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Blog Entry# 5906357
Posted: Dec 09 2023 (17:32)

5 Responses
Last Response: Dec 11 2023 (17:26)
Travelogue
50400 views
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Dec 09 2023 (17:32)   11124/Barauni - Gwalior Mail | LKO/Lucknow Charbagh NR (9 PFs)
kirk781~   3215 blog posts
Entry# 5906357            Tags  
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A HARD DAYS NIGHT

I had a cut journey ticket, in that, I had 2A from BV to LKO and 3A from LKO to GWL. This train, as of this writing, is all ICF and has 1 Second AC and 3 Third AC coaches. I had a lower berth from my town station to the state capital. No unnecessary extra passengers, just me and my small bag on the lower berth. I mostly just saw out the window. Had tea at Gonda Jn. Either case, whenever I left my berth and returned
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to it, I found it unoccupied [ as it should be ]. Had a good experience, even had a little nap, before Lucknow came. A fairly uneventful journey so far.

Now, everything changed when I switched from 2A to 3A. I had a Side Lower berth and I already saw two people ensconced in my seat. One of them didn't even budge until I had to explicitly ask him to. Heck, it was so crowdy that I couldn't understand it. IR hadn't turned this train into an all AC config where pax had no place to go. It had 9 SL coaches still but every single staff and police person had to come into 3rd AC for some reason. At CNB, I got down to get my pre ordered food [ my experience with Dominoes was bad, Apparently they had made my food at the right time of the train's arrival without checking that the train was running more than an hour late since the dawning of the sun]. Still, before I could gorge on my pizza, I again found another person sitting on my berth whom I had to ask to leave. This guy, just nonchalantly said he was a Loco Pilot in response. And what am I supposed to do with that response? That doesn't allow you a license to sit on a passenger's seat. The only person who can sit on Side Lower apart from me during day time is the person whose seat is on the Side Upper range. And that person was happily sleeping in the upper bay. I almost complained on "Rail Madad" site before this person left and I could eat my pizza. Again, lo and behold, the train barely left CNB and stopped at the next unscheduled stop in Kanpur, did tons of 'staff' board our coach again with one asking can he sit till Jhansi as if Jhansi is next door. Good thing I slept at my berth otherwise Stephenson knows how many people would have asked to sit. It was only after JHS did the crowd ease down. Railfanning wise, I could hardly do any footplating post LKO because of the fear of losing the seat. I only got down at CNB and JHS before finally deboarding at GWL with delay of 1.5 hrs.

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Dec 09 2023 (18:00)
Taandavam   152 blog posts
Re# 5906357-1              
Common scene in 3rd ac now a days. All so called staffs do not hesitate illegitimately boarding ac classes (earlier sl classes). I had bad experience in 15483 mahananda express may be 6 months back. From prayagraj unauthorised people boarded for fatehpur and cnb however number was less but at cnb the situation was bad nd eventually 3rd ac suddenly got converted into typical day time sl class by people boarding from cnb to nearby destinations nd the scene continued till delhi. Not aware intermediate stations like etawah firozabad etc gives how much contribution to revenue but certainly gives humongous unauthorised passengers in the route.

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situation is not same in every train. Yesterday in 12235 few people boarded the train in ara junction but the attendent proactively moved them out of the coach.

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Dec 09 2023 (18:44)
deepak.yerr~
deepak.yerr~   5741 blog posts
Re# 5906357-2              
This shows that you need intercity trains with ACC and GS sitting in morning afternoon and evening in 200-400km sections to suit to local travel requirement between cities and towns in day time to prevent people from occupying seats in long distance trains, without which 3AC will be like SL and GS.
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Dec 09 2023 (20:35)
kirk781~   3215 blog posts
Re# 5906357-3              
What surprised me is that this train was not converted yet to an LHB version where large number of SL coaches are trimmed in favor of 3A coaches. It had 9 SL coaches in it's ICF form and only 3 3A coaches. So, there was lots of non AC space for folks to move to. But, they just crowded 3A. The worst was when the train had an unscheduled halt at Govindpuri, I guess and lots of folks just barged into the coach. Apart from the single 2A coach, nothing seemed off limits.
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Dec 09 2023 (20:39)
kirk781~   3215 blog posts
Re# 5906357-4              
There is an ICE between Lucknow and Jhansi though that plies later in the evening. But I get the sentiment. Some high density routes definitely need more ICE trains and/or sitting arrangements.
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Dec 11 2023 (17:26)
kirk781~   3215 blog posts
Re# 5906357-5              
Now that I think about it, it would probably have been better to just go to LKO via 2nd sitting in LJN ICE, take a plane to Delhi and then to Gwalior. Faster and would have saved the exceptionally high cost of retiring room. It probably would still have been more expensive but I just like to think how much. For 2A and 3A ticket, it was ~1.5k. Include food for a long journey and it becomes ~1.9k. Then cost of retiring room and it becomes 3.3k. I wonder how much more expensive would air travel have been because with air, I wouldn't have needed any food, or retiring room arrangement in case my train goes late.

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coming back, the train was a perfect option, for going, air was an equally viable option. The exceptionally expensive retiring room was the nail in the coffin that sealed it. Combine it with poor journey experience, I mean, if I have to seal myself in a coach and can't even look out the window despite having a window berth; then what's the point? Why not book a plane? IR is clearly now competing with air travel even for routes where it doesn't need to. And all this simply because it can't guarantee trains that will run on time [ I mean, how long will they take to get Gorakhpur Cantt functional again so that trains do not get delayed there?]. Japan regularly gets earthquakes and still optimizes it's train systems as quickly as possible to recover from scratch. Meanwhile IR can't do it's work at a rail station stretching into MONTHS during peace time? Nobody is digging a better hole in the ground for railways than railways itself.

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