a chair, and you must probably end up standing if the compartment is crowded. To ensure a hassle-free journey, reserving comfortable seats in other classes is necessary.
- Some cities like Mumbai have suburban train services, but these coaches are generally extremely crowded.
- You can secure your luggage by locking it to the many chains that are available under the seats of all chairs in the compartment.
- In case of an emergency, pull the red chain situated at regular intervals at the top of the compartment wall. The train will stop immediately.
- Sleeper Class: Most common amongst the Indians. Open windows afford magnificent views of the majestic Indian landscape.
- Air-Conditioned 2-Tier (2AC): The bunks are folded out into seats by day. You can use some curtains for some appearance of privacy.
- Unreserved 2nd Class: Plastic and wooden made seats, generally crowded with a lot of people – but ultimately very cheap and affordable!
- Air-Conditioned 3-Tier (3AC): seating with groups of six, no curtains available for privacy.
- AC Executive Chair: Generally found on Shatabdi express trains. The seats are comfortable, reclining chairs and have a lot of space;
- Air-Conditioned First Class (1AC): The most expensive class of train travel.