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Duronto Express Train between Mumbai and Chennai

Many people are looking to book ticket in a Duronto express train between Mumbai and Chennai. Duronto Express train are long distance trains with minimal stops run by the Indian Railways. When started one could not book tickets in intermediate stations in these trainson but since 1-1-2016 you can book tickets from technical stops too apart from source stations.

train between mumbai and chennai
Duronto express running on schedule between Mumbai and Chennai.

Each day thousand of people travel between Mumbai and Chennai. Hundreds of people go by train from Mumbai to Chennai to eat masala dosa. Similarly hundreds of people from Chennai travel to Mumbai to eat "Vada pao".

To reach either Mumbai or Chennai there are many express trains. The only problem is these trains are not of type "Duronto". They stop at many places and take a long time to complete journey. Distance between Chennai and Mumbai is 1223 km by rail. Due this long distance, both Vada pao and Masala dosa get cold by the time it reaches the mouth of people. Another problem is that seats are not available due to heavy rush, most of the times. As such railway seat availability shows nil/ not available at the time when users go to IRCTC login for booking their train tickets online.

Many people have been complaining to railway about this issue.  They are using the twitter and facebook, and hoping that someone will solve their problem.

What they need to do perhaps is to start making Vada pao and Masala Dosa at home. Or order it to IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) while traveling. It will take a long time  for a train, Duronto train, that runs between Mumbai and Chennai.

Special Train of Indian Railway - Mahamana Express is ready to run

Mahamana Express is a new train of Indian Railway. This is first among the special trains that is equipped with high tech facilities which railway is planning to introduce. Mahamana express will run between New Delhi and Varanasi.

So, what is special about this new train? Why it is labeled as a dream train of Indian Railways? Let's see.

special train
LED TV inside train - There are modern facilities too in this special train

This train consists of various facilities which were earlier provided only to the passengers of heritage trains. For example, the passengers will now be able to enjoy LED TV on board. There will be a special stair case to climb up the seats easily. Apart from this passenger will  also find a wash basin, dustbin, and a music system within their cabins.

Special features include electronic windows and toilet sensor. This toilet sensor will tell if toilet is occupied or not. A passenger doesn't need to go through gallery towards toilet and knock the door of it to check if someone is inside it or not.

Inside AC coaches there will be a button which can be used to call attendant. Toilets too will be of type - bio toilets, which dispose off the bio degradable material automatically, and hence helps keep environment clean. Railway users will also find a exhaust fan inside bathrooms. These will help keep bad smell out.

Gallery of the train will be decorated with beautiful wall hangings and paintings. Best thing is that many these facilities are provided for both AC and non AC coaches.

Here are some of the facilities provided in sleeper and AC coaches:

  • Separate music systems for each type and class of accommodation.
  • Electronic display system that will alert user about the next coming station, route, speed of train, and many other things.
  • If train is running late, that too will be displayed on display board.
  • Calendar in each cabin.
  • At door of train, beside ladders, a sensor light is integrated to make it easy for passengers to board and de-board the train.
  • A fire extinguisher and other fire fighting equipment will be provided in each coach.
  • Apart from regular seats, a special folding snack table is fitted on a seat that can be used for keeping laptop, eating food, or to keep books etc.
  • Mobile charging points and sockets are provided beside each seat.
Pantry car is also modernized. A water purification system, electronic chimney, and a space for workers to rest is also provided in this special modern train.

Railway has not fixed the rates of ticket for this train yet. When done, users will be able to book train tickets online. To do this login to irctc and start booking.

Train Blocked in PM's Village amid Rs 1 Loss

A train that used to run through the village of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former prime minister of India, was blocked by the British officers forever as it incurred Rs 1 loss. This incident happened some 100 years back.

Those days Rupee 1 was a big amount. Now the good news is that the Indian Railways has again started the train on former PM's birthday on Dec 25 this year albeit after 68 years of independence.

Indian Railways has record of a meter gauge line. This railway track was laid down by English men between Etawah and Agra railway stations. Bateshwar, the village of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was also on the route. English found out that they were incurring more loss than profit by running trains on this route. It is said that due to net loss of 1 rupee, british establishment decided to terminate railway services on this route.

