“QUIRKY EXPERIENCES IN INDIAN TRAIN TRAVELS”
Any passenger without exception yearns to have a decent service provided while on a journey in the trains. However not all services offered by the railways are matching up to expectations of the passengers, thus leaving a wide gap between genuine needs and services offered. It is not uncommon in trains that you find the passenger complaining right from the very beginning of the journey about some service or the other nonfunctional. This leads to discomfort and discontentment, and the passenger continuously wears a forlorn look on his face as help is nowhere in sight for most of the journey.
There are too many trains on single line tracks, that the delays are very frequent. It is most often observed that we go to the station and find trains late either in departure or arrival or both. We have seen situations where the train may be waiting on a side track to allow other trains to pass through, when in fact it is just outside the station. Railways must need to give the passenger a service level of on time departure and on time arrival. Perhaps this is among the most basic facility, and it helps passengers with some degree of predictability.
The maintenance of the toilets and supply of water to the toilets and wash basin are much left to be desired for. Waste baskets are not found in all the trains. In some trains they are found under the wash basin and in some others in the vestibule. Yet there are some where the waste basket itself is missing. Food quality needs to be improved as sometimes you get half boiled rice and vegetables. The choices available on trains are also next to nothing. Tea vendors need to serve in cleaner ways. One look at them serving up the food and tea, and sure enough you will only think of alternative ways.
There is too much overcrowding in reserved coaches by people travelling short distances, that in most cases you have passengers sitting on your seat without care. There exists a huge gap in the kind of services offered between sleeper class and AC class. The berths are not in the best of conditions and sometimes are not fit for travel. Station cleanliness is one of the most important things a passenger would yearn for, as in most cases it isn’t clean. Passenger safety is another aspect, as passengers alighting from trains in late nights are mostly left to fend for themselves putting themselves at risk.
Ticket booking online isn’t something for the weak hearted. By the time the window opens, all available tatkal tickets are exhausted. Perhaps the quota for tickets are skewed in favor of those paying normal fares. Ticket booking can be staggered, and priced accordingly. Why should a person paying higher fare be offered upper berth while a person paying normal fare be offered lower berth. Also additional facilities must be provided to the passengers based on the fare they pay and facilities must be extended accordingly. The facilities offered today are not in line with international trends of passenger comforts and calls for a major change in such services.