Uneventful train ride back to Delhi

Train Agra to New Delhi
Mahakaushal Exp Train# 12189
Depart AGC 08:23 Agra Cantt
Arrive 11:35 NZM H Nizamuddin
Duration: 3h 12m
Class: AC 3 Tier
Cost: Rs. 706 (2 pax)

This is our last train in India, and apparently the first (and only) train that was NOT on time. It was delayed and arrived around 11am, almost 2 hours than expected. But we were not mad about it as we were mad about missing train because of being cheated by tout!

We stayed at the train patiently while watching people around. This time we were more brave to take photo (but trying not to look obvious) so Az could snap some faces from our zoomed lens. We felt great when we could silently take a closeup photo of some random  people without them realizing, and our super zoom camera is quite helping in this ;) So it was our mode of entertainment while waiting the train… *bored* =.=  We noticed a Caucasian couple waiting train for Delhi as well, and since they’re waiting for long as we do, we guess that they’re the same train as us. Which turns out to be correct.

There was this designated stall selling drinks and snacks at the platform, and when Az wanted to buy a snack, the seller apparently give a price higher than what was printed on the label! Being surprised, Az asked him why but instead of explaining, he took back the snack rudely with a look of “take it or leave it”. What a jerk!

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Train to Jammu

Cycle rickshaw to Amritsar train station: Rs 30

Train Amritsar – Jammu
Bti Jat Exp # 19225
Class: 2AC upper berth
Fares/pax: Rs. 460
Leaves 01:10 Amritsar Jn (ASR)
Arrives 06:15 Jammu Tawi (JAT)
Distance: 206km  Duration: 5h, 5min

Rickshaw Jammu Tawi train station to Jammu airport: Rs. 150

We reached Amritsar train station a few hours before our train, so whether we like it or not, we had to kill the time in the waiting room. We were totally tired by this hour and not in mood to do anything. I took a short nap while Az laying down watching our luggage.

I sent sms to Sudhir asking if he’s in Jammu and if we could meet, and he replied that he was away for work.

Thankfully the train arrived on time and it was our first sleeper train (2-Tier AC). We had our upper berth on top while a middle-age couple sleeping at the lower berth. The bedding was perfect, and by the moment we climbed onto it, we closed our eyes and dozed off.

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Train to Amritsar

 Rickshaw from South Extension 2 to New Delhi train station: Rs 90

Train Delhi – Amritsar:
Swarna Shtbdi # 12029
Class: AC Chair Car (CC) 
Fares/pax: Rs 631 (with meal :D)
Depart 07:20  New Delhi (NDLS)
Arrive 13:25  Amritsar Jn (ASR)
Distance: 448 km Duration: 6h, 5min

Our very first Indian train. We chose seat because it’s a fast morning train recommended by Manu if we want to stop in Amritsar for a quick half day visit before continuing our way to Jammu. I didnt know much about Amritsar apart from Golden Temple whose postcard I used to receive from Manu back then (long story about Manu, I’ll talk about him in separate post later :P) Apparently Amritsar is conveniently located on the same route heading North to Kashmir, so right when I knew it is near to Manu’s hometown, I just thought I had to meet him! Although there was a contemplation at first, as when had I checked Cleartrip.com earlier, return direct flight Delhi – Srinagar was somewhat cheaper than combined train Delhi – Amritsar, Amritsar + Jammu and flight Jammu – Srinagar and way back (even if we take direct flight Srinagar – Delhi on way back, it was NOT cheap for one way fare).  And return flight can save alot of time!

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Trains booked

1) New Delhi – Amritsar 448 km
AC Chair Car (CC) Day trip Rs.1262 (with meal :D)

2) Amritsar – Jammu 206 km
AC 2 Tier (2A) Night trip Rs.910

3) Jammu – New Delhi 577 km
AC 2 Tier (2A) Night trip Rs.1855

4) New Delhi – Agra 195 km
AC 2 Tier (2A) Day trip Rs.930

5) Agra – New Delhi Nizamuddin 187 km
Sleeper (SL) Day trip Rs.305

Thanks to Farah who recommends Cleartip.com for hassle-free Indian train booking, when Az & I were almost giving up with IRCTC website that treats all their visitors as Indian citizens =.= (I mean, filling up Indian address and Indian phone number IS required, and also, what’s with the long list of Indian bank and payment gateways I have to choose when I want to make payment with a foreign credit card?).

Anyway. Cleartip.com has a tiny small charge but almost ignorable. When the standard-comfortable class train fares (2AC) arent very cheap either, I still am amazed that the total railway journey spanning 1613 km only costs Rs.5262 equal RM356 for two!

We’ve been studying Indian trains like its classes and types from several websites and forums, and also from Manu (my old penpal whom we’ll be meeting in Amritsar yeay!) but this is one quick guide if you want to get to know this epic Indian trains :)