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May 20, 2009

Travel by sleeper from Hyd to Blr

Filed under: Indian railways, travel — Tags: — neosurya @ 22:59

Its about 500 Kms from KCG to SBC, almost the distance from NYC to Buffalo. And it costed me Rs 274, little over 6 dollars to travel the distance. I had the dreadful side middle berth [1, 2, 3]. The TC later told us that side middle berths would be discontinued from July end. It was very warm as long as the train was at the Kacheguda station, but once it started moving it became much better. By about 7:50, it was very cool and beautiful. The compartment was very neat. It was unlike the AC compartments – no cell phone or laptop chargers, no hooks to hang bags. But everything was functional. However, there were loose screws here and there and some of the fittings were sharp.

Across from the side berths was  a family of four lads, 2 girls and their two gaurdians. A mom and dad were taking their kids or a trip to Mysore and the cousins also tagged along. As we settled in, the kids had become a little more noisy. There was also a family that boarded with a baby about 6-8 months of age. It was almost like my childhood, when we used to go on long train journeys; fighting for a window seat, jumping about on the upper berth, daddy scolding us to not touch the chain.

It rained pretty heavily tonight. And that made the trip even better. As we sped through drenched farms, the storm occasionally lighted up the countryside in a bright hue. The  brief glimpse of nature’s bounty with the sweet smell of rain-drenched soil was beautiful . While it sure was beautiful, the rain was heavy enough to have damaged standing crops. I later found out from Shekhar that his farm suffered about 50% damage to the beans plantation.

The train got to SBC about half an hour behind schedule. Even though it was a sleeper without the comfort of an AC, I did not fare too badly.

BTW, The Indian Railway Fan Club (IRFC) has a very interesting article on how railways evolved since independence. The trip reports also make for very interesting reading; one such report is about the incident at Nagpur’s diamond crossing junction (Photos here:[1, 2, 3] ).

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4 Comments »

  1. I too have been to these triple sleepers and was fun at times.. Btw, nt sure about your train, but since last 3 years I’ve been using mobile charges in the sleeper coach too. They have 2 charging points near each door.

    Comment by Sejal Parikh — May 21, 2009 @ 10:49

    • I did not notice chargers in this particular compartment. Trains are becoming could become particularly messy. There has been some talk that toilets would be removed from one side of the compartment. It may make economic sense, but 72 people sharing 2 toilets will raise a wonderful stink. I am reminded of how the Indian railways introduced toilets in the first place in all compartments. Another blogger has summarized it here:

      http://rajaputhran.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/03/akhil-chandra-sen-the-indian-railways.htm

      To quote the letter that got us toilets:

      “I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with lotah in one hand and dhoti in the next when I am fall over and expose all my shocking to man and female women on platform. I am got leaved at Ahmedpur station.

      This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung that dam guard not wait train five minutes for him. I am therefore pray your honor to make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big report to papers.”

      Comment by neosurya — May 21, 2009 @ 12:08

  2. Yeah I had read about this somewhere. Well, if you think trains are becoming messy now, I think otherwise. I have found them cleaner (not in absolute sense!)over the years :-).

    Before my graduation, my family used go to Chennai in Summer vacation from Ahmedabad (36 hours) in sleeper class and I remember what a mess it used to be. [I come from a background where A/C coach was a rare luxury]. Now a days when I and Pulkit travel from Bangalore, which is same 36 hours journey, I find it a lot better :-).

    Removing one toilet will be a nightmare! I hope that talk just remains on papers. Lalu was good in handling railways, god knows who’ll take charge now.

    Comment by Sejal Parikh — May 21, 2009 @ 12:24

    • I should edit the messy part; it is only related to the toilets aspect. 🙂

      I have also noticed that trains are much better. In fact, this compartment was clean enough to walk barefoot. However, it missed a garbage bin. I guess this was a slightly older compartment.

      Comment by neosurya — May 21, 2009 @ 13:44


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