After purchasing the ticket, I went to Platform number 1 where the train was supposed to come. I still have over two hours to spend at this station. I charged my phone from a charging point, started using my phone internet, did the ‘how far you can travel with 2000 rupees’ post and checked my mail. Then I realised that I didn’t have a place to stay at my next destination! No one had yet accepted my couch request. So I frantically started sending so many couch requests to many Couch surfers, even without skimming through their profiles. After sending some 10-15 request I got fed up and stopped doing it. I just trusted that I would find a place to stay. Still I had over an hour before the train arrive the station.
I chose this particular train because it starts from this station. If a train starts from a particular station means, you can find that train somewhere outside the station waiting for its departure time. During that time no one would get into the train. So if you didn’t reserve a seat in advance in a sleeper coach or AC coach, you can break the rules and get inside the closed train before its departure time. But it is not a right thing to do according to the laws and rules, I guess. But if you are a greedy and hardcore traveller who is on a tight budget, you can do it 😉 Because in this case it would allow me to skip a night’s stay, get a seat, all at a very cheap rate, just 180 [$ 2.93 ]. So that was my plan, to find and sneak inside the train and get a comfortable seat or maybe sleep in the overhead luggage space. I found the train somewhere outside the station. As I was about to go to board the train, I saw a long line of people standing. I asked someone why they were standing there. Then he replied that they were waiting to board the general compartment of train to Chennai. The same train I was going to board! An hour ago, there wasn’t many people standing in that queue. That time I was simply wasting my time sitting somewhere else!! By the time I reached there, I was sort of at the end of a very very long queue. So far I have never seen this queue system to board a train! It was apparently a new initiative by the railway police so that people board the train without much rush. So I decided not to break the rules, and took a spot in the queue at the very end of it.
I waited in the queue for around half an hour and finally the train arrived the station. I was worried that I wouldn’t get a seat as I thought before. But luckily I got a seat even the line was quite long. The queue system and the effort taken by the railway police is quite commendable. They first allow ladies and kids to board the train, they control the unnecessary rush and they bring a lot of discipline to a rather chaotic crowd.
So here I am starting my second train journey of the day. Minimum travel time : 8 hours , 7 halts, 496km and just 180 rupees!
As I was about to try to sleep, my phone vibrated. It was a reply from one couch surfer! Yay, I have a place to stay the next night!! So all good. Just need to try and get some sleep if possible, sitting in the soon to be crammed train 😀
Report regarding 2000 project
Train fare 50+180 = 230 (Distance 259+496= 755km)
Food cost 30+75+50 = 155
Bus charges 50+50 = 100
Total cost for the day = 485 [~ $8 ]
So I am travelling to day 2, hoping to find some sleep.