WHAT THEHEEBEE SAYS:
I have always loved train travels. It helps you to connect with time, connect with roots, connect with your own self. The wobbling of the coaches, the sound of steel wheels on the tracks, knowing new people around and that feeling of really running away from the urban hustle-bustle are some of the magnificient experiences.
Memories of the train travels that I did during my childhood are some of the most cherished memories that I have. I was eagerly waiting for an opportunity to make my kid to experience her first long distance train travel. That is when this opportunity of a vacation to Hyderabad came to us. We grabbed this opportunity and decided to travel by train from Bengaluru to Hyderabad.
We booked the ticket through IRCTC. There were many options available, out of which we decided on 22693 – Bengaluru – Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express.
Train schedule and price details are as under:
The train was scheduled to depart at 8.00 PM from Bengaluru. We reached the railway station little early and straight headed to the Air Conditioned waiting room on platform number -1. AC waiting room was equipped with comfortable chairs for seating, mobile charging points and a ‘Pay & Use’ lavatory.
Around 7.30 PM we reached platform number – 8 from where the train was supposed to depart. Train arrived in few minutes. It was easy to locate our “B3” coach as each coach had the coach number painted in big letters. On outside of each coach was mentioned the seat order so it was very easy to identify the closest door and reach the seats easily. All the hustle-bustle went on for few mins as everyone was getting in the train, arranging their luggage and making themselves comfortable. Engines honked and the train departed exactly on the scheduled departure time.
Inside the coach:
The coach was absolutely clean. It was evident that special care was taken to broom the coach, the isle, lavatories etc. Berths were relatively big and soft. Curtains on the windows were also clean and properly arranged. In every section, there were two mobile charging points which were working good. Also, each section had tube lights and night lamps and their switches.
One thing that caught my attention was the indicator above the compartment door to indicate whether the lavatories are free or in use. This was similar to an aircraft. Whenever a lavatory was in use, a red color indicator would light up.
Every coach had designated attendants to provide the accessories like blankets, pillows etc and a separate crew of stewards to serve the food. Clean pillows and blankets were already provided on every berth. Once all the passengers settled down, the staff distributed a white paper cover containing clean bed sheet and a napkin. Need to mention that everything (blankets, pillows, bed sheets and napkins) were very clean and hygienic.
Around 30 mins past departure from Bengaluru station, the catering staff started serving dinner to everyone. Frirst every passenger was given a bottle of fresh water. Few minutes later everyone was served a tray containing a small pack of Amul butter, a pack containing two soup sticks and a small sachet of pepper powder. This was followed by another steward serving hot tomato soup to everyone. Tomato soup was good in taste, was served piping hot and was very refreshing. Around 15 mins from serving the soup, the caterers started serving dinner to everyone. There were two choices – veg meal and non-veg meal. Veg meal contained one portion of mix veg curry, one portion of dal fry, three rotis, one portion of jeera rice, one cup curd, one sachet of pickle and one piece of sweet. The meal was much better than what we had expected. Everything was served in individual disposable containers placed in a tray. Spoons and tissue papers were provided along with the tray. The staff was very prompt in collecting the soiled trays and leftover meal. They were ensuring that the cleanliness was maintained.
The railways ticket checking staff passed by the coaches during dinner time and verified the tickets. They were very well dressed in professional attire – black pants, white shirt, black tie and black coat. Ticket checking process was also very comfortable.
Aroudn 30 mins from completing the dinner everyone slowly started to arrange their berths to sleep. Slowly every section switched off their tubelights. Few kept the night lamps on and few made it dark. In few mins almost everyone was asleep.
The overnight journey was very comfortable and we did not face any problems or disturbances.
Everyone who had informed the caterers for morning tea was given a wake-up call by the staff at around 6 AM in the morning. A tray containing hot water, sugar sachet, and a tea bag/coffee sachet were given to everyone who had opted to have morning refreshment. This was served with two biscuits.
The train reached Secunderabad station at 7.00 AM. By the time we got down, we were very fresh and excited to spend our vacation at Hyderabad. Had the overnight journey been uncomfortable, we would not have been so fresh on reaching the destination. We extend a special thanks to the Indian Railways, Indian Rail Ministry, Railway Police and everyone involved in making this journey comfortable, safe and memorable.
We extend special thanks to the Indian Railways, Indian Rail Ministry, Railway Police and everyone involved in making this journey comfortable, safe and memorable.
Hiral Amodia (TheHeeBee)