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Old 10th February 2016, 13:53   #106
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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Electrification is ongoing on the Guntakkal line. Hopefully that should increase efficiency and speed.
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The lack of double lines and Electrification is another reason to blame for the lethargic progress between Bangalore and Mumbai.
The lack of electric traction isn't the issue at all nor is the line saturated. It is some lobby forcing the railways to make the trains run super slow on this sector. One look at the schedule is enough to understand the slack they have added. It is in hours.

I have travelled on Coimbatore - Kurla and Rajkot - Coimbatore Express. On both these trains, there were a couple of instances where my train would be half an hour late at one station and before time at the next! They sometimes delay the departure cause they know they will easily make up time. These trains average no more than 55kmph because that is all they need to maintain. We have the infrastructure and rolling stock that support speeds up to 150Kmph. Ideally; you should be putting this to good use. It is the exact opposite on the Bangalore - Mumbai sector and several others.

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The Mum-Blr route is really congested.
Far from it. Check the number of daily trains on both routes and you will notice trains operating at intervals that average between 30-45 minutes. Yes; you have to factor freight occupying the lines too but that can't be an excuse to not run a Express train faster.

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What happened to Chalukya express which was via Hubli route?
The train exists. Now extended to Pondicherry.

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We took the Udyan to arrive in Mumbai. There are lots of halts in North Karnataka section of this route. Most of them might have been politically influenced, as I couldn't see much traffic on this section.
Spot on observation.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 10th February 2016 at 13:58.
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Old 10th February 2016, 14:20   #107
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

Just came across this thread !

My best train journey has been on the Pune - Howrah Duronto Express. This train is the easiest and most cost effective way of reaching Jamshedpur from Pune. The food served is top class, the compartments are properly cleaned every hour or so - sweeping, mopping and even mosquito spray !

My worst train experience was on the way back by the Azad Hind Express. The train was dirty, the food was bad, power points not working and to top it all, the train was late.
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Old 10th February 2016, 14:38   #108
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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Although, the trip was fun, it has made me aware that sleeper class is no longer maintained as it used to be 5-8 years ago. I have traveled mum-chennai, delhi-Mumbai frequently and once in Chennai -Delhi rajdhani (another good experience, when we shifted from Chennai to noida). Those days sleeper class was quite a good experiance.
I used to regularly do the Mum-Chennai sector (home to college) about 20-25 years back. Generally a terrible experience, much worse than the Rajdhanis, etc. Maybe they improved somewhat thereafter by the time you started traveling in that sector.

In those days, there were only 3 trains that plied the route, travel time was 26 to 31 hours depending on which train you took. Other than the Mail (which was a two-nighter!), during the day time passengers would be packed like sardines, especially in Andhra. Ticketless travelers would be all over the reserved compartment, noisy vendors would be making a nuisance all through the day and the train's progress would be frustratingly slow. I remember that on many occasions, I would be woken up when sleeping on my reserved berth during the day and asked to share it with some folks who did not have a reservation. Heck, the TTE would ask me to do that. The landscape was also entirely drab till we reached the Lonavla ghat.

Mumbai-Delhi was a much better experience in those days.
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Old 10th February 2016, 14:40   #109
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Question Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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My best train journey has been on the Pune - Howrah Duronto Express.
Now that you spoke about duranto, went back and saw duranto's out of B'lore and there are only 2 of them. One for Delhi and another to Howrah. From schedule of duranto's could make out they have very less number of halts, and they are much faster than rajdhani's and also superfast trains.

I can't understand why they can NOT have trains like 'Duranto' run between financial and silicon hub of India. Why?

Last edited by JMaruru : 10th February 2016 at 14:44.
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Old 10th February 2016, 14:56   #110
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

I can remember a worst train journey which hopefully will remain the first and last.

I am a rail fan and enjoy train journey's to the fullest more so if the train is diesel hauled.

