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Bombay to Goa?

Central Railway will introduce an air conditioned coach comprising 10 first class air conditioned berths and two tier second class air conditioned berths on the Konkan Kanya Express from October 23. The train runs between Bombay CST and Madgaon.

  • Train 0111 departs Bombay at 2230 hours daily and arrives in Madgaon at 1025 hours, next day.

  • On the return journey, 0112 departs Madgaon at 1815 hours and arrives in Bombay at 0635 hours, next day.

The one way Ac first class fare between Bombay and Madgaon is Rs 1,786. The Ac second class fare is Rs 893. The second class sleeper fare is Rs 193.

Shimla before the snow

Northern Railways, in association with Himachal Tourism, offers a four day and five night tour to Shimla, Naldehra, Chail and Narkanda from December 10.

The package is priced at:

The package includes Delhi-Shimla-Delhi rail fare, accommodation on twin sharing basis, sightseeing and meals.

The itinerary:
Departure every Friday from the Old Delhi Railway station by Kalka Mail at 2250 hours. Passengers will be offered welcome drinks- tea, coffee, cold drinks and ice creams- at the railway lounge before departure.

  • Day 1, Saturday.
    • 0500 hours: Arrive at Kalka Railway station. Depart for Shimla after tea. Breakfast at the Barog Railway Station.
    • 1130 hours: Arrive at Shimla. Check-in at Hotel Holiday Home. Lunch and sightseeing.
  • Day 2, Sunday.
    • 0930 hours: Depart for Naldehra after breakfast. Sightseeing.
    • 1300 hours: Lunch. Depart for Chail. Check-in at Palace Hotel
  • Day 3, Monday.
    • 0930 hours: Breakfast, sightseeing.
    • 1300 hours: Lunch. Depart for Narkanda. Sightseeing. Check-in at Hotel Hatu.
  • Day 4, Thursday.
    • 1200 hours: Arrive at Shimla. Lunch.
    • 1630 hours: Depart for Kalka. Dinner at Barog Railway station.
    • 2330 hours: Depart for New Delhi.

Reservations are open and tickets can be purchased from any computerised reservation terminal. HPTDC, Chandralok Building, 36, Janpath, New Delhi. Phone: 011-3324764.
The Mall, Shimla. Phone: 0177-252704.
Bombay: 022-2181123.
Madras: 044-8272966.
Bangalore: 080-287659.

Cool and comfortable!

Central Railway will replace the existing first-class coach of the Bombay-Howrah-Bombay Mail via Allahabad by AC two tier coach. This service will come into effect from October 1 on the 3003 Dn Howrah-Bombay Mail and October 3 on the 3004 Up Bombay-Howrah Mail.

The AC two tier fare between Bombay and Howrah is Rs 1,964.

Rail 'bhavans' abroad

Indian Railways has appointed general sales agents in various cities abroad to enable foreign passport holders to purchase rail passes and make train enquiries and reservations at their home country before arriving in India. The addresses and telephone numbers are listed below:

Tele-book your rail tickets.

Northern Railways has for the first time in India introduced a rail credit card and railway tele-booking service.

The rail credit card, which will be issued by Standard Chartered Bank, will enable passengers to book their tickets over the phone. The tickets will have to be collected at special counters at least 48 hours before the time of departure of the train. This facility is available in New Delhi only for now.

Besides train reservation, the Standard Chartered rail credit card, a Visa classic card, can be used at 15 million outlets and 450,000 ATMs around the world. The card will be offered at an annual fee of Rs 700. Rs 100 will be charged as joining fee.

Application forms will be available in the second week of July at Standard Chartered banks in New Delhi.

Other services offered:

Travel unlimited

Western Railway has introduced a weekly ticket for unlimited suburban rail travel. The seven day ticket is priced at Rs 95 for travel between VT/Churchgate and Thane/Borivali by second class. Rs 190 for travel between VT/Churchgate and Dahanu road/Karjat/Panvel by second class.

