This was not the first time I was traveling by a train. I have been doing this ever since I was a child. There is no uniqueness in it. Everyone does it. But even when I was a young, I would feel like taking a train trip to some place just to enjoy the journey. Summer vacations was the perfect time when my urge would get stronger. The place never mattered to me then and it doesn’t matter even now. What matters is the journey and the window seat.
Last time I traveled by train was a short distance from Mumbai to Baroda covering 250 km. I took an AS chair car as it was day time and for only 5 hours. Sitting in my comfortable seat I remembered my days when I had taken to general coaches. I had covered twenty hours of journey sitting on that wooden plank which wouldn’t let you sleep without a backache and that too if you are lucky to get it. It wasn’t fun but I had no choice and there were days when either I couldn’t afford the ticket for AC coach or I had little time to make prior bookings. But never the less, sitting by the window and looking out to the passing hills and farms with in-between water stream, huts and small town stations always thrilled me.
It still does. That is the time I feel most connected to myself. The hustle bustle of passengers adjusting their suitcases below their births, up and down of hawkers to sell water, and food connects me to strangers.
Buying a magazine at the wheeler before catching the train makes me feel alive in this ever so dead tech-world of today. Everything magically settles when the train leaves the station except my mind which starts looking out to the rustic surroundings. The joy of life comes from the journey and not the destination. And that is exactly what I feel while I’m on board every time.
Here are few more reasons why I prefer taking trains other than looking out from my window seat:
- Stable Fares – While airline had made the fares fluctuation an ongoing trend, train tickets remain same for months. There is no difference between one way travel and a round trip.
- More space for Luggage – Apart from providing you more space for large baggage, the trains also do not charge you for extra suitcases.
- Leg Room and comfort of sleeping – there is Chair Car for short journeys and AC coaches for overnight long trips, so that you wake up fresh in the morning.
- Saves Money – Location of the station is in the city most of the time unlike airports which are located on the outskirts. Reaching home or hotel becomes cheaper.
- Overnight Trains saves the day – I prefer taking a night train to rest and begin my day fresh. Train births are wide enough to have a comfortable sleep.
- Boarding allowed at the last minute – This is my favorite. Unlike airports, I do not have to reach three hours before boarding and it saves lot of time.
Ever imagined, if there were no trains and we must only travel by air or road? For majority of Indians, trains are a major means of transport. The best part is you can get down at every station and take a two-minute walk or sip a hot cup of tea at any time. Now that we are served quality food, newspapers and other amnesties, it is getting better by the day.
I love to take trains for the fact that they have room for movement unlike buses and planes. Of course, the fact also remains that there is much room for improvement as well.
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