At the moment I am writing this from a 17 hour overnight train journey from Mumbai to Udipur. I am in an air-conditioned two tier carriage on the upper berth. I managed to get a good night’s sleep and am now awaiting my arrival.
Top tips for train travel in Mumbai:
Buying the ticket – this can be tricky. I am very lucky as the hostel host in Basti, Mumbai very kindly booked my ticket on his phone for me. Last minute tickets become available at 10 am the day before departure on the Clear Trip phone application. You need to register on the app ITCTC Rail Connections too to get log-in details for Clear Trip. And you will also need an Indian SIM card for this.
Another option is going to the train station booking centre, which is opposite Church Gate station in Mumbai. Here you can buy tickets hassel-free (in advance if there are spaces).
If possible chose 1st or 2nd class with air-conditioning. It is also ideal to get the upper berth for privacy and to be able to sleep the entire time if you so wish.
Getting the train – Don’t be scared to ask people for help. If you can’t find your platform or carriage, show your ticket to someone for assistance. On the ticket you will find the carriage number and bed number. Keep this in mind before arriving at the station.
I didn’t know what to do with my bags so I asked and a lady said I could slide them under the seats at the bottom. She also showed me how to climb up to my berth.
Bring snacks and keep your goody bag close by. I wore my bumbag with money and my passport in. Then had my small bag nearby with my book in. The trains are pretty safe but it’s still worth keeping your money close by.
And finally rest and relax. Travelling can be full on and hectic. It’s a luxury to get 17 hours to yourself to sleep, write and read. While it sounds like it may be long and boring, it is far from it. Soak up the atmosphere and do what you enjoy best. I’m spending the time blogging.
This is my view from the top berth:
This is the wash room:
Here are the top bunks (I can only just sit up right on them as the ceiling is low)