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Holiday Special: A Railway Advantage

January 7th, 2011 Comments off

Holidays are the times when you spend the maximum. This thought can be very well be understood by people who have family and wait for summer vacations to commence. The holiday time is also the time when the traffic at the Indian railways peak. These are also painful time for a passenger as getting tickets to the desired destination becomes a daunting task.

The reservation counters are always full and there are long queues to overcome, the tickets are booked when the day of booking starts and ends also on the same day. Availability of berths on the trains becomes almost impossible. People then start choosing different means of transport. To curb this, the railways came up with a brilliant plan of launching Holiday trains that cater only to the holiday seasons.

A Railway Advantage In India, there are three distinct holiday seasons the Diwali vacation, the Christmas vacation and the summer vacation. Summer vacation is the largest amongst all, runs from a span of April to June end, while Diwali and Christmas are during the festival time. There are other festivals too, but the kids don’t get holidays for more than couple of days. In this case, the holidays stretch from 2 months to 1 month to 10 days which is enough time for a holiday.

With such a long stretch of holidays it is almost advertent that the families will resort to holiday. The railways grabbed the opportunities with both hands and started holiday trains which ran during these peak season. For other trains the bookings need to be 90 days in advance but for these trains, the booking can be done a month prior or when the train launches. Every year a new list of holiday trains are launched.

Trains

The holiday trains almost all across the country, but the maximum holiday trains are generally for the southern railways, they are the ones who earn their maximum revenue by transporting people hence the number of trains to this side is also more. Most of the trains are Chennai bound or Kerala bound trains.

Few of the trains are Chennai Central Tirunelveli superfast special, Chennai central Tuticorin superfast special, and Tuticorin Chennai central special. Every Zone has their set of holiday special trains. Special trains run from Pune run to Solapur, Osmanabad, Agra-cantt, Ahmadabad, Gorakhpur, and Hazrat-Nizammudin. Trains from Hyderabad run to Dadar, Howrah, and Vishakhapatnam. These trains run once on a week or on daily basis.

These trains are not generally listed in IRCTC till the time they start off. They are available only during the time they are actually introduced and hence these tickets need not be booked 90 days before the date of travel. You will find lot of special trains during the Durga Puja time as well as during Ganesh Chaturthi festivals.

Holiday trains are like the trump cards the railways had, and it worked in their favor. The actually did beat the competition from the airways and came out with flying colors. The holiday special has been a boon to the commoners who had to struggle for tickets during this season.

Railway Luxury: Palace On Wheels

January 2nd, 2011 Comments off

Most of the Indians would agree if asked how they wish to get their journey done. Pat, the answer would be Indian railways. Travelling by Indian Railways is a pleasure indeed, especially now with upgraded services and facilities. But beyond this, imagine traveling in Indian railways and getting the luxuries of a 5 star hotel, well we have train of such a kind and have been rightly called as “Palace on wheels”.

History

Railway Luxury: Palace On Wheels Palace on wheels happened when both the tourism industry and the Railways industry joined hands together and decided to come up with something so spectacular that would give a boost to both the industries. On 26th January, the republic day of 1982 this luxury train was launched with much fanfare. The idea behind this was to promote tourism for the state of Rajasthan. The original palace of wheels runs through the breadth and the length of Rajasthan and has been catering to a lot of national and international tourists. Looking at the success of this, many other luxury trains started in other parts of India as well. The inspiration of this idea came from the railway coaches of the princes from the states of Hyderabad, Rajputana etc.

Facilities

There are almost 14 coaches on this luxury train, and the name of each coach belongs to the old names of Rajput states. Even the interiors and the decors match up to the past of the royalty. The train has a bar with choices of alcohol ranging from Indian to International taste, a library with a huge collection of books. Apart from that each coach has different cabins, and each cabin is air conditioned with two beds, Music channel, DTH, attached toilets which has the provision of hot and cold water and also an intercom. With regards to cuisine, the train serves all kind of foods ranging from Chinese to continental to Indian, and this is served at two of their hotels, the Maharaja and the Maharani.

Route

Well, as said before the palace on wheels covers the complete district of Rajasthan. It takes almost 8 days to finish the journey and the source station is Delhi. From Delhi it stops at various places like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Bharathpur, Agra and Chittaurgarh though not in this specific order. Each place has its unique charm and essentially portrays the culture of Rajasthan. At the launch, this luxury trains was thrown open only to foreigners but now Indians are also allowed in this train.

