The Dehradun Express, Mumbai to New Delhi

You need to be an international scholar on the subject to attempt to explain the Indian Train system in less than a PHD thesis length of words, but here goes. There are about a million different classes. There are a million different ticket types. There are a million reasons why it is bafflingly still functioning yet THE most illogical system in the world.

I remember dedicating a day in the Philippines to trying to understand just enough to be able to book two ‘sleeper class’tickets on the 29h – 77 stop – wonder that is the Dehradun Express. It incidentally  runs at bursting capacity every single night, maybe as it costs us just £5 each. It was the single only ticket we could find. The distance can actually be done in 15 hours, but these tickets are sold out 4 months in advance, and then you enter into the whole arena of RAC tickets and waitlists. A subject which needs a whole blog of it’s own, so I won’t let it highjack mine.

Anyway, here’s what we learn:

‘Sleeper class’ is about 5 down the pecking order of tickets you would actually want. No bedding, no aircon, just bunkbeds in the aisles with the occasional stench of the toilets. Plus this space is not even yours to call your own. They oversell the seats for day passengers, meaning that during rush hour in the afternoons a nice family of 15 might stroll up and set up shop on your bed. Cosy. A book, a few games of cards, Heat magazine, 3 Cadburry Crunchies, a few hours of teaching Mark the Chinese dice game, and 19 hours of sleeping –  got us though. It was touch and go for a while.

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Connecting to %s : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

March 2012

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