This trip was done almost ten years ago between Bangalore and Chennai on the mail which departs at 11pm. Along with me was member SandeepMohan.

The reason for the trip- we had to catch the Shatabdi from Chennai the next day that was heading back for Bangalore and it was a very important trip for the reason we were going to 'footplate' in the cabin of the WAP4 Electric loco!

I was excited as a small kid who got a new toy. Since it was a impromptu trip, we didn't have reservations and had to get the general class ticket. Neither of us didn't think that we could enter a reserved coach and upgrade if there was availability. Like good boys we entered the packed general coach hoping to find at least place to stand. The coach we got into was not even a full length passenger coach since half of it was the mail van.

The next 6 hours felt like 6 days. The coach had people sleeping in every nook and corner . Under the bench seat, on the luggage rack , in the aisle. The bench seat which in a normal reserved coach seats 3 on one side had 6 here. I found some space to park half my backside on the edge of a seat with legs in different acute angles because of people sitting and lying on the floor. I had to sit in the same position all the way and when I got down at Chennai Central, I was in the same position as I sat for few minutes. One good thing that happened was, I sat at the end of the aisle after which there was a mesh partition for the mail van, this helped since I didn't have the added pain of people constantly walking up and down.
Pity the people who don't have much choice but to travel this way.

But it was all worth it because of the return trip.

Last edited by tharian : 10th February 2016 at 15:04.
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Old 10th February 2016, 16:20   #111
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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But it was all worth it because of the return trip.
Going to Chennai for the comeback! Nice!

On second thoughts when I look back, actually none of the train journeys I feel is bad. Because even the bad ones remain like a sweet memory (never feels it was like a nightmare when I think now). That is the level of emotion which a train journey carries you through!
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Old 10th February 2016, 22:46   #112
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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Going to Chennai for the comeback! Nice!

On second thoughts when I look back, actually none of the train journeys I feel is bad. Because even the bad ones remain like a sweet memory (never feels it was like a nightmare when I think now). That is the level of emotion which a train journey carries you through!
Completely agree with ampere. Right from child hood, train journeys are closer to heart and always cherishing in memory for ever.

I still love the "steam" engine driven train journeys using charcoal in olden days, although they pollute ( at that time it was not a big deal!) and the engine driver & station masters exchanges the key (which looks like a badminton stick) in each station by throwing at high speed as the train enters it

Good old days, won't come back again !

-Ravi

Last edited by ravib : 10th February 2016 at 22:49.
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Old 11th February 2016, 12:10   #113
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

I used to enjoy the journey between New Delhi ---> Dehra Dun using the morning Shatabdi. Best part was when we would halt at Saharanpur for 20 minutes, and they would swap the the engine to the opposite side of the train. I would always stand and watch (along with many others), as the engine is slowly idled to the carriage, and it makes contact with the spring dampers, and then a man standing in the middle would make the connection. Awesome. After Haridwar it is quite scenic since the track curves and one can see the whole train on the curved tracks. Now I use the flight, though.
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Old 18th February 2016, 22:28   #114
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

This is a funny experience which my dad had narrated to me. He had gone to New Delhi with one of his colleague sometime in 80s and was returning to Bangalore by train. The train had stopped at Nagpur and someone in train told them that it'll stop there for 20 minutes. Since Nagpur was famous for oranges, dad's colleague decided to get two baskets of oranges. Dad warned him not to get down but he decided not to listen and got off the train in a vest and lungi with some money to buy oranges. He crossed two platforms and bought two orange baskets. When he looked back, the train had just started to move.

He would have made it to the train if he had decided to ditch the orange baskets. But he tried to cross two platforms by holding the baskets. The train had left the station by the time he crossed the platforms. He was now at Nagpur station in a vest and lungi with two orange baskets without any money. Back in the train, my dad was anxious as he couldn't find his friend even after the train left the station. He complained to co-passengers but they ensured that his friend would have got into some other compartment. He searched in other compartments when the train halted at other stations but couldn't find his friend anywhere. Dad got down at Bangalore and went home with his friend's wallet, luggage, etc. Those were the days where mobiles phone were unheard of and hence he couldn't contact his friend.