Information

People who are planning to spend their vacation in a very luxurious manner can think of this option as well. More details of this can be acquired by checking this site http://www.palaceonwheels.net. This site will give you a fair idea of the facilities and other features. In fact if need be you can also take a look at the pictures and decide. It will also give you a detailed itenary.

Palace on wheels gives you a luxury which has been almost craved for, along with the charm of Indian railways.

South Central Railway – South Central Railways PNR status, Availability, Ticket

July 17th, 2009 Comments off

The South Central Railway of Indian Railways is one of the 16 railway zones in India that is serving the south central region for past four decades.  Subsequently during these years South Central Railway has made a huge progress as it has grown into a advanced transportation network and its services has successfully met the aspirations of the passengers.

South Central RailwayThe South Central Railway was created on 2nd October, 1966 when it was incorporated as the ninth zone of Indian Railways. Headquarters of South Central Railway is located at Secunderabad and it is serving various Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and some regions of Maharashtra.

South Central Railway has made a giant stride forward from days of steam engine and wooden seats to high-tech configuration along with Diesel and Electric engines, digital communication system and telescopic Passenger Coaches.

There are six South Central Railway Divisions including Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntur, Nanded,  Vijayawada and Guntakal. Some of the noteworthy and significant achievements of the South Central Railway include Computerized Passenger Reservation System facility in 85 stations, National Train Enquiry System for information on train movement, Close Circuit Television (CCTV) at important stations, Passenger Operated Enquiry Terminals and Inter-active Voice Response System for rail enquiry and Railway Reservation.

Major Milestones of South Central Railways comprises of the Electric Loco Shed at South Lallaguda having ability to uphold 100 Electric Locomotives, Andhra Pradesh Express was augmented to 24 coaches in 1995 and after that Charminar Express, Godavari Express, Pinakini Express and introduction of Mango Specials (Goods Trains with mango load) in 1996.

South Central RailwayIn 2002, the first station in South Central Railway that was commissioned with complete Light Emitting Diode (LED) lit CLS is Kovvur and Rajdhani (super fast) express between Secunderabad and New Delhi was introduced.  In November 2002, South Central Railway introduced first Diesel Engine with AC Cabin for Drivers.

There are various types of Trains operated under South Central Railway like Mail/Express Trains, Rajdhani Trains, Shatabdi Trains, etc.

South Central Railways Reservation- South Central Railway Enquiry, Booking, Fares

July 17th, 2009 Comments off

South Central Railway Zone offers the facility of online railway reservation to its passengers where in they can book their tickets in advance for the various destinations. In addition to the online reservation, passengers can book their South East Central Railway Zone Reservationtickets from various reservation offices of South Central Railways and through various authorized travel agents.

Details of the reservation of trains plying through South Central railway zone can be obtained by using the following phone numbers at the various stations of this zone.

Station

Reservation Enquiry

Arr/Dep of trains

Adoni

254789

252368

Aurangabad

2335650

2333966

Begumpet

-

-

Cuddapah

244349

244349

Dharmavaram

222555

222555

Gudivada

-

244219

Guntur

135

133

Hyderabad

-

-

Kamareddi

223061

223061

Machilipatnam

-

223336

Mantralayam Road

259830

259830

Mudhked

275531

275531

Nanded

-

-

Nizamabad

252953

220022

Parbhani

222617

223131

Raichur

131

131

Renigunta

275227

275227

Shadnagar

252244

252244

Tirupati

225850

131

Vijayawada

135, 2578955

133, 2577775

Warangal

-

131

The Station Managers of the few significant stations have been granted exceptional discretionary powers to allow refund on tickets which remain unused from their stations where refund is not permitted at the station because the time limits of expiry as mentioned in the railways policy.

The South Central Railway has organized thirty Standard Circular Journey tickets. These standard circular journey tickets eradicate the trouble of purchasing fresh tickets at every point of the travel. One needs to select a tour and purchase ticket directly from the booking office at the various stations Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Vijaywada, and Guntakal etc.

South East Central RailwayThe South Central railway offers various amenities for the passengers at the station including Medical Shop, Tourist Information Centre, STD/PCO booth, Computer Reservation Office, Retiring room, Waiting Room, Refreshment room including Veg and Non Veg, Light refreshment stall and book stall.

