Travel Travel tips

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 a 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.

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 traveling 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.

Documents required to take bike on train

  • 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 in your name.
  • Any govt. photo identification proof (PAN, EIC, etc.)
  • Filled-up luggage form (available at the parcel/luggage office)

The procedure to take bike on train

  • 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 fewer 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 a bike as luggage on the same train you are traveling 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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93 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(: …

    1. There are a lot of renting options but for people who love their bikes, there is no satisfaction closer to riding our own bikes to ladakh. Also, this is not limited only to Ladakh. People also need to ship their bikes in train in other scenarios for example, while moving from one city to another 🙂

        1. RC is on my wife’s name ..what to do if I need to travel with bike ..also heard that it will be a problem in ladakh too..is it so..? If so there has to be some way

          1. I think if it’s on your wife’s name and there is some document proving that the name on the RC is your wife’s, it should be fine.

            What sort of problem are you talking about actually, in Ladakh?

  2. 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,
    Annie

    1. 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.

      Thanks,
      Rajiv

      1. Iam a traveller. Nww recently I took a bike from bnglore for rent via mble app and nww iam at coorg . Soo iam planing to move towards Chennai .. soo can I take my this bike in train as my luggage if I have a valid ticket .. I have all the documents ,but only copies which they sender me as mail . . My rent duration is still on not ended .. soo can I take bike in train along me ??? . Any ideas ??

        1. Hi,

          I am not sure if you can carry a rented bike on train or not.

          Please check the same with your bike rental company first.

          Thanks

          1. Is it necessary to provide my vehicle on the same day on which the train is departing? I am traveling with a different train so can I submit my vehicle in advance as parcel with full trust that they will do all the needful?

  3. 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 :))))

    1. That’s the spirit girl. You are as strong as you think you are 🙂

      All the very best, have a wonderful ride.

      **Don’t forget to reach out in case of any doubts that pop-up.

      Cheers,
      Rajiv

      1. Hi,
        By the way, just so you know, I don’t think I am strong.. Sure I am!!! 🙂
        Manali-Leh-Kardungla Top reached successfully.. a fantastic roadtrip.

        Cheers from Kashmir,
        Annie

        1. Hey Annie,

          This is wonderful!! Three cheers to you!!
          And thanks for coming back and letting me know 🙂

          Enjoy your stay in Kashmir.
          Yay!


          Rajiv

  4. 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

    1. 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.

      Cheers,
      Rajiv

      1. 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

        1. 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.

          Cheers,
          Rajiv

  5. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. 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.

  6. 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

      1. I am planning to take my bike with me on my train to the destination city, but the RC of my bike is in my dad’s name. Will it be possible? If not what else can I do?

        1. If your bike is on your father’s name, you can book it as ‘parcel’ but in that case the home might not be loaded in the same train.

  7. I WILL BE PURCHASING THE BIKE & DOING REGISTARTION IN KARNATAKA STATE I WILLBE APPLYING FOR NOC IN THANE RTO MAHARASHTRA . SO RC BOOK WILL BE WITH RTO, I MAY GET RECEIPT FROM TEH RTO. SO IN SUCH WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO SEND

  8. I HAD NOT MENTIONED IN MY EARLIER POST THAT I WILL SENDING AS PARCEL …. NOT AS LUGGAEG AS I WILL NOT BE TRAVELLING IN THE TRAIN

    1. 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.

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

      Thanks,
      Rajiv

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

  12. 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 ?

      1. Hi Rajiv,

        In regards to query from Gauti, is it the responsibility of railways to get the luggage out in case you are not travelling in the train or physically present yourself? I’ll be taking the flight next day and would be reaching 2 hrs post the train has reached the destination.

        Thanks.

        1. The Railways is responsible to unload the bike from the train but it is always a good idea to be personally there to ensure that the bike is unloaded safely.

          1. Thanks Rajiv. There’s a 10 mins. stoppage at the station (NJP). However it’s not the destination station. Would that be enough for the railways to get the bike out or should I chose the destination station. BTW, i need to drop the bike at NJP and the destination station is Alipur Duar. What would you suggest?

