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When I decided to book my ticket to Delhi, I had a lot of choices. To fly, to travel by the popular Tamilnadu or GT Express, or to choose the prestigious Rajdhani Exp ( R in short) or the Duronto Exp( D in short ) the new train introduced by Mamta or the Garib rath( G in short )
As the airfare was over Rs 4000 one way, I decided to travel by train. Since I have already travelled by all other trains ( in same sector or in some other sector ), this time I decided to check out the G .
G is a service introduced by Laloo Prasad in 2005 , mainly for the middle class to enable them travel in AC comfort on long journeys. It was a very good idea and became a very popular train in no time.
R and D are also basically AC trains and these three trains are the fastest between Chennai and Delhi, covering the distance of 2176 KM's in 28 hrs and 10 mins. ( TN Exp takes about 33 hrs and GT about 36 hrs.). But the difference lies in the Fare. For R and D, you will have to pay Rs 2000 for Chennai- Delhi for 3 tier AC sleeper whereas it is only Rs 892 in Garib Rath. Same distance, Same comfort ,but less than half the fare. Isn't it a good deal ?
What are the differences ?
In R & D , the breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee/tea , snacks and water are served free. The bedding is free. You get a newspaper free . In G the bedding is provided at Rs 25 extra. ( I found many people carried their own bedding and did not avail of this facility). You will have to pay extra for the meals, water, paper etc. But you get all the items sitting in your seat.
For a person like me who prefers home food always, it did not matter whether the food is served free or on cost. So, all I had to spend extra was Rs 25 for the bedding ( I did not want to carry too many luggages ), Rs 6 for the newspaper and Rs 15 for three cups of coffee.
The journey ( left Chennai on 17th mor at 6 10 am reaching Delhi yesterday mor at 10 30 am. ) was quite comfortable.The temp was maintained well and it was pleasantly cool all thro. The train was running to time from Chennai to Delhi and arrived at Delhi just 10 mins behind sch ( waited in the outer for the platform to become ready ). There were no unwanted visitiors in the compartment, water for the toilet was availble from the beginning to the end of the journey.
The minus points were - the maintenance of the toilets were very poor and in many toilets, the latches were not working properly. The compartment was not cleaned anywhere enroute. ( Usually in TN or GT, small boys will wipe the floor clean and get a few rupees given voluntarily by the passengers).
But overall, it was a comfortable journey at a much reduced fare.
P.S The senoir citizens do not get the 30% concession in G ( since the fare itself is low )
Next time you have an opportunity, travel by G . It is time saving and money saving.