I’ve been in India since the 19th of January, and I’ve now travelled a few thousand kilometres on the Indian Railways. Starting in Chennai (Madras) I heading down to Thiruvananthapuram (aka Trivandrum) the capital of Kerala state in the far south of India. I travelled up the west coast of India to Goa, Mumbai (Bombay) and now I’m writing this from Jodhpur.
I have mostly travelled on the long distance trains in either AC1 or AC2 sleeper coaches which I know isn’t how most of the millions of Indians travel by train. I did travel into and out of the centre of Mumbai on the famously crowded suburban trains.
The people I have met on the trains have been without exception friendly, hospitable and willing to help. I have shared an evening meal with Indian families on the train between Chennai and Trivandrumand with each family making sure that I had tried their own speciality.
I have since discovered that you can order food for delivery to your seat on the train as it stops as intermediate stations. I used this going between Mumbai and Jodhpur, getting a meal delivered to my seat for 155/- Rs or about £1.55.
I have been on a train that was held up by monkeys, an excuse that Northern Rail have not yet tried! You can see one of the monkeys in question climbing on the cables in the picture.
I have seen a different side to India for example trundling through the backwaters of Kerala.