My worst experiences in Indian Railways in 45 years of train travel | So Good News


Washrooms in LHB 1AC and 2AC trains are horribly managed. Today I ended up with a clogged WC.

BHPian vigsom recently shared this with fellow enthusiasts.

After some good experiences on trains, many of which I have written about on the forum, the last few (the last 2 months) have been nothing to write home about; I have taken the train almost every week and my experiences have been the worst in my over 45 years of train travel. Here is a list:

  • LHB 1AC and 2AC coaches are extremely uncomfortable – they are set to extremely low temperatures, and passengers experience severe jolts when the train moves or slows down – experienced this in trains 12656, 22907, 22908, 22904, 129472, 129472, 129472, 129472 , 12971, 126572, 126572, 126572, 12971 , 12927 to name a few. The older buses (Utkrisht) are still well preserved and the temperature control is excellent.
  • Washrooms in LHB 1AC and 2AC trains are terribly managed – they leak water from the top, toilet paper is almost non-existent, have faced water-out situations, vacuum flushing does not work most of the time and early morning on Train No. 12472 , I ended up with a clogged WC.
  • The TTE on board train no 12472 at New Delhi on 28/09/2022 was particularly rude when he came to check my ticket in 1AC. The door of my cabin in bus H1 was extremely difficult to open and when I opened the door halfway with some difficulty after he knocked, I told him that I had boarded in Delhi, he rudely asked me why I was standing in the way; so much about TTE’s behavior. I have reported his behavior to the Railway Minister. This is the first time I have come across a rude TTE in over 45 years and I hope it doesn’t happen again.
  • Overcharging and no billing in ALL pantry cars – this is an old disease and has not been cured even after 4 decades. Just to give an example – I was charged 150 rupees for lunch on train 12656 from MAS 11/09/2022. When I complained to RailMadad, the Pantry Manager called for all the rakes and gave me a story about “special lunch” which was not part of the standard offer. He also begged me to give him another chance and asked me to contact him the next time I travel. End result – I’ve stopped relying on pantry offerings other than routine tea/coffee.
  • NTES – Train Inquiry does not provide realistic train arrivals/departures – it is over-optimistic and paints a very rosy picture of trains arriving on time at a station when in reality they never arrive on time. E.g. a train that is 2 hours late at Bhusawal is shown as being on time at Surat, which is 335 km away. How on earth an express train is supposed to cover 336 km in 3.5 hours is beyond science.
  • Availability status shows tickets unavailable or high on waiting lists, and one is forced to take tickets from the exit station under GN quota. But when we board the train at intermediate stations we find several berths empty.
  • Linen – almost always, the linen supplied in “brown sealed packages” is simply ironed and reissued. I have noticed several times that the sheets that come out of the brown sealed package are dirty; same with pillowcases.
  • The Rail Madad portal is a hit or miss; some problems are actually solved, while some are unilaterally closed without even discussing with the complainant. The worst responses are from Northern Railway.

Sorry to say this but my worst experience in Indian Railways in all these years has been in the last few months and a big stain on all the good work done and which I have personally seen in the last few years.

Here’s what BHPian sukhbirST had to say on the matter:

Thank you for bringing out important facts that we generally ignore, even though we have often encountered them. Will be careful with bedding, food etc. Have been informed of trains changing, canceling or combining after covid. There are also issues like restoring travel concessions that the media or people like you have brought out.

Here’s what BHPian jkrishnakj had to say on the matter:

The problems you articulated (besides the bus jerking during stops) are exactly the ones that make people drive/fly. My last 2AC journey by Rajdhani to Hyd was also a rough one. I had the bunks closer to the door. It’s just a lower/upper bunk/seat configuration that faces the train wall, meaning you can’t even stretch your legs while sitting. Never felt like a 2AC at all.

For train timings and actual status, I rely on the “Live Train” app. So far, 100% of the time, it has shown the correct timing, the correct platform number and the correct count of where my trainer is, from the engine side.

Although the railways have improved a lot in recent years (clean platforms, clean coaches at origin, food delivery at seats etc.), they still have a long way to go.

Here’s what BHPian apachelongbow had to say on the matter:

My only train journey in recent history (meaning the last two decades) was the Delhi Mumbai Tejas last April. In short, it was a quick (between 130 to 140 km/h) journey, with seamless acceleration, bang-on timing and very nice interior with sparkling clean linen. TC actually has a connected tablet to check tickets, food was average but adequate and timely.

I had assumed that IR had really improved based on my experience, until I read the posts above.

Here’s what BHPian Malyaj had to say on the matter:

Just returned from Aleppey / Cochin trip and had mixed experiences.

Bangalore to Ernakulam North – 16526 Kanyakumari Express

Coach – 2nd AC

We were unlucky to get 2nd AC coach (HA1) which was shared with 1st AC (half). There were two more buses A1 and A2 which were further away and newer but somehow we always end up with the worst buses and seats.

Terrible, ancient, jerky bus that rammed into the bus behind every time the train started from a standstill or accelerated. Couldn’t catch a wink during the night. The curtains looked like they had been salvaged from debris. Extremely run down environment all over. AC was meh.

Return journey 16319 SMVB Humsafar Express

Coach – 3rd AC

This time the coach was newer, the interior better and the coach didn’t move. We got seats 71/72 near the door, which was stuck and passengers struggled to open it all night. Again I couldn’t sleep for a second. The next morning the coffee and breakfast vendors kept going up and down every minute with their announcements and it became very annoying. Why do we need these services literally every minute? What a racket.

On the bright side, both trains were more or less on time and the bedding was spotless.

Check out BHPian comments for more insight and information.


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