Ever since man invented the wheel, the desire to travel increased. The invention of the wheel led to a significant change in transportation. After the Industrial Revolution in 1857, Railways improved rapidly. A lot of tracks were built and people started relying heavily on trains.
India alone has a massive 121,407 kilometres of tracks laid out making it the fourth longest system in the world. More than 13,000 trains run across the country on a daily basis. Be it goods train, passenger trains, express trains, or mail trains, Indian Rail handles a lot of traffic efficiently every day. All trains in India run at an average speed of 50 kilometres per hour.
Indian Railways is also the largest employer in the world, with over 1.3 million employees working hard to make it one of the best services ever. The Central Government has a separate budget every financial year for railways, called the Railway Budget. This shows how big the system actually is.
Gone are the days when people had to stand in long queues to buy a ticket. You can now buy tickets online, or through an agent. After your payment is successful, you will get a confirmation mail and your tickets with all your details on it. Age, gender, full name, etc. are some of the details which you have to enter while buying tickets. The type of ticket you want to buy depends on the seating arrangement. There are many different coaches available on each train –
- 1 A or AC First Class: This is by far the most luxurious of all coaches in the train. This will definitely deplete your wallet, but it is certainly worth it. The coach has an attendant, and you will also be provided food and water which is included in the ticket price. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes and can take around 18 passengers only.
- 2 A or AC two tier: Another expensive ticket, this includes bedding only. Each air conditioned coach can accommodate around 20 passengers comfortably.
- FC or First Class: Similar to 1 A, but AC is not included.
- General Category: This is the least expensive accommodation. The train seat availability is not guaranteed.
- Sleeper class or SL: The most popular coach in the Indian Railway is the Sleeper Class. Around 72 passengers per coach can be accommodated. Over ten coaches are found in a single train with an SL tag.
- Executive Chair Car or EC: With loads of legroom and around four seats in a row, these coaches are found in intercity trains.
The above coaches are available on almost all trains across India. There are a few trains however that have a special status attached to their tag. They are –
- The Palace on Wheels: An eight day trip across Rajasthan starting from Delhi. A luxury train service!
- The Deccan Odyssey: A seven-night, eight day tour which covers all the significant places of Maharashtra and Goa.
- Mahaparinirvan Express: A luxury train service covering Uttar Pradesh.
Depending on your flexibility, you can choose whatever seat you desire while traveling by train.