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The art of getting in an mumbai local train
To board a local train is an art. Trains moving between churchgate(C) and virar (V) or trains to CST (Victoria terminus).I usually travel between Andheri station and churchgate .Trains are the most cost effective way to travel long distances in Mumbai .. A train ticket from Andheri to churchgate costs 8 Rupees. But the train you catch and the time you catch the train, will decide the state you reach your destination .IF you catch a fast train which has started from Borivali at Andheri during the rush hours and its all full with people, you are going to reach your destination fast that’s for sure but with the sweat of 10 other people on your shirt as in 1 square meter there would be 10 guys standing!.IF you catch a slow train starting from Borivali (BO) at Andheri then its easier to stand all the way but would take longer as it would stop at all stations. If you care not in a hurry catch a local train starting to churchgate where you could get a window seat so you can breath in peace and also get enough ventilation so you don’t sweat so much .You also need to see the sun directions so you don’t sit on the side the sun is entering the compartment or you would be scorched if you make the trip in the afternoon.
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If you plan to stay in mumbai for long ( > 15-18 days ) you should take a rail pass which costs 106 Rs ~ 2.5$ . This allows you to travel freely over long distances . Although it gets very crowded trains are the fastest way to get around mumbai. Avoid peak hours ( 8 am - 10:30 am & 4pm - 6:30 pm ) if you can other wise take the first class ( which is much costlier ). There are two main lines the central and western. They both meet at Dadar . The central line runs from vt - kalyan , western from churchgate- virar. there is also a harbour line which runs to new bombay!!
Also outbound trains are p good , ie the madgaon express takes a scenic route to goa and gets you there in 5 hrs for only 200rs ~ 4.5 $
for more info contact railway offices at vt n churchgate resp.
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Rail Services in Bombay
Bombay is well served by trains from all across the country. There are two major termini in Bombay, the Victoria Terminus (VT) and Bombay Central. The Bombay Rail Network is one of the most vast and comprehensive rail systems in the whole world. Its mind boggling to see the number of trains and passengers that use them on an every day basis. The local metro trains runs on three different routes and it connects every part of Bombay and its suburbs. Regional long distance trains operate out of Bombay Central, Victoria Terminus or Dadar. For more information on Indian Railways, fare, destination and availability, try the website listed in Contact.
For more information on Bombay specific local metro trains, try this link
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Taking a train in India is a real experience. As a Britsish heritage, India has one of the most complete rail networks in Asia.
Most foreigner travel by night in 1st class sleepers coachs. If you wanna sleep on the train and have A/C, this is the best way, and is really not expensive...
But travelling in 3rd class coaches is an experience you will never forget. Choose a short trip (about 1 hour or so) and join the hundreds of indians that travel by train daily, is a great way to know the country!!
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When travelling by train from Mumbai you will have to make a reservation in advance if you want to go in Sleepers 1st Class (which is the best, if not the only, way to travel around here).
You give your name for that purpose and they give you a ticket with your coach number. Before going into the train you have to check that your name is in the list that they stick at the entrance of your coach. Be sure to check it first, as if it isn't, you won't be allowed to travel in that train, so U better solve the problem before the train leaves...
Once you have seen your name in the list, see what is your place and go for it!
Central & Western line
Train service is the best way to get aroung the city...its cheap but also very crowded..
Tip: Try not to travel during peak hours such as 7:30a.m.-8:30a.m. and 4:30p.m- 6:00 p.m.
Also REMEMBER that there are different coaches for men and women.
From Mumbai I travelled:
To Gandhidham ~ an overnighter in 2nd class non A/C
To Chennai ~ a 33 hour ride in 2nd class A/C
I was initially waitlisted for the Mumbai - Chennai route (I quickly learned what RAC stood for ~ Reservation Against Cancellation), but it worked out in the end.
The Mumbai - Gandhidham ride was the most enjoyable by far. Our cabinmates were some Gujarati men who shared their food, played cards with us, taught us some basic words (they didn't speak English, so this part was all done through Charades). We also had an older man who broke into Qawaali in the evening and serenaded us for the better part of an hour. It was priceless!
ABSORB THE FULL INDIAN EXPERIENCE
INDRAIL PASSES FOR TOURISTS To explore the splendour of multi-faceted India, Indrail Passes provide excellent value and enhances the charm of holidays from abroad. Indrail Passes offer visitors on a budget, the facility of travel as they like, over the entire Indian Railways system, without any route restriction within the period of validity of the ticket. These passes can only be purchased by foreign nationals and NRIs on payment of U.S. Dollars, Pound Sterling and other convertible foreign currencies. The pass holder is not required to pay any resrvation fee, superfast charges or surcharge for the journey. The Indrail passes have been made more attractive for transit and short stay visitors. Indrail passes are sold through General Sales Agents abroad.
Listed below are the fares for Indrail Passes.
A.C.First Class / AC-2 Tier :(per adult)
7 Days us$ 135
15 Days us$ 185
21 Days us$ 198
30 Days us$ 248
To/from Poona, try the train....
To/from Poona, try the train. I took the 'Shatabdi' train, I believe the name was, in a wagon with A/C which will serve you tea and snack like in an airplane.
The ride is interesting since you have to climb up a pass from Poona, and then down a steep slope down to the coast where Mumbai is located. I was told the train has 2 locomotives in case one breaks down.
After a while, being in the air conditioning wagon gets tiresome. I spent a long portion of the 4 hours trip on the platform between two wagon enjoying the scenary: the jungle, some monkeys peaking at the passing train, the train stations, the villages, etc...
Travelling is fun by the...
Travelling is fun by the train. Nothing like getting pushed around in the crowded train.It is faster to travel places and also faster to loose your wallet. So BE CAREFUL. Buses is another option but traffics are a nightmare.
Travel 2nd class and enjoy the fresh air :-)
After my pilgrimage to Haji Ali Dargah, I took the train from MahaLaxmi to Chuirchgate. What a fun ride and experience.
Monday, at 0815, there were no crowds in this direction :-)
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