Atal bihari vajpayees bateshwar railway station
View of train running through bateshwar railway station in UP.

Lack of railway facility affected the development of the region adversely. And hence the region still remains one of the backward regions despite the nearby areas have flourished since.

Friend of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Suraj Bhan (86 years old), recalls that a train used to run through rugged areas of chambal river in times of british rule in India. Bandits of chambal river were very active than. Every now and then they used to conduct robbery on passing train and sometimes even hijack it. It is learned that British officials used the train to carry good, currency, and gold in trains.

Due to repeated attack from robbers, british officials decided to develop an alternate track to reach Agra. They made a new route that went through Firozabad and Tundla stations. Since than not many trains, especially passenger trains ran through Bateshwar.

On April 6, 1999, during his tenure as prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee,  laid the foundation of stone the railway project at Bateshwar. He should be really happy to see the train whistling away through his village after 100 years.

It is a welcome development as Bateshwar is also known for many a group of ancient temples, and railway service will only increase tourists in the region.

New Train Timetable of Indian Railways

The Indian Railways has changed times of many trains (arrival & departure) which is reflected in its new timetable. Trains will now run as per new schedule. Passengers are requested to follow the new train timetable before commencing their journey.

clock at railway station
a clock at the railway station

Normally the changes in train times is effected from July 1 of each year. But this year the process has been delayed. This is due to the fact  that no new train was initially promised in railway budget. And railway minister said that initiation of new trains will be done on demand. It has obviously taken railways a bit of time to consider all the demands and hence the finalization of new trains has been delayed which has caused delay in the penning down of new timetable of trains.

The best way to find train times is obviously to go to railway enquiry www.indianrail.gov.in and from 'services' section choose the 'reserved train schedule' option. But there are other better ways too. These days you all have mobile i.e. phones in your hand. You can make use of it by calling at 139 to get the arrival and departure time of any train. You can send sms too. This is better way because you will always get the latest timings of the train. The railway website usually takes time to get updated and hence it is not always guaranteed that you get the exact time.

You can also approach a ticket counter of any major railway station and ask if  new 'train at a glance' is available. It is a printed schedule of railway. It is not sold on book stalls. It is only available at railway counters and costs around Rs. 35. You can also look at it by downloading a sample from ministry of railways (railway board) website. Here is a new trains at a glance october 2015 - June 2016 which you can download. Convert it into PDF. It has well organized tables which clearly reflect train stoppages, arrival and departure time of any train at a particular station, route of the train, train number. Also there is plenty of extra important information about railway, type of trains running currently, railway fare and charges, new railway rules and much more. It is a good thing to buy and to keep it with you.

Lastly it is recommended that you download and install erail.in app. What is it? Well it also tells you about the train timings. Other good options are 'national train enquiry', 'irctc connect app'.

What to do if a train ticket is not available?

Due to holidays and festival season train tickets are not available. Even if they are available, either the PNR status is not confirmed or there is a waiting list. What can one do if a train ticket is not available and it is necessary to travel? Here are few things you can do:

special trains
southern railway and other railways runs special trains. Try ticket in these if not available.

But before that you should know that all train tickets can be booked online by going to irctc login page.

Go for non popular trains

People generally look for confirmed train tickets in popular trains only. These trains are usually those which are running for long time and hence people are aware of their names and schedule. But each year Indian railway introduce new trains. Many people don't know about these trains because they are not as popular as old trains. Sometimes tickets are easily available in these trains. Hence users can try for a ticket in these new trains.

Lookout for festival special trains

Railway is also concerned about the non availability of train tickets. Hence in order to reduce the extra rush of passengers and to make seats available easily to all the people, Indian Railway and zonal railways of Indian Railways run festival special trains from time to time. You can find about these trains at indian railway enquiry or by visiting the zonal railway site. For example, the website of western railway is 'wr.indianrailways.gov.in'. Similarly for southern railway go to 'sr.indianrailways.gov.in', eastern railway 'er.indianrailways.gov.in'. central railway 'cr.indianrailways.gov.in'. On all these sites you will see announcements about any new train that has been started along with its timetable.

