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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Taking bikes on Indian trains

Hello folks

I am planning on taking my poorly bike on a train from Gorhakpur to Kolkata to lessen the kms I need to ride with the state the engine is in, (thats another story!)

Please can you offer any tips and advice on when how to do it, where to buy tickets, loading, unloading, etc?

Kindest Regards

Fern
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Hi Fern,
i was in Bankura, west Bengal, 200 kms west of kolkata due to gearbox trouble. went to the local station, asking at the ticket desk what to do to put the bike on the train. they've suggested me to find the man who cares about mail wagon and its stuff. he told me to back, with the bike straight on the platform, the next day at 4.00 am, 2 hours before the train left to do all concerning. he booked me the place in advance then, once i was there at the right time, i had to disconnect the battery and get the fuel tank empty. then we put, we were 5 people, the bike on the mail wagon. it wasn't so steepy. i've "payed" the porters with the gasoline i had to left at the railway station...
ah.. i was traveling on the same train of course.
once in kolkata i had to manage the bike unloading by other porters: it wasn't so difficult, but i do not remember if i had to pay something to them, anyway it was cheap for sure. also do not exactly remember how i had to pay for the train transportation but it was something about 20 euro including my fare.
in kolkata you can get in touch with Eastern Bulls wich are a group of enthusiast enfield riders as you, i assume, will need some help on what to do or where to go in case you have to get , if possible, your bike fixed there. they were very helpful: came to pick me up at railway station and carry me to a budget hotel nearby the forwarders area to manage the bike shipping to BKK.
hope this helps you.
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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I wanted to save time and went to Chennai station to book myself and an Enfield on a train 2 weeks in advance of travelling, I could only book my ticket and the bike had to be booked and paid for on departure date, make sure you have your passport to hand, plenty of small banknotes as you need to tip everyone in sight and pay for the sacking to protect the bike(important, or THERE will be damage!) And most important of all WATCH your bike being loaded onto the correct train, my bike left the holding area but was on the next train to mine! Aircon carriage make a world of difference as well. All the best
Dave
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Dang Fern, what's wrong with Kitty now? We just happened to bump into the Kolkata bikers on the road in Meghalaya. They were on the way to Nagaland (not I'm a straight line I assume). I'll hook you up with one of em on FB...xxxooo
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Old 4 Dec 2012
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It's not a difficult process. Usually a porter will be present to walk you through every step (fora good tip). You first book your personal ticket, then go to the luggage office. There you book the ticket for your bike. Have the bike packaged by guys near the station (drain all your gas first! It has to be done, and the guys packing the bike won't give you half of what it's worth if you let them do it). Think I paid 500 rupee for that. Then you gotta find the guy who physically puts your bike on the train, and pay him to make sure it happens. I think that was 300 rupee. When you arrive at your destination, get your bike unloaded, and then go to the luggage receiving office. They'll walk you through the rest. It's important to note that everyone will at least attempt to rip you off.

Good luck!
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