Whenever you are in Mumbai, always travel by Local Train or BEST Bus. It is very cheap for long distance. If your stay in Mumbai is 8-10 days. it is advisable to take bus pass & Train ticket.
both are different altogether (unlike in other countries). For bus pass, go to any Bus terminus. (there is one out side Museum, Colaba) take your ID card for 25 Rs. & pay 40 Rs. bus fare for unlimited travel per day. Train tickets at station ticket window, avoid peak hours 8-11 a.m.(south bound) 5-9 p.m.(north bound). Train pass is not worth if you are not travelling much on local trains.Trains has two terminus Churchgate (western) & CST (central).
Mumbai and its suburban trains are famous for being very overcrowded. Locals hang from the doors and ride on top of the trains. Only for a few hours during midday are the trains less crowded. Be prepared to exit the train before your stop because crowds entering will be pushing you back as you try to exit. Be extremely cautious if you have to travel late at night – you may even consider an alternate mode of transportation.
If you are a woman, get a ticket for the woman’s (only) compartment or at the very least a first class ticket. DO NOT even think of going in a general/men’s compartment. It is so crowded someone most likely will be pushed up against you.
The trains are cheap, on time, and still the fastest way to get into town from the suburbs or vice versa. Just be smart and safe!
Find the train station and be patient to line up. Its the fastest and a cheapest way to go if you're nowhere near Colaba area. Taxis are fairly priced however you can get stuck in traffic the routes are longer.
A map with train routes and numbers, I include the website, you will also need this website to check the train table number which is the one you going to need.
I booked my train ticket at www.irctc.co.in, this is the online booking site of the Indian Railways. It's so very easy to book, pay online, print the e-ticket, very convenient and you just have to show up at the station.
I did showed up at the station 2 hours before the departure time of 8:00pm, which is in fact very early, my first time so I thought ts the same with airports. 1 hour to 30 minutes before the departure is just fine. They display the names of the passengers with details like the carriage # and assigned seat on the notice board located just beside the counters. I did not find my name there and the train has already arrived and leaving after an hour. I got worried but I decided to get near the train and check the list which is posted on the entrance of the carriage. I booked AC 2-tier (2A), so I went to that carriage and check the list....and as expected my name is on that list.
So if you did not find your name on the board, check the carriages.
AC 2-tier carriage is airconditioned, my seat is adjacent to the windows, so I get to see the sights while lying down. There's another bed on top of me, and 4 beds on the opposite side. You can seat during daytime and convert it to bed during night time. The train staff distributes bedsheets and blankets. The curtain is convenient too and will cover your space to avoid disturbance during your slumber.
There are no restaurants of sorts but the staff will come to you and ask you if you want to order the food, only one menu, it was always Indian vegetarian packed food - vegetables in curry or masala sauce and yellow rice with onions, and a roti bread. So if you're not sure if you will like the food they sell, then bring your own.
Each train carriage has toilets located at both ends, 2 each carriage, so there're like 4 for the 2 connecting carriages. One toilet is Indian seat and the other have toilet bowl. It has small basin, electric fan, fawcets and small tin can that you could use to fill water for cleaning your....you know what.
The train is strictly non-smoking. Unless you dare to smoke inside the toilet, I saw passengers doing that. Train stations in India is also non-smoking, so you have to go out of the station premise to be able to smoke.
You won't get bored - burn the time talking to the people on-board, watch the sights - go to the end of the train where you could stand on the entrance door for a better view of the passing sceneries, I did this most of the time during the 24-hour trip.
Everytime the train stops at stations, I have to get down to cut the monotony of having to be always inside the train, and also to buy some snacks or drink tea or buy something to read - yup! they sell lotsa books and publications at train stations. But be alert to hear the wistle signaling that the train is about to move.
It's fun, cheaper than air travel, comfortable and it's almost like a part of the travel itinerary.
Foreign Tourist Counter
Across the street from Chrichgate is the booking/resevation office, one staircase beyond the tourist office. Very nice, competent, patient staff make life easy to get the reservations to your dream destinations. They can also help with changes to tickets booked on the internet.
