How to transport motorcycle in train?

Just like being asked things like which is the best bike for ladakh or what is the best time to visit north-east India the other most common question I come across very frequently is, how to carry bike in train for ladakh trip? Before my trip to ladakh, I had written briefly about my findings from the parcel office of bangalore city railway station here but never wrote about how things actually worked. So after postponing it for a significant number of times, I finally got over my laziness and decided to put down the entire process in a post.

Hoda CBR on the foggy Rohtang la

Somewhere on the foggy Rohtang la

Okay, so the first thing to know (and decide) is, whether you want to take your bike as parcel or as luggage. In short, if you go the parcel way it will be up-to the railways to send it to the destination and there is no specific time for the delivery. If required, the bike might even be unloaded in some station en-route and then loaded on some other train as per their convenience.

The other option is going the luggage way which I would strongly suggest. The only catch in this case is, you must be travelling in the same train. But, with the availability of e-tickets, this can easily be worked out (if you know what I mean) 😉 . I will mainly talk about the luggage way here because the parcel way is almost the same with the only additional thing needed here being a confirmed ticket on your name.

The documents you need

  • A valid ticket for the same train you want to take your bike on.
  • 2-3 copies of the bike’s documents (RC, PUC and insurance). Make sure these are on your name.
  • Any govt. photo identification proof (PAN, EIC, etc.)
  • Filled-up luggage form (available at the parcel/luggage office)

The procedure

  • Make sure there is no petrol in the tank (this is a compulsory prerequisite). Mention this on the form.
  • Head to the booking office with all the documents and fill it up.
  • Everything you carry as luggage or as parcel has to be insured and same is the case with bikes. Declare your bike’s value smartly as that will affect the final charges (1% of the bikes declared value is charged for insurance).
  • Pay the fees and head to the bike loading area

Make sure you reach a good 3-4 hours ahead of the train’s departure time to do all the things mentioned above and the even more important thing of getting the bikes loaded in the luggage van. Doing this will almost ensure that you will reach before the luggage van is opened for loading, in other words, it will be empty (9 out of 10 times) and also, you will not have to go looking for porters to pack and load the bike.

At the very least take the mirrors off the bike before getting it packed for loading, they are the most prone to breaking in transit. Also,make sure the bike is properly padded with enough extra padding (paying 100 / 150 bucks extra to the porters always helps).

Ask the bike to be loaded on a corner and towards the back of the van so that there will be comparatively less chances of the bike to fall and while loading and unloading other stuff they don’t have to move your bike around.

Once at the destination, make sure you pick the bike up during the specified time or else you will end up paying fine (even though very minimal).

Update 27/09/2016: 

Some time back the official twitter handle of the GM Southern Railway tweeted the image below which neatly lists down all the important points about how to parcel bike on a train and how to take bike as luggage in the same train you are travelling in.

How to parcel bike in train - Indian Railways

How to parcel bike in train – Indian Railways 

Image source: GMSRailway .

Do you have anything else you would like to know about shipping bike by train? Do leave me a question below in the comments section and I will try to answer it in the best possible way, at the earliest.


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46 thoughts on “How to transport motorcycle in train?

  1. Nice informative post ofcourse for the biker forks going to Ladak trip… but as a lay person I got one suggestion – check if there is a possibility of renting bike somewhere, if this process is difficult. I saw zoom car, that company deals in renting cars, one family used that car to drive till Shimoga…so bike renting options should be there… and good tips… you should post it else where where people go wanting to know all these details(: …

  2. Pingback: How to transport bike on Rajdhani ExpressRajiv Verma | Rajiv Verma

  3. Hey Rajiv,
    Thanks a lot for your helpful post 🙂
    I live in Pondicherry and plan my roadtrip Manali-Leh-Manali, next month, in June 2016. I wonder if I should take my “Black Beauty” Avenger 220 as luggage by train or if I should rent a bike in Manali. As there is no direct train Pondi-Manali, wondering if the transit of the bike is secured? How can be sure that the bike will be transferred in the same train as me to the final destination? Is it a best option to ship from Chennai-Delhi, then ride to Manali ? or any better option from Bangalore?
    I must admit that I also scare to damage my bike on rocky mountains roads..
    Kindly assist if you can.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Annie,

      I would always choose taking my bike over renting. You know your bike and your bike knows you, so that for sure will make you more comfortable.

      It seems you have not done much research about riding to Ladakh which can be dangerous in more than one ways. I suggest you read the last two posts about ‘how to prepare for Ladakh trip’.

      There is no railway station in Manali or anywhere near. The nearest one is Jogindernagar. Another option you have is Chandigarh. Check for trains from Pondy to these places else ride from Delhi.

      To make sure the bike is carried in the same train you are travelling, book it as ‘luggage’ and not as parcel.