Dad woke up next morning and was surprised to see his friend busy wearing his dress at home. He then narrated the incident at Nagpur. After the train left, he approached the station master for help. The station master initially didn't buy his story but later he somehow managed to convince him. The station master agreed to sponsor and asked him to send back the money later. Thus he was able to come back to Bangalore. The funny part is that even after facing all these hardships, he managed to get the two orange baskets with him to Bangalore . The funniest part is that only the top layer of the oranges were good but the bottom layers were full of rotten oranges. The vendor had duped him

Last edited by guyfrmblr : 18th February 2016 at 22:30.
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Old 18th February 2016, 23:19   #115
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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. The funniest part is that only the top layer of the oranges were good but the bottom layers were full of rotten oranges. The vendor had duped him
That's always the case with any basket you buy of any fruit in India! Better take time and spread them on the ground and then buy. If you don't have time for that, buy individual pieces.
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Old 19th February 2016, 01:15   #116
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

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Completely agree with ampere. Right from child hood, train journeys are closer to heart and always cherishing in memory for ever.

I still love the "steam" engine driven train journeys using charcoal in olden days, although they pollute ( at that time it was not a big deal!) and the engine driver & station masters exchanges the key (which looks like a badminton stick) in each station by throwing at high speed as the train enters it

Good old days, won't come back again !

-Ravi
Ravi
Hi. Nothing to beat a steam engine, gloriously straining to pull a trai( the diesel and electric locos make it look so easy)
The sound of whistle,every loco had a different one, the smell of peat, the soothing sound of the loco and the coal particles sticking to your body, the sound of wheels not getting a grip on the rails until the pilot reduced steam....priceless.
I have done , maybe more than a 1000 journeys during the steam era and I miss it.
A few years back there used to be a train from VT to Thane pulled by 2 WP locos. This was introduced for the buffs. Unfortunately due to lack of patronage it was cancelled
Sad times,changing times.
Regards
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Old 19th February 2016, 14:15   #117
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Default Re: Your best and worst train journey experiences?

The most memorable train journeys for me was as a little kid traveling from Karaikkudi to Trichy along with my parents and my brother in the mid 70s. This route then had a two car shuttle that had a DMU like engine. My brother and I nick named it as the Bus Train since all other trains on that route were pulled by Steam Locos. When the horn would blow indicating the readiness for departure we would push on the window frame and say that we are the reason for the train to move!!

The next one was my first north India trip thanks to my father's LTC. We traveled First class from Chennai to Delhi / Agra / Hardwar / Allahabad / Howrah and back to Chennai. Since my brother and I were travelling on half tickets, we had to share a berth at night. To prevent us from accidentally falling of the upper berth, we would be asked to wriggle into a Hold all bed roll and the cross straps buckled up. After everyone slept, I would wriggle out, climb down and sit by the window and peer through the window shutter glass at the dark countryside for hours at length!

The worst one was a trip from Pune to Chennai in the 90s. I had a First class Waitlisted ticket that was the first on the wait list. The train was arriving at Pune around midnight and my colleagues dropped me off at the station and went away. When the train came, to my horror all berths were taken. TTE informed me that I can travel in the General compartment till Sholapur and then try my luck in the morning. The next 6 hrs till the train reached Sholapur was spent sitting on my suitcase near the stinking toilet while the train sped along on the cold winter night. Luckily at Sholapur next morning the TTE obliged (not before I greased his palm with Rs.100/-) and allotted me a berth in a cabin in which a couple with their 5 and 2 year olds were traveling. But the 100 note did its trick for he ensured that we weren't bothered by Railway employees hitching a free ride between the numerous stops during the rest of the day!!
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