Friday, June 01, 2007

Rajdhani Express

After completing my studies, I always have to undertake and onward journey because there are no direct trains between Kharagpur and Bhopal. Usually I prefer to change trains from Nagpur (the junction where the north-south and east-west routes intersect), but since I was a bit late for booking tickets due to late change of plan I had to take a break at Bilaspur. I traveled from Kharagpur to Bilaspur in Howrah Kurla Express, and for the latter part of the journey till Bhopal was in Rajdhani Express. While the journey till Bilaspur was eventless, the travel in Rajdhani Express isn't something I would be forgetting for some time to come.

We boarded the train at 8 am in the morning. The train had a very slow start, but we discounted it to the fact that there was a mega-block in the Bilaspur-Durg route. The services had an impressive beginning. The breakfast arrived within minutes of the train's departure and the public announcement system buzzed with the details of the stations en-route and the time of journey. But our happiness was short lived. The bread served with the breakfast was stale, conspicuous by its foul smell. The omelet was also unpalatable. After the breakfast was over, we learned that there is no water in one side of the coach, leading to rush on the other side. This fault was, to my surprise, never rectified. The service by IRCTC caters was also sub-standard. They kept bugging us to take back the used plates starting the 3rd minutes we were served breakfast. The caterer that served us didn't utter a single word, that passed of as very rude. By his third or fourth visit, I actually thought that he might be a dumb person. My pity for him ended by his tenth visit when he uttered his first words. The AC setting of the coach was set to such a cold one that for the whole journey, we had to use woolens. The lunch was slightly better than breakfast but still below average as compared to the service of other trains I have been to. The snacks served comprised of Samosas, sweets, mango drink, and namkeen. Unfortunately even the branded items were of sub-standard quality. We decided to not order dinner at all. It was undoubtedly the most inconvenient journey I ever undertook on a superfast express.

No comments: