India is already a wonderland for this closet trainspotter. With India's first High-Speed Rail project under construction, it's only getting better.
The Japanese E5 Series Shinkansen trains will be used on the first High-Speed Rail line in India (2)
As an OCI living in India, I am spoiled for choice when it comes to train routes.
But I remember the day when I stood at a train station in Japan and watched the Shinkansen fly past in the blink of an eye. I haven't seen anything like it.
There is no high-speed rail where I grew up. I have only experienced the Japanese version.
I was addicted.
I wanted to stay in Japan just for the trains. I couldn't believe the technology, the efficiency or the service.
A friend in India informed me that the aerodynamic design of the Shinkansen train models the Indian Kingfisher bird's beak. (1)
It's all too fascinating! (I think I might be a closet trainspotter).
I have been a customer of Indian Railways for the past two decades and rate it one of my favourite ways to travel throughout India.
The first High-Speed Rail (HSR) project in India was announced in 2014 and construction is ongoing.
I will soon be able to get my hit of speed right here in India!
The Best Way to Travel
Monsoon view - view from the window of the Delhi to Mumbai sleeper train.
"Wobble, wobble, wobble, wobble."
That's me. My whole body moves to the train's rhythm as I settle down on my sleeper bunk for the night section of my journey.
The train is easily the most comfortable way for me to travel in India.
I have the bathroom available; I can walk around and stand up; I can lie down; I can work on my laptop and charge my phone, and every type of food or beverage is available throughout the journey.
The latest convenience was ordering my lunch on an online app with the delivery person waiting at the next station two hours later! Ingenius!
After a comfortable night's sleep, I wake up and climb down to the lower bunk. As I sip my morning chai, I watch the landscape of India pass by like a silent film.
Trains, trains everywhere
There are multiple rail options in India for those who prefer that style of travel.
The interstate trains have various services available, including sleeper cabins.
The local trains in some cities carry millions of passengers daily. Impressive double-decker express services run on several lines alongside the regular passenger trains.
The new "Metro" train lines, some on elevated platforms, are in multiple cities now.
And then there are various luxury trains like the Palace on Wheels and Maharajas' Express catering to local and international tourists.
And soon, the locally produced High-Speed Rail will operate in India for the first time.
As I researched the HSR I found references to potential additional rail projects under consideration. (2)
My next exciting trip will hopefully be on the new Vistadome coaches running on various routes across India.
These modern glass ceiling coaches with swivel chairs have made the most of the amazing scenery.
The future of rail transport in India is exciting and I for one cannot wait to experience the ride!
Let me know your favourite Indian train story. Comment below.
Thank you :)