Inside Look: Surviving the Infamously Cramped Indian Train Journeys

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Inside Look: Surviving the Infamously Cramped Indian Train Journeys


Travelling by train in India is an experience unlike any other. The expansive railway network covers vast distances and connects diverse cultures, making it a popular choice for both locals and tourists. However, anyone who has ever taken a train in India knows that the journey can be challenging, especially when it comes to dealing with the cramped conditions onboard. In this article, we will provide you with some valuable tips and insights on how to survive the infamously cramped Indian train journeys.

Understanding the Challenges

Overcrowded Coaches

One of the biggest challenges of travelling by train in India is the overcrowding in the coaches. Trains are often packed with passengers, and finding a seat can be a daunting task, particularly during peak travel times.

Limited Space

Another issue that passengers face is the limited space within the train compartments. The seats are narrow, and luggage storage can be scarce, leaving passengers feeling cramped and uncomfortable throughout the journey.

Lack of Privacy

Privacy is a luxury on Indian trains, as passengers are often seated in close proximity to one another. This lack of privacy can make it difficult to relax or get some rest during the journey.

Tips for Surviving Indian Train Journeys

Choose the Right Class

When booking your train ticket, consider opting for a higher class to enjoy more space and comfort. AC classes offer better amenities and are relatively less crowded compared to sleeper classes.

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Pack Light

Travelling light is essential when boarding an Indian train. Pack only the essentials and avoid bringing bulky luggage that will take up extra space.

Be Prepared

Carry snacks, water, and entertainment to keep yourself occupied during the journey. Indian trains can experience delays, so having these essentials on hand can help make the journey more bearable.

Make Friends

One way to pass the time and make your journey more enjoyable is to strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers. Making friends onboard can help alleviate the feelings of isolation and boredom.


Q: Are Indian train journeys safe?

A: Indian train journeys are generally safe, but it is essential to take necessary precautions and keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

Q: Can I upgrade my ticket to a higher class?

A: Upgrading your ticket to a higher class is possible, but availability is subject to demand and availability.

Q: How do I book a train ticket in India?

A: Train tickets can be booked online through the official Indian Railways website or at a local railway station.

Q: Are there any specific rules I should follow while onboard an Indian train?

A: It is important to follow the rules and regulations set by Indian Railways, such as keeping your ticket handy and respecting other passengers’ space.

Q: How can I stay comfortable on a cramped Indian train journey?

A: To stay comfortable, pack light, choose the right class, and be prepared with snacks and entertainment.


Travelling on Indian trains may pose unique challenges, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can make the most of your journey. By following the tips and insights provided in this article, you can survive the infamously cramped Indian train journeys and experience the beauty of India’s vast railway network. Remember to stay patient, be respectful of your fellow passengers, and embrace the adventure that train travel in India has to offer.