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Rail travel in India

189 bytes added, 16:07, 21 November 2012
IR runs suburban railways in [[Mumbai]], [[Delhi]], [[Kolkata]], [[Chennai]], [[Hyderabad]] and [[Pune]]. Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi have subway (''Metro'') systems as well.
The '''Delhi Metro''' [ ] is and the '''Bangalore Metro''' [] are airconditioned. The Kolkata Metro and other suburban trains are not air conditioned. Local rail networks are often crowded, but are generally the fastest and cheapest way to get around cities which have them. Those who are not accustomed to it are advised not to travel in local trains as it might be quite troublesome for them to alight from the train at the correct station after pushing through a large crowd of other commuters.
Hot food is available at mealtimes on almost every train in India. The food is mostly prepared in kitchens at railway stations and then loaded onto the train, either onto a pantry carriage attached to the train (on most important trains), or just brought on board by waiters and distributed directly to passengers. In most cases, a waiter collects orders an hour or two before mealtimes and if you don't place an order, you may be left out in the cold. However, in trains having a pantry car, breakfast is prepared on board the train and you do not have to place an order beforehand. You can tell which trains have a pantry car because there is a '''P''' listed with the classes available in ''Trains at a Glance''. Meals available for lunch and dinner are generally vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis (rice, dal, a vegetable (chicken or fish curries for non-veg thalis), yogurt (often sour), chapatis and occasionally, a sweet dish) or (veg/egg/chicken) biryani. Chilli chicken (sweet and sour chicken wings with chillis) is often available. Breakfast normally onsists of vegetable cutlet (a veggie patty) and bread, or omelet and bread. Pantry car service always includes the sale of tea, coffee, cold drinks and "namkeen" (chips and other salty snacks). Note that while pantry cars mostly re-distribute food, they do have a small kitchen and, if you're sick of the daal/chappati that shows up in the thali, it doesn't hurt to visit the pantry car and see if they can rustle up an omlet or some fresh chicken curry with parathas. The quality of food varies, with the fare being better in the South North and West. Moreover, concepts of hygiene, taste, cuisine changes from region to region.
Most pantry cars and restaurants at stations are now managed by '''Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)''' []). IRCTC provides satisfactory quality and hygienic food aboard trains and at stations. IRCTC kiosks are ubiquitous where one can find snacks/breakfast/packed foods/ biscuits/ cookies/ mineral water etc. At major stations, IRCTC has licensed Comesum [] to open fine-dine restaurants. Additionally, one can also order food online at travelkhana [] and your food will be delivered at your seat.
On the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis, all meals are included in the fare and are served at your seat at mealtimes.
'''Dormitories''', both airconditioned and non-airconditioned, are available at almost all railway stations in India.
* <sleep name="Rail Yatri Niwas " alt="" address="New Delhi Railway Station" directions="Metro: New Delhi - Line 2" phone="+91 11 2323-3484" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm Rs 145/bed, Single Non A/C Rs 265, Double Non A/C Rs 385/450, Double A/C Rs 850" lat="" long="" email="" fax=""></sleep>
* <sleep name="Rail Yatri Niwas Howrah" alt="" address="Howrah Railway Station " directions="" phone="+91 33 2660-1742" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm Rs 100/bed, Double Non A/C Rs 350, Double A/C Rs 550, Triple Non A/C Rs 400" lat="" long="" email="" fax=""></sleep>
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