It was a weekend and I HAD to make use of it. Though I had a lot of time for my Ladakh trip but it’s always better to be well prepared rather than leaving things for the eleventh hour and when it comes to anything related to the Indian Railways’, you better do everything well in advance.
One of the most important things I had to be sure about was, if I can transport my bike on the Rajdhani Express or not. And if yes, what is the complete procedure and the charges for the same. So, to ensure that I have all the info before I actually have to do it, I headed to the Parcel Office of the Bangalore City railway station. I thought it would be somewhere inside the station but was pleased to find it next to the parking lot. I parked my vehicle and went to the Parcel office and inquired the parcel officer about the shipping charges on Rajdhani and his answer confused me!! He said, its Rs.10 per kg 😮 (yes I DID NOT forget to mention that I was going to ship a bike)!!
I left the counter window and then, after a few moments, went back again and asked him “Does the shipping charge of a BIKE depend on its weight!!”. At this, he suddenly seem to have realized his mistake and asked me to ‘wait a sec’. He pulled the calculator that was lying in-front of him and got busy with it. Once done he said, it will cost me Rs.2,500/- to ship the bike from Bangalore(SBC) to Nizamuddin(NZM). I however saw, the figure on the calculator’s screen was Rs.2,350/- 😛 .
I then left the counter after thanking him and only to return with one more query.Asked him, what is the complete procedure to book the bike on RAJDHANI and more importantly, is the price which you have quoted is for RAJDHANI? To my second question, he replied me in affirmative.
Regarding the procedure, he said all I need to do is, be at the Parcel office well in advance of the train’s departure (3 hours to be specific). Also, he said the bike HAS TO BE on my name and all the papers (the RC book/smart card and the insurance) has to be produced at the time of booking. I was done with my queries and pretty satisfied by the answers I got from the booking officer.
As I left the counter, one more question pops up in my mind and I head back to him again :). I ask, “What is the charge for shipping the bike on any other train other than Rajdhni?” his answer to this, was, yet again confusing .
He replied, the charges are the same for Rajdhani & non-Rajdhani trains, which, to me, did not seem to be the case. May be he was too lazy to punch the calculator once more 😛 .
It remains to be seen how the actual shipping procedure goes on the day of my journey!