There are a lot of photos that suggest that the Indian Railway perhaps has the most crowded trains ever. This is not at all wrong. Photos depicting overcrowded compartments do not lie. But, if you want to survive a sleeper train in India without any disturbance and a reduced crowd,here are a few generalized tips all passengers must follow before taking up a train journey in India.
- Book your seats in advance – This is where a lot of people end up making a mistake. You will be surprised to know that the Indian Rail is a very well organized system. Indian trains are super systematized. Booking in advance will certainly confirm your tickets really early. You need not worry about the waiting period and need not keep checking your IRCTC seat availability.
- For women, opt for AC 3rd tier tickets – ACfirst tier, and the second tier are generally more comfortable. But 3 tier is by far the cheapest because there are a lot of people around you and chances of having a private compartment with a stranger is zero. Also, 3 tier seats are budget-friendly and do not burn a deep hole in your pocket.
- Fold your bunks as early as possible – Indians prefer sleeping really early when they are bored or have nothing much to do. As soon as you get on, fold your bunk and get to sleep. This will ensure no unwanted awkward conversations with the strangers around you.
- Keep your own blanket and pillow – nights can generally tend to get really cold while traveling. Make sure you take your blanket and pillow to ensure a sound sleep and an overall comfortable night journey.
- Ask people to move out of your seat – There might be instances where people tend to take your seats. In case you have a lower berth, and an old man has got an upper berth, offer them your seat and take theirs. But in case you feel your seat has been hijacked by someone who can climb up their own berth, then do not be afraid to ask for your seat. They could try to make some adjustments but say no to that.
- Order your food and beverage – How beautiful a morning it would be as you look out of the window at the beautiful Indian landscape while sipping a glass of tea after you wake up! Tea tastes absolutely fantastic in the railways. The food sold by the pantry comes at standardized prices and is hygienic and affordable.
- Chain up your luggage – There are iron handle bars under your seats where you could lock up your entire luggage. It is just for safety. Robbers are not common, but they are not unheard of. You could also keep your bag under your head as you lie down.
- The toilets – The toilets in the train are cleaned at regular intervals. If you are lucky, you might be in the company of people who do not dirty the toilets much. Take your own tissues and sanitizers and stay healthy throughout the trip. The Indian style toilets are generally much cleaner than the western toilets.