Over 7,000 stations with millions of people traveling by train each day, India boasts one of the greatest rail networks in the world. In fact, how many passengers IRCTC helps daily in commuting is equal to the entire population of Australia.
With such huge numbers, it can be a daunting task to navigate through the hustle and bustle of railway stations in India. But you also want a fun, convenient, and budget-friendly mode of transport. Right?
Don’t worry, we have got you a few simple hacks to follow whenever traveling with Indian Railways which can make your train travel an enjoyable experience.
Here is the list of Railway station hacks for a smooth journey in India:
1) Book your tickets online in advance:
Booking your tickets in advance is among the simplest ways to avoid stress at railway stations. The lengthy lines and last-minute rush can be avoided in this way. On the Indian Railways website or through a variety of travel apps, you may purchase tickets online.
Additionally, you can purchase tickets at the railway station’s ticket offices (suitable only when there is no rush) or through legitimate travel agencies.
2) Keep tracking your train before:
Check the status of your train before heading to the train station. This can be done by using Google, several train status tracker free apps, or by visiting the official Indian Railways website. This will inform you if there are any delays or cancellations, or if your train is on schedule.
This will help you avoid unnecessary waiting at the railway station if you want to avoid crowds. Some travelers might not want to reach early to experience Railway stations in India which is perfectly fine as they chose to be smart and track their train status.
3) Be careful with your luggage:
Packing light is very essential otherwise you have to take labor to carry your luggage to your platform which is very common practice in India. Almost in all railway stations, you will find men with red shirts carrying luggage on their heads or shoulders.
If you have too much luggage, you have to hire a man to lift it all, and the moment you hire, you have to be very careful as there will always be a rush at railway stations that you might miss your luggage men on the way and then it will be difficult for both of you to find each other.
4) Use the cloakroom facility at stations:
Most railway stations in India have a cloakroom where you can store your luggage for a nominal fee. This is the best when you have plenty of time to board your train and wish to roam nearby in the city.
You can drop your luggage at the railway cloakroom and take a token/receipt from there and when you return from your exploration, give or show them the token and take your luggage back. This facility is surely the best you can use.
5) Don’t forget to use free Wi-Fi:
Save your mobile data for the trip ahead by using the free Wi-Fi offered by Indian Railways, which is available at many of the country’s major stations. Do not worry about safety as it’s safe and helps you track your train, and do some productive work while waiting for your train.
6) Choose or carry vegetarian meals always:
We all know that whenever we are traveling eating light and healthy keeps us away from unwanted stomach problems. Though it is always better to bring your own food while traveling using trains but you will find so many food outlets selling delicious veg food all over India at every railway station.
7) Just be early:
If you’re traveling during peak hours, make sure you arrive earlier than everyone else. You can save yourself from heavy crowds rushing to catch trains as they are late. This way, you can also find a comfortable spot to sit and wait for your train as Indian railway stations are never empty.
Even if you are too early, Indian Railway stations are best to observe different people eating different food, wearing different clothes, etc which can be your unique experience to know Indian culture.