Travelling by train is one of India’s classic experience. It has nothing to do with a journey by plane since it is cheaper and close to the Indians. It may seems long sometimes but night trains can save you a day’s travelling and a hotel bill.
Indian Railways distinguishes different classes of travel: It goes from the simplest to the most comfortable!
The Sleeper Class is an experience you should have: it enables you to visit all kind of landscapes of India. It consists of carriages of three-tiered padded bunks that convert to seats during the day. It has open windows and fans. This class can enable you to interact with Indians from all walks of life. Yet there’s no privacy in sleeper class and it’s noisy crowded and dirty.
The Air-conditioned 3 tier: significant step up in comfort and quietness. The carriage are laid out in the same manner as in SL. Yet there is AC, and sheets pillows and towels are provided to passengers.
The Air-conditioned 2 tier: much more space in this class as there are only four beds in each compartment. Bedding and towels are also provided. Yet the main difference remains the added benefit of privacy curtains on the entrance to each compartments, that is why interactions with Indians is harder.
The First class Air-conditioned : the cost of this class is comparable to that of flying. Compartments have lockable doors, carpet and either two or four beds, stacked vertically in tiers.
Last but not least: try to book an upper level bed because they don’t have to be folded down during the day and they are not used as seats for the passengers in the lower level ones.