It's easy

Central Railways now offers Bombay commuters the option to buy their season tickets by credit card.

Head for counters six and seven at the Victoria Terminus. Credit cards have been installed at these counters.

Note down this telephone number

Western Railways now offers an interactive voice response system on 132 in New Delhi and Ahmedabad. Recorded messages about train timings will be available at 133.

Tatkal extended to intermediate stations

Tatkal Reservation service, which was originally available for instant reservations to end stations only, will now be available for intermediate stations on certain trains.

  • On the Kushinagar Express, which runs from Kurla, Bombay to Gorakhpur, it will be available for reservations to Lucknow and beyond.
  • On the Konark Express, which runs from VT Bombay to Bhubaneshwar, it will be available for reservations to Secunderabad and beyond.
  • On the Vidharbha Express, which runs from VT Bombay to Nagpur, it will be available for reservations to Badnera and beyond.
  • On the Hussain-Sagar Express, which runs from VT Bombay to Hyderabad, it will be available for reservations to Solapur and beyond.
  • On the Geetanjali Express, which runs from VT Bombay to Calcutta, it will be available for reservations to Tatanagar and beyond.
  • On the Hyderabad Express, which runs from VT Bombay to Hyderabad, it will be available for reservations to Solapur and beyond.
  • On the Punjab Mail, which runs from VT Bombay to Ferozepur, it will be available for reservations to Bhopal and beyond.

Senior citizens pay less

Northern Railways offers 30 per cent discounts on train tickets to anywhere in all classes for citizens, age 65 or above from August 15 onwards.

Proof of age is not required at the time of booking the ticket. But during the journey the ticket collector would require proof.

Get your rail reservations in one place

Indian Railways has introduced interconnectivity between the passenger reservation systems between Calcutta and New Delhi.

It is now possible to book a ticket on the Northern Railways, South Central Railways, Eastern Railways, South Eastern Railways and North Frontier Railways at any reservation counter either in Calcutta or New Delhi. That is tickets for 70 per cent of Indian trains.

As yet Southern Railways, the Central Railways, that operates south of Bhopal and the Western Railways, that operates south of Ajmer and Kota, have not be included in this loop. But this will be achieved shortly.

Reservations at the snap of a finger

Indian Railways has now introduced its Tatkal reservation system now on 24 more up and down trains.

On payment of an extra Rs 50 and on producing a photo ID, passengers requiring to travel at last minute's notice can book their tickets on a first-come-first-served basis at reservation centres 24 hours before the journey. Passengers holding tickets booked on the Tatkal service will be accommodated in a special Tatkal coach that will be attached to the train. Tatkal reservations are available for end stations only.

This service has been introduced on the Hussainsagar Express, Charminar Express, Hyderabad-CST Mumbai Express, Gitanjali Express, Himgiri Express, Saraighat Express, Poorva Express, Vidharba Express, Konark Express, Kushinagar Express, Coromandal Express, Yercaud Express, Amritsar Shatabdi Express, August Kranti Rajdhani, Vidharbha Express, Konark Express, Shalimar Express, Nizamuddin-Indore Intercity Express, Chennai-Bangalore City Mail, Visakha Express, and Ashram Express.

New trains and facilities

Central Railways will introduce a host of new facilties for South-bound passengers:

Rates for Palace on Wheels

Camels are outdated. Enter Palace on Wheels, the luxury train that rides through the deserts of Rajasthan. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation runs an air-conditioned, Raj-style train that meanders through seven historic towns of Rajasthan and on to the town of Taj, Agra.

This weekly train begins from Delhi Cantonment every Wednesday , from September to April and terminates the following Wednesday at Delhi Cantonment. Rates depend on the season of travel.

  • September to April:

    • US $ 370 per person per nightfor an AC single berth in a cabin. This is charged per person per night.
    • US $ 270 per person per night for an AC double berth in a cabin.
    • US $ 215 per person per night for an AC triple berth in a cabin.
    • Half fares are charged for children over five and under 12.

