Traveling with the train in India

During my trip in India I needed to travel through the country. One of the best ways to do that is with the train. When traveling with the train you could see a lot more of the country than by a plain or by car, so the choice was easy. I traveled from Delhi to Amritsar.

“the delay was 5 hours”

The alarm went off around 8 am because the train was about to leave 1pm. After breakfast and some last packing it was time to check out of the hotel and go to the train station. Because the traffic in Delhi could be really busy I decided to go to the station around 11 pm so that I would make it in time. It took me just over an hour to reach the train station in Old Delhi. Reaching there was easy as the cab driver knew where to go and take the route with the least traffic.
Once I arrived at the station I went inside but not before have my luggage checked by the X-ray. Inside the train station there is a big sign where the trains are announced so I had to look from wich my platform my train was about to leave. After standing there for a while and looking at it I couldn’t find my train. As it was about an hour before the departure time I decided to buy myself a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants. While enjoying my coffee I heard a announcement regarding my train. The train was delayed!!

IMG_2081

As I didn’t hear for how long the train was delayed I had to go and ask someone. The information desk was the place to be. Reaching the desk there was a line, I wasnt the only one who had a question. After waiting there for a while it was my turn and the lady behind the desk told me that the delay was 5 hours, I couldn’t believe my ears. There goes my view of the country. The train would leave at 6 pm and it would get dark not long after that. There was nothing to do about it, I had to wait.

IMG_2082

After my second cup of coffee I was getting hungry, now what to do as there was another 4 hours to wait. Go back into the city would take me an hour to reach and an hour to get back so I had to two hours. Lets do it! Finding a taxi was a bit difficult as there are only riksahs around the train station. There was another choice.. Uber! After waiting ten minutes the driver arrived and I could get on the way to get some food. Arriving at the restaurant there was another line I had to face. Luckily for me I could get a table fast. As soon as I finished the food I needed to get back to the station. Finding a Uber was hard because the car stopped somewhere and I couldnt find it. After a while I found the car and I was on my way to the station. Because looking for the car took a bit to long I could not waste any time I was in a hurry. The driver was so kind to hit the gas and drive as fast as he could.

Finally there was the station, I checked with the driver if this was Old Delhi station as I was at another entrance. Now run!! Because it was 15 minutes away from departure time. As it was rush hour there were a lot of other people at the station and the platform was packed. I had to find a way through the crowd and find my train, I’m not missing this train!! One minute before the departure time I reached the platform, but no train. Did I mis the train? is it delayed again? Lets ask someone. The person I asked was so kind to show me on his phone that the train was about to arrive but he wasnt sure at what time. Also he told me that he was waiting for the same train. Finally I could relax a bit.

IMG_2098

The train arrived 15 minutes later, but this train was so long and I had to find the first class cabin. Trains in India usually waits a few minutes before departing so I had some time to find the cabin. Walking towards the end of the train I realised that this wasnt the way I should go. Finding my way through people who were trying to load some cargo, and others trying to get into the train. Ask someone, that was the only option I had. The man I decided to ask was so kind to escort me to the train cabin, all in the front of the train, I had to run. There it is the cabin I booked!! When I got into the cabin there were 4 beds/ benches wich was really nice, and there was enough space to stow my luggage. The cabin looked clean and fresh. After a while the conductor came with some sheets for the beds and pillows, and asked for the tickets. And there it was, the horn. Lets get this train moving and get to Amritsar as soon as possible. The rest of the trip there were no other people in the cabin so I could do whatever I liked.
Traveling with the train in India can be a bit different that other places in the world, but one thing is for sure: it’s an adventure I could recommend to everyone.