            Also, are you aware of a public or private parking space in NJP or Phuentsholing, where i could keep my bike for at least a week. I would be travelling to Bhutan with my friends for a week and then a solo bike ride to Sikkim, so therefore need a temp parking space.

            Thanks again.

          2. For most trains crossing NJP, their luggage van is opened but since your train’s stoppage is only 10 mins (which train is it?), I highly doubt they will open the luggage van.

            If you are able to unload your vehicle at NJP, you can not receive the vehicle and instead pay a fine, not really the best but this can take care of your parking issue.

          3. it’s Mahananda Express, goes till Alipur Duar. Any particular train you would suggest that would make things better? I would be reaching Bagdogra from Delhi on 11th, 12:00 PM by flight.
            Thank you for the parking advise. How much is the fine though?

  13. Hi Rajiv,

    I have a bike which i am using in Bangalore but this bike registered on my friend’s name and RC has his name and he lives in Hyderabad. Now I am trying to take the bike back to Hyderabad from Bangalore I want to take it as luggage along with me So will it be a problem if its not registered under my name? Because I heard from my friends that they don’t check it that particularly.

    Please help me with this query! Also, I just wanted to know will the transport facility available on all the express/super fast trains?

    1. Hey!

      As far as I know, the bike has to be registered on your name if you are taking it as a luggage.

      Hyderabad is a very short ride Bangalore, why not just ride it !?

  14. Hi I want to transfer my bike from chennai to roorkee, my question is bike insurance date is expired on this 5 august already, so will this be a problem or not,
    And second question is bike is not in my name, will that also be a problem

  15. Hi Rajiv,

    Just wanted to know following things.

    1. Whether Bike can be carried as Luggage in Rajdhani Express.
    2. At New Delhi Station, how to get the bike outside the station, surely with the help of porters, but whats the procedure, which side we will be out.
    3. Nearest Petrol Pump at New Delhi Railway Station
    4. For return journey I am flying out of Delhi, how to go about transporting bike back to Mumbai through Railway.

    Thanks
    Nandeep

    1. Hi Nandeep,

      #1 – Last I checked, it was. However, I would like to suggest you better check with the parcel office once.

      #2 – You show the receipt which would have been given to you at the time of booking the bike on train. You push the bike outside the station, un-pack it and fill the fuel and that’s it.

      #3 – Nearest petrol pump is about 2 minutes’ walk from the station gate.

      #4 – Book the bike as ‘parcel’ on the train.

      Thanks,
      Rajiv

  16. Hii..
    I want to parcel my bike from Kalyan Maharashtra station to visakhapatanam…
    It’s registered on my brother name… Can I parcel it…. And online insurance copy of third party valid for bike parcel….

  17. Hi Rajiv,

    Thanks for the info. Would you tell me how will you collect the bike at deboarding station, whether the bike is deboarded by the railway or we have to intimate them to do so. If that is the case time will be very less. Correct me if wrong.

    1. Hey Bibin,

      Glad that you found the info useful. Once the train has reached its destination, the parcel van is opened by the guys in charge, from the parcel department and your vehicle is deboarded and parked there. To receive your vehicle, you will have to show up with the relevant documents.

      Hope this helps.


      Rajiv

  18. Hi Rajiv,

    I wish to take my bike from Chalakudy, Kerala to Chennai. My question is that halting time at chalakudy is only 1 min. Can they load my bike within one min ??

    Thanks
    Naresh Kumar

  19. Very informative post.
    How does one take the bike from parcel office till home; given that the petrol tank would be emptied before loading?

    1. You push the bike out of the platform, fill the petrol that you had brought with you and ride in glory 🙂

      Or, maybe just push it to the nearest gas station 🙂

  20. Hey buddy,
    I am to ship my bike from Pathankot Cantt station to Delhi, and there are no trains running with Source as PTKC but there are trains with Destination as DLI.
    Trains take a maximum halt of 5 minutes in PTKC. Will it be possible for me to take my bike as luggage from PTKC?
    Also, do they load your bike in off hours like 12 midnight when the train arrives at the station from u want to start, and also do they hand over the bike to u at ur destination again in off hours like 5-5:30 AM?

    1. Hi,

      Bikes are generally loaded and unloaded only at the source and destination stations of the train in question.

