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).
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.
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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