Go for premium special trains

Premium special trains are bit expensive than normal trains for travelling. Because of this expensiveness many people avoid buying railway ticket of a premium special train. The result of this is that many tickets remain unsold till last moment. You can book your ticket easily many times.

Try out tatkal ticket instead of normal tickets

This is the last resort if you really want to travel by train and any of the above options don't work. This type of ticket can be booked only 1 day in advance and hence till 1 day before the departure of the train from its source station all ticket are available in tatkal quota. To know more read about tatkal booking timings and rules.

Other options

  • Choose other mode of travel like bus or flight.
  • Travel uncomfortably in general class.
  • Postpone your journey.

IRCTC Next Generation Login Page

In order to do railway ticket booking in India you need to go to IRCTC login page and enter your journey details after logging in to complete train ticket booking. The IRCTC next generation e-ticket booking system is upgraded version of irctc login. The next generation IRCTC adds many features to the reservation system to make booking process fast and easy.

There are many new features like seat availability information at the time of booking; utilities to sort and filter list of trains by class of travel (AC, 2nd class, general); type of train (viz mail, express, superfast, passenger, rajdhani, duronto ); availability of travel quotas (viz ladies, tatkal, student, physically handicapped) etc that makes selecting a train for reserving seat a straightforward process.

irctc nexxt generation guides

Many people think that old IRCTC login page is not available now or is gone. But this is not true. You can still access it by going to url: http://services.irctc.co.in from your browser. In order to access the next generation eTicket booking system you need to go to following url: https://www.irctc.co.in/eticketing/loginHome.jsf from your browser.

Now if you are old user of IRCTC and aware of how to book railway tickets online, booking tickets on next generation portal is only going to be easy for you. On the other hand if you are new or you are not comfortable with booking tickets online or you feel bit low on confidence or hesitant to book railway tickets and need so guide, we recommend you to download the official next generation eTicketing system guide from here. This guide is in PDF format and you can save it in your computer and follow the instructions provided in it whenever you sit to book railway tickets online.

Tatkal Booking Timings | Tatkal Ticket Booking Rules Made Easy

The tatkal scheme of Indian railways is popular among the railway users because of the chance it gives them to book seats in trains at last moment. People who weren't able to plan their journey in advance, and thus missed out on booking seats before, use this scheme to get a seat reserved for themselves.

tatkal booking charges
tatkal booking charges

The tatkal booking rules are bit complex to understand at first look. But the following discussion will make it easy for you to understand them.

Let's start with tatkal booking timings.

Recently railway changed tatkal booking timings for AC and Non-AC (Sleeper/ First Class/Second Class) ticket bookings. Booking actually starts 1 day before the day a train starts its journey (excluding the date of journey). For example, for train leaving on 6th, Tatkal Booking will Commence at 10 AM for AC Classes on 5th and at 11 AM for NON-AC Classes on 5th.

Other tatkal rules-
Apart from booking timings, there are other rules related to tatkal which should be kept at the back of mind while making use of this scheme. The most important of them are as under:

  • No duplicate tatkal ticket is issued. You should keep your tatkal ticket intact. In case you loose it, unlike other railway tickets, Indian railway won't issue a duplicate tatkal ticket (except in rare cases).
  • It is mandatory to show proof of identity at the time of booking tatkal tickets. This rule is applicable to both offline and online users. When you go to PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counter at railway reservation office, you need to produce any valid identity proof. In case you are doing online booking through IRCTC login - you need to mention the number of your ID card. The same card should be produced when asked by TC (ticket checker) in the train. Please note that it is not mandatory for a customer to present in original at the time of booking. The identity card can be shown by anyone who is booking ticket. But during journey, the men whose ID is mentioned should be present in person.
  • No refund is given on cancellation of confirmed tatkal tickets. This is likely to change in near future after which 50 percent refund will be granted to the customer. In case a passenger has a waitlisted tatkal ticket the refund will be made as per the refund rules applicable on cancellation of waiting list and RAC tickets.
Readers also note that facility of tatkal booking is also available in Shatabdi trains. As per rule 10 percent of seats are earmarked for reservation under this scheme in Shatabdi type trains of railways. The waiting list of tickets booked under tatkal is issued separately and ticket buyers must go through it before boarding the train.

That's all about tatkal booking timing and rules.
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