Always convenient to book one's tickets on Indian Railways website:
You may now book online for tickets from any place to any destination on the internet from Mumbai and most major cities and get your tickets home (or hotel) delivered by courier. This facility is available at present in Mumbai and many other major cities and is a very easy way to book tickets for journeys inbetween any two places on the whole Indian Railways network. The website is www.irctc.co.in and you can pay by credit card!!! So happy bookings and safe journeys on the Indian Rails!!!
One must experience the Mumbai electric Train once just to get an idea of how most common people commute. Also hold on to your valuables when you do so.... also if you take the train at peak hours start moving to the exit well before you reach the station or most likely will not be able to get out...
Three of the popular tourist destinations out of Mumbai stations are to Poona, Goa or Delhi.
Mumbai is a prominent railway hub of the country. It is the headquarters to two railway zones, central and western. While Central Railways handles services to the East and South, Western Railways caters to the North from Churchgate and Mumbai Central stations. The main railway station Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) formerly known as Victoria Terminus (VT) is located in the heart of the city. Local and outstation trains ply from here. Dadar, Lokmanyatilak and Kurla are other major railway stations.
If travelling down south to Trandrum via Goa, then almost certainly you will be on the Konkan line http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konkan_Railway
It departs currently from Lokmanyatilak so ensure you allow up to an hour to get from areas like the Gatway to India in the city to the station as it is quite some way out by taxi
I bought my train ticket for Aurangabad a few days before the journey. There is a reservation centre at CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) and when I came there there was a lot of people waiting. I thought it was going to take very long, but was soon told to go upstairs where there is a counter only for foreigners. There was no queue and I could buy my ticket right away. I chose to buy a ticket for 2nd class seat (you get a seat number) with the train leaving at 6.10 in the morning. The ticket was Rs 102 (June 2010).
In the morning of the journey I came to the station in good time so that I could buy breakfast and some snacks. On the train I sat next to a Spanish couple and it was from the beginning few passengers. Well, it soon filled up, and at points during the journey the train was very crowded with people standing or sitting on the floor.
Short after the take off a man came by and asked if wanted to order breakfast. We did and it arrived maybe an hour later. The breakfast consisted of omelette and some bread. I can’t remember the price but it was cheap. If you don’t order breakfast or bring anything with you there will be plenty of opportunities to buy things to eat or drink from vendors passing.
The train was supposed to arrive to Aurangabad at 13.15 but was an hour late. Aurangabad is not the final destination of the train and it only stops for a short while. Be prepared with your bags and be prepared to push through the crowed trying to board the train when you leave it.
From the train station I walked to the hotel, it was not far.
Victoria train station, also called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is the main train station in Mumbai. It is known as one of the busiest and most congested locations in Mumbai.
The train station was one of seven locations attacked with bombs and gunfire in a coordinated terror attack on November 26, 2008.
The Mumbai Suburban Railway carries more than 7 million commuters on a daily basis It has one of the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world. The pictures are from Chowpatty train station.
72° 48' 41.4800" E 72° 48' 56.6900" E
Now I have to admit I could not have used this mode of transport all the time because it was just too hot for some of the mucking about (especially with children) it required. However, the trains are 1) cheap 2) fast 3) reliable & 4) quite good fun!
2 adults and 2 children travelled for about the same price as a box of matches!
Buy your ticket - you should indicate you want a first class carriage as they ae slightly less crowded!
Women can travel with relative ease as there are uncrowded "women only" carriages.
You may not get onto the first train that comes into the platform because you may be struck dumb with the wonder of how you could ever possibly board - there are people clinging to the outside for dear life... it is every man and flip flop for himself! BUT once you are on it is relatively friendly and easy.
Indian flights are very cheap and it's tempting. But if you have the time and the patience, Indian trains reward like no other journey.
The Indian train is a travelling village in itself. You will be sold to constantly. Some things you will want - chai in the moring, samosa in the evening - and some things you will not.
Despite the bad image of India as a hard-sell place, there's no obligation to buy and the seller will move on if you are not interested. The good bit is, you can do all your shopping in one journey, from bajee to clothing.
The trains are more than a kilometre long (which is truely awesome in itself), and are a lifeline to many Indians. And far more eco-friendly than flying.