India on Train

India is a vast country and travelling on trains between the cities and towns are sure to give you a vivid picture of various facets of the nation. Learn more about touring India on Train on this page.

About the Indian Railway System:

The Indian Railway System is one of the largest networks with thousands of Kilometres of railway lines. There are trains that run between cities and also suburban trains for local transport within each city. Over 23 million passengers travel by train every day in India – half of which are on the Suburbs.

In addition to passenger services, they also offer freight transport, parcel services, catering and Tourism on Trains.

The first every train in India began functioning in 1853 between Bombay and Thane and it took over a century for the railway system to stabilise. Currently, over 65,000 km is covered between the routes all over India.

The IR used to have 4 primary gauge types for Trains. The Broad Gauge, followed by the Metre Gauge and two kinds of Narrow Gauge. But since 2009 there has been a Unigauge Project to convert almost all the railway lines into ‘Broad Gauge’

Only the following routes continue to be in Meter/Narrow Gauge as they are Heritage trains running on Hilly Regions.

Name of Heritage LineGauge (mm)Track (Km)StateFrom (Plains)To (Hills)
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
1,000 mm46Tamil Nadu
Mettupalayam/MTP`Udagamandalam (Ooty)/UAM
Kalka–Shimla Railway
762 mm94Himachal Pradesh
Kalka/KLK
Shimla/SML
Kangra Valley Railway
762 mm164Himachal Pradesh
Pathankot/PTK
Joginder Nagar/JDNX
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway610 mm79West BengalNew Jalpaiguri/NJPDarjeeling/DJ
Matheran Hill Railway610 mm20MaharashtraNeral/NRLMatheran/MAE

Overview of the Train Journey:

Reservation:

The Indian Railway Reservation methods are simple yet there is always a dearth of tickets for all popular destinations. Hence it is always advised to book the tickets in advance and get the best Coach tickets for your journey. Reservations begin 120 days prior to the date of journey and hence one must plan carefully and seek proper guidance while booking their tickets. You also need to carry am ID proof during the travel. India Tours and Travels has experts in India, who can book your ticket in advance and provide you complete guidance on the journey.

Baggage:

Indian Railways is pretty lenient with the amount of luggage you can carry along. Usually the free allowance varies based on the class you choose to travel and extra baggage can be booked upto a maximum limit for each class.

Safety Precautions

Travelling always pushes you out of your comfort zone. So travelling in a foreign country, with stark differences in lifestyle and culture is definitely going to be challenging. Travelling in Indian Trains can be an experience of a lifetime.

A Train journey can give a great insight into the various kinds of people in the country. But it is also fraught with dangers that you need to stay clear of. Travelling in groups and booking tickets on any of the AC Coaches can be a safe option.  Even if you are travelling alone or in a small group, travel in a 3rd Tier AC Coach or above as they have security patrolling regularly and keep your belongings secured to the berth or travel light.