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on Jen does Delhi with VSO (India), 04/Oct/2010 10:30, 34 days ago
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Normal0falsefalsefalseMicrosoftInternetExplorer4/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;}I was 5 hours into a train journey last week when I managed to get my battery starved laptop on, cranked up the internet andtweeted:…another 37 hours to go. 42 scheduled hours from Delhi to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. A cool 2611 km away. That’s nearly two and half times the entire length of my home country, Great Britain.These long train journeys in India are renowned for running late. As I stood on the platform at New Delhi relishing the freedom of the outdoors several announcements came across the loud speakers: We are sorry to announce the Shatabdi Express is running late by 10 hours and 37 minutes. We regret any inconvenience caused. We are sorry to announce the Puri Express is running late by 8 hours and 23 minutes. We regret any inconvenience caused. The train name usually becomes a bit of a misnomer.I was lucky though. I left on the morning of the 28th at 11:30 and was due to arrive almost two days later at 05:10 on the 30th. I actually arrived a little after 6am but what’s another hour between friends.Several snacks, some chatting with my fellow travelers, one of whom was traveling to Kerala and would be on the train for 52 hours, waving at small children who were looking up to my upper berth, a lot of reading and sleeping and it was all over. If you want to see the inside of an Indian train I took a video last year on the Puri Express and it’s up onYouTube. That journey was a monster 34 hours so nothing really.The most amazing thing about train travel in India is you might lose a couple of days in comparison to the 4 hour flight but the damage to your pocket for over 2500km of travel in 2AC, i.e. air conditioned carriages with only two berths per space (upper and lower) is the equivalent of₤30. Bargain.