Train travel in India is one of the most interesting ways to get around. It’s the life-line of the country and the extent of the rail network is pretty mind-blowing. It’s often said that the India railways are the world’s biggest employer and we see no reason to doubt this! There are range of journey lengths and styles available to suit nearly all tastes and we really recommend including at least one journey during your visit as we think it gives a fantastic insight into the country. For day trains we tend to book 1st class which is comfortable forwards/backwards facing seats in a carriage with air conditioning and non-opening windows. For shorter journeys you may like to take 2nd class for a really immersive experience (locals will definitely want to chat to you constantly!), but this not recommended for over 3 hours. Toilets are usually at each end of the carriage with one western and one Indian. Food is usually local Indian snacks, or biscuits and crisps, or you can take your own food and drink on-board. Our local representatives will ensure you find your seat on the train and then meet you again at the other end, as you get off the train.
1st class sleepers for longer journeys are usually booked for overnight journeys. There are 4 berths in each cabin and we can only book the berths that we need (i.e. we can’t make the cabin private – you have to have a passport to book a berth, so if you booked a phantom seat, it wouldn’t confirm and would get sold on). The berths will either be a pre-made ‘bed’, or seats that convert. The door can lock and there are communal toilets at the end, one western and one Indian. You will get clean sheets and pillows. There is plenty of storage space and our guide is there to help assist with settling in (although they will not travel with you). You may not have the best night sleep with lots of rocking/rolling and stopping but this truly is an experience not to be missed and a great way to cover large distances at night!