Firstly let’s get things straight … Trains are way better than buses (although I’ve had some bus journeys to remember). With trains, though, you pay very little extra, and get so much more!
The Indian railway service is to be applauded for being on time, clean, friendly, cheap, helpful and all over better than the train service I love to hate in England.
Sleeper Trains from Delhi to Mumbai
The last train journey I took was from Delhi to Mumbai, a 16 hour overnight stint on a sleeper train. It was due to leave at 4.30pm and left at 4.31 (I can deal with that, my watch was probably wrong) and was due to arrive at 8.30am the next morning, it arrived at 8.30am!
Amazing Value and Comfort
As if that wasn’t enough to make me love the train service, I had a top bunk, complete with clean sheets, a pillow, bottled water, flowing cups of Chai, early dinner, later dinner and breakfast, a morning newspaper and the toilets actually had toilet role!
All this for the total price of 1950rupees (approximately £28) … you can barely travel an hour outside of London for that and certainly don’t get anything thrown in for the price of your ticket.
A small note of warning – I may have just bigged up their free dinners but I was warned by a friend not to eat the train food after she was the sickest she has ever been from food poisoning after doing so. This was a few years ago so perhaps their standards have impoved, but even so I thanked them kindly, drank my tea and carton of pineapple juice and offered the rest to my neighbour.
If you are travelling around India, I strongly recommend the train service, most run overnight so you not only get swiftly from A-B but also save money on a nights accommodation. Remember to book through the tourist quota. You have to do this in person at the train stations, but without this you are likely to get waitlisted (there are a LOT of people in India who need to get around). You also get a chance of sitting with fellow travellers as they put everyone from the tourist quota in the same compartment.
Indian trains – another reason Why India will rule the world…