Are you one of those who think gaining experience is the main element of a vacation? Well, first, you are a true vacationer. Second, you have a treat with Indian Railways. Numerous types of trains run in India. Riding each train would provide you with different experiences. You can enjoy the natural beauty, hospitality, culture and local life of India with the trains.
Here is a list of different styles and types of trains that you ought to ride in India.
These trains run from one district or state to another. All states in the country are inter-connected with rail head. You can enjoy the slow rhythmic movement of the train as you pass through different environments. Top sub-urban railway stations to choose are in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other important cities. You can also ride for several days in these trains in sleeper class.
Read More: Top 6 Luxury Train Journeys in India
Metro trains run within a district or city. They are fast moving trains that are usually crowded due to rocket-high demand. You can find modern metro systems in Delhi, Kolkata and others. You cannot find many amenities in metro train that you can experience in Sub-urban trains.
Monorail is similar to that of metro trains but they run on an elevated railway track. Locals use it as a fast moving option as traffic jams are not a problem for monorails. For tourists, it is a wonderful way to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The best monorail system can be experienced in Mumbai.
Read More: Top 20 Most Luxurious Trains in the World
Toy trains are real, human-sized trains. These trains run to special hill stations. These train rides are aesthetically pleasing because of the scenic effect of the hill stations and ever-pleasing climate. The toy trains are heritage sites that run on historic rail routes that were used in earlier times for material transportation. Top toy trains to enjoy are Darjeeling Himalayan railway, Nilgiri mountain railway, Kangra valley railway, Kalka Shimla railway, Matheran hill railway and many others. If you are visiting during tourism season, the natural beauty will be at its prime.
Trains have been a part of Indian culture for many centuries. In the past, the royal heirs used to ride in a luxurious train, which had all the possible and important amenities. Tourism department has taken steps to recap the experience for this generation. Luxury trains have all amenities inside the train like bar, restaurant, gym, spa, exclusive suites, lounge room and others. They run on a specific route, halt at certain destinations, and provide excursion for tourists to enjoy the attractions in that specific destination. Top luxury trains in the country are Palace on Wheels, Maharajas Express, Deccan Odyssey, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Golden Chariot and many others.
Talking about historic trains, India was served by trams before its independence. Today, Tramway is operating in Kolkata only. It is the oldest tramway of Asia and it is still serving people. Although trams are not technically trains, it is a note-worthy addition to this list.
These trains are specifically designed for transporting goods. A few compartments are assigned for passengers. The cost is less when compared to sub-urban trains and you cannot find many amenities in these trains. It is good for gaining experience.
Read More: The Changing Face of the Indian Railways
Certain trains are run during tourism season to enable tourists to visit far fetched destinations with ease. Such trains are common among international tourists. Top tourism trains are Tiger Express, Samjhauta Express, Thar Express and others. Some of these trains have specific itinerary and provide excursion services and some might not.
High Speed Trains
As the name indicates, these trains run at very high speed with minimal stoppings. Top high-speed trains in India are Shatabdi express, Duronto, Rajdhani Express, Garib Rath express and others. Bullet trains can be found in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Read More: 20 Interesting Facts about Indian Railways
These trains are unique for one or two reasons. Although they have exceptional route and provide you an unique experience, they are not luxury trains or toy trains.
Kashmir’s Jammu to Udhampur route train is exceptional one. This train is unique for several reasons. It is not a toy train but aesthetic beauty is guaranteed. A very challenging route includes 158 bridges and 20 tunnels. Numerous tourists ride this train every year for its flawless panoramic view of Shivalik mountain ranges, valleys and rivers.
Another important train of Kashmir is Snow Sojourn. If you ride this train during winter, you would be experiencing a Narnia. Everything will be covered in snow and you get to ride as you enjoy snow capped peaks, snow valleys and exceptional natural beauty.
Apart from these, there are numerous other unique trains like Assam’s Guwahati to Silchar, Desert Queen train and others.
Train on Sea
Rameshwaram, near Tamil Nadu has a rail route where train track is laid over sea. The meter gauge that runs from Mandapam to Pamban will run on a train track that will make you feel like riding on the water. The tracks are very close to the sea. This is the only rail route to reach Rameshwaram from Tamil Nadu.
The trains are an important part of Indian journeys. Thus, the demand for train ticket is very high. Even if you are visit during a non-tourism season, it is advisable to pre-book your tickets, a few months in prior. If you want to experience the rush of India, try riding in the unreserved compartment at least once during your vacation.