Getting around by train

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With 40,000 miles of rail routes and 7,000 stations, Indian Railways is the third largest in the world after Russia and China.

Fun facts:

  • Indian Railways are also the world’s biggest employer, with over 1.5 million staff.
  • For an Indian railways route map, click here.
  • You can buy train tickets direct from Indian Railways at www.irctc.co.in.  And Yes! You can use international cards.
  • There is an app, however, upon research we noticed, some people have trouble processing international payments on the mobile app.  So if you encounter this, use a laptop or hotel computer.

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The best way to see India is not by plane, but at ground level using India’s incredible railway system. No visit to India is complete without experiencing the hustle-bustle of the Indian railway stations, with tea sellers shouting out Chai, chai, garam chai (tea, hot tea) down through the aisles.

Please do not let media images of overcrowded trains with people sitting on the roof. For long distance travel, ‘AC Chair Car’ or an ‘AC1’ or ‘AC2’ sleeper reservations are the way to go.  Your seat will be reserved and it’s a safe, civilized, inexpensive & comfortable way to get around India.

Travel tip: When traveling long distance such as between Bombay to Delhi, consider traveling by train, especially if you are not on a time crunch.  You will get to be in close quarters with people you can connect with, make friends, understand the culture, and get to see the real India outside your window.


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