Posts Tagged ‘ institution ’


Taking the train in India is an institution in it’s own right and is a must do for travellers, if only once! Buying a ticket is a trial and it is advised to book tickets online as far in advance as possible. Try http://www.clear although even this website will have you scratching your head in confusion. Buying a train ticket is not as easy at it is in most other countries, NO, it is unnecessarily complicated and unclear whether you have bought the ticket when you think you have indeed “bought the ticket”!
Your online ticket needs to be confirmed and you can only do this at the ticket office in the station, thus you still have to join the tourist queue, which still has Indians trying to push in and rub up behind you. We decided to buy our tickets as we went, Big Mistake! India railways hold back tickets called Tatkal, which are kept for emergency tickets, usually for foreigners, come at an additional cost and are non refundable, and you STILL need to get them confirmed at the office on the day of travel! Then there are waiting list tickets, again, coming with the need to confirm. You are told the train is full, made to queue for hours, then told you need a paper copy of your passport and the original isn’t accepted, so you have to go to the conveniently placed copy shop next door, fork out more and then rejoin the queue.
Your other option is to pay high hotel commission fees to sort it out. We did this once and it was still a hassle getting tickets confirmed!
We bought tickets and travelled twice in 3rd AC class. The train journey itself is fairly comfortable and the train no where near full either times. It seems India’s bureaucracy once again gets in the way of good sense, making the simplest of tasks near impossible.