The Indian Railways, which was founded 177 years ago, is considered to be one of the largest rail networks in the world. The length of rail routes across the country was last estimated to be around over 68,000 kilometers, providing passengers with convenient travel across India.
"On a daily basis, it is reported that around 23 million passengers travel by train in India, making railways a major source of commuting. However, in order to ensure smooth travel to places, it is important for passengers to know about some of the important rules set by the Indian railways," Sripad Vaidya - Co-Founder and COO - ConfirmTkt said.
Checkout Indian railway rules that have been placed to ensure the safety of the passengers and their overall convenience:
Pulling the alarm chain in a running train
If you've travelled on a train in India, there's a big chance that you might have seen emergency alarm chains placed near the doors of each coach. While almost everyone may have had the urge to pull the chain at some time or the other, pulling it might get you in a lot of trouble. Indian railway rules state that the alarm chain is only required to be pulled in case of an emergency, such as a medical emergency, a threat to passenger safety, an accident, or if a child, elderly or disabled person, or companion has missed the train.
You can extend your journey while travelling
There are often times when a passenger may not get the reservation for their original destination due to the unavailability of tickets during peak seasons. However, Indian Railways have got their passengers covered with one rule. The passenger can book a ticket for a destination before the actual one if he or she gets the ticket. Then, while travelling, they can choose to go to the TTE and extend the journey by paying an extra fair. In return, the TTE can issue a ticket for the forward journey, however, it may be for a different seat.
The middle-berth rule
There's a very important rule regarding the middle berth of an Indian Railways train. The middle berths are the ones that are positioned between the upper and lower berths and need to be folded down from the ceiling. The rule suggests that passengers cannot fold down the middle berth during the day as the lower and upper berths are used as seats. Passengers can only sleep on the middle berth from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. In case a passenger exceeds the time limit, the lower berth passenger has the right to tell you not to.
The two-stops rule in case you miss the train
Often, there may be unfortunate incidents wherein a passenger may miss boarding the train for the original boarding station. However, in order to give the passengers a fair chance, the Two-Stops rule suggests that the ticket collector cannot just transfer the seat to another passenger. At least not for another hour or until the train passes the next two stops of the overall journey.
Passengers can't be disturbed after 10 p.m.
A train journey can be a long one and in order for it to be enjoyable and not burdensome, it is a must that passengers aren't disturbed during the travel. In general, the passengers cannot be disturbed after 10 p.m., and this is why even the TTE needs to check the tickets before the stipulated time. Another rule is that all lights in the coach, except the night lights need to be switched off so that the passengers can rest properly. This is why even the food served on trains cannot be served after 10 p.m.
Fixed price of packaged food items sold in train
In case you travel in buses or airplanes, you must have noticed that the prices of products are often much more than their actual MRPS. Well, not in trains under Indian Railways. The governing body has fixed rules regarding the pricing of packaged food items such as snacks, meals, and beverages on trains. This is to ensure that the passengers are not overcharged and that the products meet certain quality standards. In case a vendor is found to do such unethical practices, he can be reported after which he may be charged a heft penalty or may see his license getting canceled.
Avoid making loud sounds on the train
The Indian railways have put up serious guidelines for passengers who are looking to travel in trains and the prohibition of loud sounds on a train is one. In order to avoid disturbing passengers, all travellers are expected to keep a check on noise levels. If you are watching a video or listening or music on your phone or any other device, it is advised that you keep the volume low or use a pair of headphones or earphones. It is also advised to keep your voice down on a phone call so as not to disturb other passengers who are either resting or sleeping. The rule was placed when the Indian railways received multiple complaints against people who created a nuisance for other passengers. On-board Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE), catering staff, and other railway personnel are usually tasked to guide people in following the rules.