Indian Railway Zones – Indian Railways Zones Map

July 15th, 2009 Comments off

Indian Railways is divided into various zones, which are further categorized into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways was augmented from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and reaching to 16 in 2003. Each railway zone comprises of number of divisions that consists of a divisional headquarters each. There is total of about sixty-seven divisions across the various zones.

Railway ZonesThe Kolkata Metro does not form part of the Indian Railways, however it is owned and operated by IR and for administrative purposes it is considered to possess the status of a zonal railway.

All the sixteen zones and the Kolkata Metro is supervised and regulated by a General Manager (GM) who reports to the Railway Board directly. Divisions under the various zones are controlled by Divisional Railway Managers (DRM).  Divisional Manager is the reporting officer for different divisional officers including engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal & telecommunication, etc.  Divisional officers are responsible for the operation and safeguarding of assets.

(1) Central (CR) :  Headquarter is at Mumbai and include Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur divisions.

(2)  East Central (ECR) :          Headquarter  is  at Hajipur and includeDanapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur divisions.

(3)  East Coast(ECoR) : Headquarter is at Bhubaneswar and include khurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam divisions.

(4) Eastern(ER) : Headquarter is at Kolkata and include Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda divisions.

(5)  North Central(NCR) : Headquarter is at Allahabad and include Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi divisions.

Railway Zones
(6) North Eastern(NER) : Headquarter is at Gorakhpur and include Izzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi divisions.

(7) North Western(NWR) : Headquarter is at  Jaipur and include Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur divisions.

(8) Northeast Frontier(NFR) :  Headquarter is at Guwahati  and include Alipurduar, Katihar, Lumding, Rangia, Tinsukia divisions.

(9) Northern(NR) : Headquarter is at Delhi and include Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad divisions.

(10) South Central (SCR) : Headquarter is at Secunderabad and include Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur, Nanded, Vijayawada divisions.

(11)  South East Central (SECR) : Headquarter is at Bilaspur and include Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur divisions.

(12) South Eastern(SER) : Headquarter is at Kolkata and include Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi divisions.

(13) South Western(SWR) : Headquarter is at Hubli and include Hubli, Bengaluru, Mysuru divisions.

(14) Southern(SR) :  Headquarter is at Chennai and include chennai, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Tiruchchirapalli, Thiruvanathapuram divisions.

(15) West Central(WCR):  Headquarter is at Jabalpur and include Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota divisions.

(16) Western(WR) : Headquarter is at Mumbai and include Mumbai Central, Vadodara, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar divisions.

IndRail Pass, Indian Railway IndRail Pass, Pass of Indian Railways

June 5th, 2009 Comments off

Indian Railways extends the facility of Indrail pass for the foreign tourists.  It is designed and created especially for the foreign tourists and Indian nationals who are residing abroad. This pass should be used within one year from the date of issue and is available in flexible time period that ranges from 1/2 day to 90 days.

IndRail PassIndrail Passes are available for purchase in various Railway Offices at the following places : Agra Cantt, Ahmedabad , Hyderabad, Jaipur, Agra City,  Amritsar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Aurangabad, Bangalore City, Calcutta, Puttaparthi Town Booking Agency, Rameswaram, Gorakhpur, Mumbai (At Churchgate Booking Office), Vadodara, New Delhi(At International Tourist Bureau), Secundrabad, Varanasi, Trivandrum Central, Vasco da Gama and Vijayawada.

In addition to these railway offices there are few recognized and authorized Travel Agents who sell these passes in Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai,and Chennai. There are various benefits of Indrail pass. One can travel across the country based on one’s likes and preference. These passes allow the foreigners priority on Railway Reservation from their Foreign Tourist quota.

With Indrail Pass, those Children who are below 5 Years can travel Free and those between 5 & 12 years are charged only half the original fares.  Free meals are provided luxury trains like Rajdhani Express or Shatabdi Express trains. While travelling in night there is no sleeper surcharge applied.  Travel by Superfast Trains comes at no extra cost.  There is no reservation fee applied for berths and seats

IndRail PassFor Single Journey by Indrail pass, one should buy Half Day/One Day pass as these passes have validity for 12 hours and 24 hours respectively from the time of one begins the journey.  In case of Rajdhani Express (Half Day/One Day pass for), one is eligible to use one class lower than one pay for the class. For e.g. If  one pays  for AC class, then one is eligible to travel by any of the following classes like First Class/AC-2tier, AC-3 Tier/AC Chair Car.



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