Need help trying to book a train (Mumbai - Cochin/Trivandrum)
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Feb 9, 2013 7:57 AM Last Post By: RoxyF
Jan 27, 2013 12:26 PM
We are planning to travel to India (from South Africa) for the first time for 10 days in March/April.
I have heard that traveling from Mumbai to Cochin is beautiful. I have searched the India train sites, but they are more than a little confusing!
I have also learned that the trains fill up fast and there are all sorts of weird and wonderful quotas, and so many different classes!
We will will be 2x adults and 2x children (ages 11 & 13)
Can anyone help me figure out of there is any (still available) option for us.
We arrive in Mumbai on morning of Thurs 28 March and leave again very late night Sat 6 April.
Basically we'd like to see Mumbai for a day or 2 (beginning or end of journey we don't really mind), then we were hoping to take a train down to Kerala. We wanted to see Cochin, Varkala, Munnar, Alappuzha etc.
Can you advise on:
- A good overnight train option between Mumbai & Cochin? I know of the Rajdhani Express, Doronto & Netravathi. Can anyone ascertain if ANYTHING is still available?
- We would prefer comfort and relative 'luxury', but not to break the bank. ie I don't think we need 'Palace on Wheels' type luxury and associated pricing! So we'd like to travel 1A or at least 2A. Or anything else relatively comfortable and enjoyable.
- Ideally we'd want to travel by train FROM Mumbai to Cochin (or Thiruvanmiyur.) on 29 or 30 March, and then fly back from Cochin (or Thiruvanmiyur.) on Sat 6 April.
- To fly FROM Mumbai to Cochin (or Thiruvanmiyur.) on 29 or 30 March, and then travel back by TRAIN from Cochin (or Thiruvanmiyur.) on Thurs 4th/Fri 5th//Sat 6th April. (To arrive back in Mumbai by 11pm on Saturday 6 April)
I know the trains fill up fast and I am struggling to figure out if anything suitable is still available. We'll want to go to Cochin or else all the way to Varkala or Thiruvanmiyur. Alternately we could fly down to Goa or somewhere and take a train for there perhaps...? I am considering all options as I hear taking a train really does add to the experience of India..?
Finally is security a risk on the trains. I see 2A just give a curtain and not a lockable door, would our luggage be at much risk? (In South Africa it certainly would be - hence my concern.
Any help or advice would be gladly appreciated!
Jan 27, 2013 3:44 PM
1Train # 16381 KANYAKUMARI EXP has 6 seats/berths available on 29 and 30 March
in 2AC. No other train appears to have availability for these dates according to IRCTC
website. No problem with luggage in this class. If you wish, you can buy a chain at the
railway station and secure your luggage under the seat, Indians tend to do this.
Book ASAP. If you are not registered with IRCTC/Cleartrip this site explains it in detail:
BTW the station for Cochin in Ernakulam...
Jan 27, 2013 3:53 PM
2Train #1638 CAPE MUMBAI EXP D 13:30 ARR 04:50 has 7 seats/berths available
on 4 April and 5 seats/berths on 5 April...
Jan 27, 2013 3:58 PM
Jan 27, 2013 4:30 PM
4This site: http://erail.in/ is best for checking trains and availability of tickets for any given date. For booking from abroad you must use Cleartrip (http://cleartrip.com/). Setting an account and getting it synchronised with the IRCTC account is a bit confusing but is best explained on the website indicated by Zauberberg (http://www.seat61.com/India.htm). It is possible, I've done it sucessfully a couple of months ago :) Once you have your account, booking is really straightforward.
You can also have a look at the IndiaMike website and forum (http://www.indiamike.com/india/) - plenty of useful railway-related stuff there.
Jan 27, 2013 4:43 PM
5PS. Instead of Kochin, look for Ernakulam, as that's Kochin's twin city where the train station is located.
I've done a quick look on erail.in. There are still plenty of tickets available in the sleeper class (SL) for 12618 MNGLA LKSDP EXP, 16345 NETRAVATI EXP and 16381 KANYAKUMARI EXP for 29 March. There is less availability for 2AC and 3AC. Anyway, SL has the advantage that the windows are not of stained glass, so it's much better for landscape-watching.
See here for comparison of the different classes:
and here for some more advice on booking from abroad:
BTW, you can use Cleartrip for booking your internal Indian flight tickets as well (or at least checking schedules and prices).
Jan 27, 2013 6:21 PM
Jan 27, 2013 8:42 PM
7I reccomend taking the train trip first up, preferably 2 A/C if Possible.
I don't think Varkala is for Families, more for younger travellers and besides you have very limited time.
There are decent beaches nearer to Cochin, ie; Cherrai Beach and also Allepey.(Alappuzha)
I can also reccomend Jenny from www.cochinkerala.com to assist you for your Kerala part of your Journey, Check out some of her reviews on Trip Advisor under Le Royale - Kochi.
Think about a couple of days in Munnar, and then head back down to Allepey and then back to Cochin. On the way to Munnar maybe stop at Kodanand for Elephant washing in the river.
Couple of places I reccomend for Accom is Rose Gardens Homestay in Munnar, Tommy can take you and kids on a good Tea Plantation trek which is not strenious and well worth it.
There is also Raheem Residency which is right on the beachfront in Allepey. kids will love their pool.
Both of the above places have pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor.
I have stayed at all of the Above and would not hesitate to reccomend.
Feb 7, 2013 12:35 PM
8Ack so I FINALLY managed to register on IRCTC and cleartrip and linked the accounts etc... Took much time, frustration and patience!!! Wow.
Anyway so today I was looking for options and it SEEMED Rajdhani was available:
Rajdhani Exp (12431) Eranakulam Junction - Vasai Road
4 April 22:30 - 5 Apr 19:30
AC First Class
As it said 'General Available)
So I grabbed the chance and booked!
But now I see we are wait-listed....
What now?? What's the chance we'll actually get on the train? If we do is there ANY chance we'll be together? :/
What should I do... can/should I cancel and try something else where I can get a definite confirmed booking or am I stuck with this...?
Also I have booked 'General' quota, is that even correct - if I am a foreign tourist - but I was not asked about quota options at all. I am so confused it is not funny! :(
Feb 7, 2013 4:30 PM
Feb 8, 2013 3:50 PM
10There is only "general quota" available when booking online. It would have told you
"waitlisted" when you booked. With 1AC there is hardly any chance to get your seats/
berths confirmed, particulary on Rajdhani. Cancel and check whether there is still
availability in 2AC for the train I suggested in post # 3 & 4. Good luck...
Feb 9, 2013 1:12 AM
11Thanks everyone for your help and assistance. I have cancelled the Radjhani tickets (let's hope I get the refund!!) and booked the Doronto the day before on 3 April. It seems safer and more likely to work out and since our trip is so short anyway I didn't want to add unnecessary stress and the possibility of spending a full day begging/arguing in a train station to be let on or being able to stay together etc!
So next question: If we have CONFIRMED seats, how can I ensure we get seated together in the same carriage etc?
Feb 9, 2013 1:16 AM
Feb 9, 2013 7:57 AM
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