The fare includes beverages, meals, entry fee to all monuments, cultural entertainment and boat rides in Udaipur. The fare does not include liquor.

The schedule:

  • The train departs from Delhi Cantonment on Wednesdays at 2245 hours.
  • It arrives in Jaipur on Thursday at 0830 hours. It departs from Jaipur on Thursday at 2210 hours.
  • It arrives in Chittaurgarh on Friday at 0730 hours. It departs from Chittaurgarh on Friday at 0930 hours.
  • It arrives in Udaipur on Friday 1130 hours. It departs from Udaipur on Friday at 1645 hours.
  • It comes back to Chittaurgarh on Friday at 1930 hours. It departs from Chittaurgarh at 2200 hours.
  • It arrives in Sawai Madhopur on Saturday at 0630 hours. It departs from Sawai Madhopur on Saturday at 1230 hours.
  • It arrives in Jaisalmer on Sunday at 0900 hours. It departs from Jaisalmer on Sunday at 2330 hours.
  • It arrives in Jodhpur on Monday at 0900 hours. It departs from Jodhpur on Monday at 1545 hours.
  • It arrives in Bharatpur on Tuesday at 0715 hours. It departs from Bhartpur on Tuesday at 1000 hours. It arrives in Agra on the same day, Tuesday, at 1300 hours. It departs from Agra on Tuesday at 2000 hours.
  • It arrives in Delhi Cantonment on Wednesday at 0730 hours.

Rajasthan Tourism, Bikaner House, New Delhi. Phone 011-3381884, 3386069 or fax: 011-3382823.
Bombay, phone: 022-4305421, 022-4228689.

Western Railways has announced that two seats and berths in the sleeper class on long distance trains will be reserved for handicapped persons.

However, the persons should be travelling on concessional tickets. These tickets may be availed of persons who are orthopaedically handicapped, paraplegics, mentally retarded persons or people who are blind, deaf or dumb. The reservation quota is also available to the people who are accompanying the handicapped persons.

Indian Railways has decided to boost tourism in the country by introducing Explorer Passes like the Indrail Passes for foreigners and non resident Indians against payment in foreign exchange.

A proposal was received from Eurotrain International, based in Copenhagen, to promote rail-based tourism. Under this scheme, Explorer Pass holders will get their passes exchanged at pre-determined locations in India with Indrail pass before travelling on the Indian Railways.

The railways are trying to popularise Indrail in collaboration with Air-India and Indian Airlines. Rail-cum-air tickets will be available for those living abroad and intending to travel to India.

The Indian Railways has granted 75 per cent rail concessions to orthopaedically handicapped, mentally handicapped, blind or paraplegic persons and their escort travelling by sleeper or first class on any train.

Deaf persons can avail of a 50 per cent discount.

Indian Railways has increased the prices of all its meals which are available on board or in stations all across India

The price of tea, coffee, snacks, and mineral water will be increased too.

The revised prices are:

  • Rs 20 for a vegetarian meal, up by Rs 4.
  • Rs 24 for a non-vegetarian meal, up by Rs 4.
  • Rs 16 for a vegetarian thali, up by Rs 3.
  • Rs 22 for a non-vegetarian thali, up by Rs 3.
  • Rs 12 for a vegetarian breakfast, up by Rs 2.
  • Rs 15 for a non-vegetarian breakfast, up by Rs 3.
  • Rs 2 for a cup of tea, up by Rs .50.
  • Rs 3 for a cup of coffee, up by Rs 1.
  • Rs 10 for a bottle of mineral water.

The railways ministry has extended the advance reservation period from 30 days to 60 days.

There will be no change in certain daytime express trains like the Taj Express or Gomti Express. Also the time limit for foreigners will remain 360 days advance booking. This increase in advance reservation time is intended to give people more time to plan their holidays with ease, it will also prevent booking in bulk.