Railway stations in India are a sight that you just cannot miss. If you want to understand the obsession of “too many people in India”, this is the right place to witness it.
Hundreds and thousands of passengers blend in with a plethora of vendors and railway workers to bring out the lively culture of the country. Though the hustle-bustle can be overwhelming, it should definitely not lead you to the wrong platform and make you miss your train. Not every train that arrives at a station waits for a very long time. Moreover, you’re just going to slow down if carrying a whole lot of luggage along with you. If your IRCTC PNR status is confirmed and you’re on your way to the station, all you need to do more is to be alert and adopt ways to get onboard time.
So, here’s is how you should go about finding and boarding your train:
When You Arrive at the Station:
Once you’re at the station, the first thing is to find the platform where your train will arrive. Moreover, you can also find the approximate place where your specific coach will stop. This is important to know as all the standard passenger trains in India have 18 carriages and up to 24 carriages on popular routes. For this, you can take help from the railway employee, passengers waiting or even the vendors at the station. Trust me when I say this, you don’t want to be standing at the wrong end of a crowded railway platform when your train stops.
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There is help available at the station also. There are boards showing the platform the trains depart from, the details of departing trains and the order of the carriages on each train.
If you carefully look at the board, above each coach or carriage type, is a number. You can just note your carriage number (A1, B2, or S1) and then try to find it on the board. Also, get the platform number of the train from the board.
You can also check out the roof of each platform where there is a row of numbers spread out along the length of the platform which show the points where carriages will stop.
Now you can stand at the number corresponding to your carriage from the board or the number on the roof to board the right carriage of your train. If you’re still not sure, you can ask a vendor on the platform for more information. As they run their business there every day, they probably have a great amount of knowledge of the trains and usually, know where each coach or carriage is positioned.
During Your Train’s Arrival
As suggested earlier, the railway platforms in India are very crowded. The worst part being that one the train starts arriving, it sets into motion a chain of events when you see people rushing towards their coaches in a very unstable manner. It’s not the prettiest sight because the trains usually wait at a platform for that much time to have most passengers onboard. As the train approaches, there is this fear of missing out or getting left behind which makes everyone want to get on it first. So, don’t get surprised if people dodge you and definitely prevent yourself getting physically hurt by large bags, boxes, etc. of your co-passengers. If you’re brave and not causing too much discomfort to other passengers, you can push or speed your way through.
Once you’re inside the train carriage, you’ll see that all compartments are numbered. Even after this, you can find someone on the seat that is rightfully yours. Ignorance is bliss, or maybe not! Don’t get hyper in this situation. Just let everybody settle their luggage and get a little organized. You can do the same and ask the fellow passenger to make space for you. Do it with courtesy, it’s the most effective way.
You can also take help from a porter or coolie to carry your luggage to the right compartment. It’s easy to spot them with their red jackets. Put to your negotiation skills to the test and just get the best deal for yourself. Just don’t be inconsiderate.
Hope these things help you stay clear in the head and help you smartly board your train next time.