Trains in India

Scratching down ideas...

  • Mumbai to Bagalkot—BCT to UBL (Hubli), UBL to BGK
  • Bagalkot to Vellore—BGK to VLR
  • Vellore to Pondicherry—VLR to PDY
  • Pondicherry to Allahabad—PDY to ALD
  • Allahabad to New Delhi or Calcutta (depending on which flight to the US is cheaper)—PDY to NDLS/HWH

This looks like the probable order of cities I'll visit, and the train connections that I'll use—any suggestions, guys?

Links to use:

3 thoughts on “Trains in India

  1. Pradeep

    It looks like ur running from north to going from florida to washington...kind of. It's better if you put them in clearer order. Take a map. Also, you get cheap flights (no-frills airlines) like Air Deccan..or don't you mind sitting in a train for 3-4 days?? That's how long it takes. While you're at it. I would suggest a route like Mumbai-Delhi-Calcutta-Chennai. I mean go North first then go East and then South.

  2. kirk.kittell Post author

    Yeah, I see what you're saying about the distances on the trains. There is one tricky thing about the "cheap" flights—you have to be an Indian citizen to take advantage of them. In January when I flew from Calcutta to New Delhi, there were two prices for the one-way ticket: ~$100 for Indian citizens and ~$220 for me. The travel agent in Calcutta suggested that I just buy the Indian citizen ticket and see if the airline personnel noticed anything. They didn't (in fact, I don't think they even checked my identification...). The other option was Air Deccan. The travel agent told me that they had a habit of being cancelled by fog on their early morning flight, and sure enough, that's what happened—glad I didn't take that flight.

    There are a few constraints/assumptions that I didn't mention:
    1) My exit flight has to be out of New Delhi. This is the least expensive flight and it is on American Airlines, where all of my frequent flyer miles are.
    2) Who's going to show me the biggest Diwali party? I'll be there on 21 October.
    3) Long train rides are not bad. They give me time to write in my journal, though I don't want to spend all of my time on the train.

    And another important thing will be when all of your schedules are free...

  3. Pradeep

    If you plan to travel by train across India, half of your vaccation will be spent on it. What I would suggest you do is, just say you travelling along one route with New Delhi as the last point. Consult the online time table and just put up a rough outline of your timetable. You'll understand, how much of your time will go on train travel and how much time you'll get to stay. eg. If your staying here a month and want to go to all the places, one and a half weeks will go for travelling, two weeks at the most. Is there still the system of different fares? Just check once again. Air Deccan is pretty good.Now, they have signed an MoU with Jet Airways(which is pretty mainstream) to accomodate each others passengers on each other's plane. So, if your Air Deccan flight gets cancelled, you can come on a Jet Airways flight.

    As for fog, I think all planes and mostly even trains will be cancelled if there is thick fog.The South is mostly fog free and it is very very hot. So, carry some summer wear too. It's what we call October Heat in geographical parlance.


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