      Feel free to ask any more questions if you have.


  4. Indeed helpful, Thanks Rajiv!
    So, I’ll take my BB as luggage on direct train from Pondi to Delhi and ride to Manali.
    No worry, I am well aware that riding to Ladakh is a very special roadtrip and must be well prepared, that’s why I am researching and collecting as much information as possible. I am an experienced strong woman and biker.. 😉
    I always keep in mind “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough” !!
    Getting almost ready to reach my dream.. in 3 weeks from now :))))

  5. Hi, Rajiv,
    I am little worried about shipping my Bike by train bcoz my Yamaha R15 have single side stand… so is it safe in train to parcel my bike ? hOw to pack my bike? plz help buddy
    thanks & regards
    Sk Azharuddin

    • Hi Azaruddin,

      If you make sure that you load it properly and towards the far end of the wagon, it would be safe.

      Also, pay the packing guys some extra and get the bike packed with some extra padding.

      And yes, take – off the RVMs and other protruding parts of the bike.


      • hey,
        Thanks buddy for giving ur time.
        ANd one more thing, are they load & unload the bike properly? bcoz as i will parcel the bike so i wont be there at that time. And u know the ground clearance of R15 is not much

        • No, you should NOT ‘parcel’ your bike. That way it might be off-loaded at various stations before it makes it to the destination.

          Always take your bike as ‘luggage’ not parcel.

          Check my other post if you don’t know the difference between parceling bikes on trains vs taking bikes on train as luggage.


  6. The train by which I’m travelling has no extra Parcel Van only the front & rear SLR has luggage compartments. There is a lways huge load of parcel in this train & ER attaches 1-3 HCPV with the train but that is something which cant be told for sure… So how shall I be confident that if I book it as Luggage it’ll be loaded in the same train as I wish? Is there any diff in parcel tkt structure?

    • If you are taking it as ‘luggage’, it will be loaded in the same train. The only way to ensure that it is loaded in the train is to reach the parcel office at-least three hours before the departure time.

      Let us know how it goes.

      • Shall the parcel Porter help me assist with the packaging of bike with rugsacks? Do i need to purchase something to protect my bike or are thosr avl with booking clerk?
        For eg, syphon is one thing I guess I need to buy as it’ll help me to unload petrol from the tank… Anything else…;? Actually I want to transport my bike b/w SDAH & APDJ but only one direct train is avl, rest of them are having 2-5 mts halt, so in that case would it be advisable to book b/w SDAH NJP as more no of direct trains & all having 20 mts stoppage at NJP?

        • Yes, the guys who are there for helping you with the parceling are the most important people here. You will have to pay them 200-300 extra to them and also buy enough bubble wrap, sponges and thermocol over and above what the IR will give you.

          Book a train which stops long enough at your destination and has a direct connection between the source and your destination.

  7. i want to send bike from thane to udupi by train as purchasing a bike from the 2nd owner who has not transfered in his name means in rc book still the first owner name is mentioned. But i am applying for noc which taked 15 says to recive to me, but i want to take the bike to udupi before i get the noc, so in such case what documents i shall provide bcoz rc book copy i can provide but original rc book will be in RTO of thane , but can provide the receipt paper of rto which declares applied for noc



    • I think if you are sending as parcel then an NOC from the old owner (because it is still on the owner’s name) and the old RC should be fine. But, I don’t think without RC, it is going to work. I would suggest you to check with the luggage office beforehand.

  10. Hey Rajiv, Thanks for a very informative post! Would help if you can answer my question on one detail:
    I have a confirmed ticket from whitefield station (which I booked before deciding to take my bike on train). Would I be able to book my bike as luggage from Bangalore City Station?

    In short “Does source and destination should exactly match for the luggage and person traveling with it?”
    (I think there is no luggage booking facility from whitefield station)

    Thank in advance!

    • Hey!

      Yes, the source and destination has to match for the passenger and luggage.

      In case still seats are available for the same date, better book your journey from the City railway station so that you don’t have to run around.


  11. Hey Rajiv, I want to send my apache 200 from sikar,rajasthan to delhi, saray rohilla station
    Please make me sure that it is safe to transport my bike, they not make scratches and other dents on my bike.
    I really love my bike please tell me.

  12. Thank you for this post. I have a somewhat silly question. Since the bike has to have no petrol in it, how do you transport it once you arrive at your destination?

    • Well, that’s a pretty tough one. No?
      On a serious note, all you have to take a littlw petrol in a bottle whenever you go to the Railway parcel office to receive the bike.

  13. I have one question in my mind
    Can I transport the bike as ‘luggage’ if I have the train ticket of same day but I won’t be travelling in the train ? Just for transporting the bike as luggage I would buy a conform ticket but I won’t travel in the train, Can I do that ?

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