Trains are a lifeline of India, connecting many cities, states and regions through the railway tracks. In a country as big as India, it needs only a range of trains to explore the diversity and map the distance. To cater this purpose, Indian Railways have various trains as their service offering. Ranging from superfast express, express, suburban, passenger and mail trains, these trains run within the frontiers of the country and provide transportation to millions of passengers’ every day. Here we are bringing into light the types of railways running in the country.
Literally meaning without a stop, Duronto Express are point to point rail services connecting metros and major capitals of the Indian states since 2009. Faster than Rajdhani Express, these trains almost crisscross over longer distances, ensuring fast speed and better experience onboard. Most of the Duronto train’s provide first AC, two-tier AC and three-tier AC accommodation to the passengers. Some, however also provide the economical Sleeper Class accommodation. Onboard, the passengers enjoy a variety of meals in terms of breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner (veg. and non veg.) as a part of the journey inside the Duronto Express.
The word 'Rajdhani' in Hindi is interpreted as the capital. The Rajdhani Express is an air-conditioned railway connecting the capitals of the Indian states with New Delhi. Delhi being the capital of India enjoys the most tourist arrivals. Not just foreigners, but domestic travellers from the north also consider Delhi as the desirable point to board the trains. Rajdhani Express comes as a favourable means of transportation for such travellers who want to reach their destination, without any compromise on the speed or the quality of the journey. These high priority trains, like Duronto Express also have a few of the stopovers during the course of the train. The passengers also receive complimentary meals on wheels throughout the journey in this train as well.
Shatabdi means centenary in Sanskrit, and the Shatabdi Express train is the namesake for the same. It was launched to commemorate the centenary of India’s first prime minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru’s birth in 1988 under the guidance of Lt. Madhav Rao Scindia, the then minister of railways. The Shatabdi Express is basically the intercity train easing out the travel during day and is the fastest in India. They have seats and executive class seats convenient for day travel. The Swarna Shatabdi Express connecting Delhi to Amritsar, the city of pious Golden Temple is a more luxurious version of the franchise.
Jan Shatabdi Express
The Jan Shatabdi Express is meant for the common people as a more affordable version of the Shatabdi Express. It has both AC and non AC accommodation. These are the high speed trains covering the distance in the most economical way.
Sampark Kranti Express
This is another super-fast train brand operated by the Indian Railways providing quick connectivity to the India’s capital, New Delhi.
Double Decker Express
Double-decker AC trains is a recently launched train type, connecting two major cities across its route. The trains serve the dual purpose of assisting working travellers returning to their home cities as well as weekend travellers ready to explore the destination.
Unlike the previous trains, Passenger trains are slow trains that stop at most of the railway stations coming on the route of the journey. These trains generally have unreserved seating and the night trains have sleeper and 3-tier AC compartments.
The Garib Rath is a convenient air-conditioned train aiming to provide economical travel experience to the passengers since 2003. The fares of this train franchise are less than two-thirds of the air-conditioned class fares in other trains. But the distance between each berth is less and is narrower in width. Also, the coach has more seats and berths in the AC coaches than other trains of India.
Keeping in mind the bulk traffic present in times of regional festivals or other occasions, Indian Railways start special train routes to ease the traffic.
Hill trains of India are the heritage metered gauge trains basically connecting plains to the cherished hill stations of the country. Toy trains predominantly run over this complex route made up of loops, reverses and tunnels and pass and offer the bonus of spectacular scenery enroute. The trains utilize steam fed engines that lend it a heritage status and is even recognized as a world heritage site.
Luxury trains are the most fabled way to tour India. These trains offer special itineraries created for the travellers who are passionate about the riches and royalty of India and connect the destinations rich in culture, history and nature. Presently, there are five different routes on which the luxury trains run. These are the Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Golden Chariot, Deccan Odyssey and the Maharajas’ Express. The other famous tourist train, Mahaparinirvan Express is an itinerary based train routed on the revered Buddhist pilgrimage in India and Nepal.