      In your case, if the train stops only for 5 minutes, there is no chance of loading or unloading the bike there.

      Also, the bikes are loaded around 3 hours before the train’s departure and they are unloaded almost as soon as the train has arrived at its destination station and has been parked.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Rajiv

  21. I have one more option then, I can start from ASR which is a source station for a lot of trains travelling towards Delhi but then those trains don’t have the destination as Delhi however they take a halt for at least 15 mins in Delhi so will it be possible to get the bike unloaded there.

    Also in which time slot can we submit or claim our bike at the luggage office? I mean is it 10-5 ? Or do they start at 6am and end the day after 5?

    1. You can check if your train’s luggage van is opened in Delhi. With just a 15-minute break it is highly unlikely but you can always check.

      The unloading of stuff happens 24×7.

      In any case, why would you even bother to take your bike on the train for such a small distance? Why not ride it?

  22. Hi Rajiv, I have one question the train I am travelling halts at my station only for 5 mins so how can I get my things from train van ? Or is it mandatory that if i parcel then my destination station must be last stop station ?

    1. The simple answer is, no you cannot. Parcel vans don’t open at every station the train stops at. The destination station is the ideal option.

  23. Thanks Rajiv for this post. the post is v relevant.
    I have some questions, may be you already answered them above but still:
    1 – I am planning to take my bike as LUGGAGE from Pune – Chandigard. this Train Starts in Bangalore and halts in Pune for good 15 mins (end stn is CDG). Do you think I can load / unload the bike in Pune in 15 mins? Or shall I just visit the Station one of the days to find out?
    2 – Is insurance of the bike compulsory. I have it but the person accompanying has his expired.
    3 – We are 3 of us and want to make sure all our bikes go together as luggage with us in the train. Is there any limit for nos of bikes accommodated?
    4 – For the luggage van, do we have same people/porters who will load and unload or while loading the porters will be from that station and for unloading some other porters from destination station. I want to know if there are some people who stay in the luggage van throughout the journey?
    5 – also you mentioned about carrying the petrol in bottle and fill it in bike at the time of delivery but I guess when you’re travelling in the train you cannot carry Petrol with you. of course you can sneak it in but it is bit dangerous I think.

    thanks and thats all for now.
    Majid

    1. 1 – Forget about loading/unloading, the luggage van’s door itself won’t be openend if the halt is that small.

      2 – Yes it is.

      3 – You can try reaching a little early and talk to the loading guys but you cannot be sure about this.

      4 – There will be porters to load/unload. No one is allowed to travel/stay in the luggage van. It’s sealed from source to destination/wherever it’s supposed to be opened.

      5 – DO NOT sneak in. Once arrived at your destination, go out to buy or push your bike to the petrol pump.

  24. I have a question. My train will leave from Delhi but will stop in siliguri for 15 minutes..can I unload my bike there in span of 15 minutes?

  25. Hello rajiv, i am really excited while reading your leh posts. I just want to know, is driving licence req to transport my bike as parcel ?
    Because my DL is in court due to some traffic challan and i may get it back only after few weeks.
    I have my original RC, insurance and aadhar card with me.

  26. I have a bike which i am using in Akola this bike registered on my name and RC also but i haven’t original RC only Xerox copy i have. so can i carry my bike with me during traveling through train as luggage…please tell me

  27. Hiii Rajiv,

    I didn’t had insurance for my bike it expired long back , Is it possible to luggage my bike along with me since I had RC in my name.

    1. Hi Sai,

      I am not sure whether bike insurance is required by the railway authorities to transport bike in a train or not, however, I know for sure that it is a must to ride a vehicle on public roads.

      I hope you get my point.


      Rajiv

  28. I am planning to travel this December from Bangalore to NJP and take my bike as Luggage (Will be traveling in the same train). Inviting few friends to visit home so there might be around 4-5 bikes that will be traveling. What/How many bikes can be shipped? Can you please recommend a way so that we can take all the bikes together?

    1. While I doubt 4-5 bikes can be accommodated on a train together, if you reach well in advance, you should be able to make it work.

      Just talk to the right person(s) at the parcel office, at the right time.

      Good luck!

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