Traveling by Indian railways is an experience in itself especially when you’re on a holiday all set to explore some of the most awe-inspiring places in India. Here’s taking you on a rail journey
Shatabdi Express Trains: There are about 12 pairs of Shatabdi Express trains that ply nearly every day. In the north, they connect New Delhi with Kalka and Amritsar in Punjab, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Ajmer in Rajasthan. In the south, they connect Bangalore, Mysore and Chennai.
Shatabdi expresses are very fast and usually operate during the day. They are fully air-conditioned and offer snacks and meals.
Swarna Shatabdi Trains: The Swarna Shatabdi train is the more luxurious variant of the Shatabdi Express, and runs between New Delhi, Amritsar and Lucknow. Other than the amenities provided by the Shatabdi Express, the Swarna Shatabdi has modern communication facilities including cell phones and fax on board. They are more comfortable, have superior catering services and boast a décor with original paintings by renowned artists. The executive class has rail hostesses too.
Rajdhani Express: The Rajdhani Express trains run between New Delhi and most of the state capitals. Currently, there are 15 routes of Rajdhani Express trains. These trains are fully air-conditioned and offer complimentary meals. However, they are expensive and passengers may prefer to fly by paying a little more. Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhuvaneswar, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, Secunderabad, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram are all connected by the Rajdhani Express.
Hill trains: If you are traveling to Ootacamund, the beautiful hill station in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, be sure to ride on the Blue Mountain train. It is operated on a rack-and-pinion system used only in high altitudes. It starts from Mettupalyam and goes at an unbelievable speed of 5 -10 kilometers per hour.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also popularly called the ‘Toy Train,’ runs between Siliguri and Darjeeling. It has been included in the World Heritage Site list by UNESCO. The gauge is narrow, only 0.6096 m, but a journey on this train is a unique experience. The route zigzags all the way to Darjeeling and offers some great views.
In a world where time is at a premium and airlines offer economical fares, travel by air has become the first choice for travelers. However, to reach smaller Indian towns, train travel is still the best mode.
Have you traveled by train in India? If you want to share your train travel experiences with us, write in!Do you think trains like the one in this article are a much better reflection of the real India than luxury trains like the Palace on Wheels? Which do you prefer?