I had arrived from Bengaluru at Vijayawada on the morning of May 2017 by Bengaluru-Vishakapatnam Express operating as a special train to Vishakapatnam. This was my first one-off trip to Vijayawada from Bengaluru and had planned to return by Hazarat Nizamuddin-Chennai Central Rajdhani Express via Chennai Central to return to Bengaluru.
I decided to check in to the retiring room operated by IRCTC and Indian Railways. I had booked an ordinary non-air-conditioned retiring room at Vijaywada railway station for a half day's stay. My return train to Chennai Central onboard Chennai Rajdhani Express was at 2.25 pm from Vijayawada railway station. The train was arriving from Hazarat Nizamuddin/New Delhi duly departing on the previous day at 3.55 pm.
Stay at Vijayawada
Check-in to the retiring room was smooth. I was handed over the room keys after due verification of my booking along with e-tickets and identity cards. The retiring room was basic without an air-conditioner. As soon as I checked in, I decided to have breakfast as it was already 9.30 am. I checked a couple of restaurants at the Vijayawada railway station but I did not get the desired food for breakfast.
As I was new to the city, I decided to venture out and search for a good vegetarian restaurant. I was able to locate a good restaurant that served a refreshing breakfast along with a hot cup of coffee. The walk to the restaurant gave me a sense of fresh air. As it was May month in the year 2017, it was getting hotter by the day and I decided to return to my room at the railway station.
After my arrival at the railway station, I made some quick observations of incoming trains at Vijayawada railway station. I was getting bored as I had nothing to do and simply returned to the room for a quick nap. I slept till 12.45 pm and got ready to leave and check out my room. As my train's scheduled arrival time was at 2.30 pm, I decided to check out of my room by 1.45 pm. The check-out process too was smooth without much paperwork and required to hand over the room keys only to the matron.
Travel By Rajdhani Express
I arrived at the designated platform of Vijaywada railway station at around 2 pm. Just then I spotted the arrival of Yeswanthpur-Howrah Express which was delayed by three hours. I noticed that the coach display boards started to display the coach number and train number of Rajdhani Express on the platform. I quickly moved to the H1 coach position as I had booked my ticket to travel by First Class Air Conditioned coach. The status of the ticket was waitlisted at the time of booking and confirmed at the time of chart preparation. I was allotted a coupe with an upper berth in the H1 coach of the train.
At around 2.30 pm the Chennai Central Rajdhani Express arrived slowly on the designated platform. As soon as the train arrived, the travel ticket examiner disembarked and verified my e-ticket and identity card. I was informed about my seat/berth allocation and I duly occupied my coupe. Another traveler from New Delhi bound to Chennai Central had already occupied the lower berth in the coupe. As soon as I entered the coupe, I was given a bottle of a complimentary water bottle by the pantry car staff. I enquired about the lunch and was disappointed to know that the lunch will not be served for me.
I settled down in the designated upper berth and quickly made up my bed which was provided by the staff. Since I had nothing to do, I decided to take some rest and sleep until the evening tea/snacks time. I woke up at 4 pm and evening tea was served by 4.30 pm. The evening tea consisted of a welcome drink, dry cashews, biscuits, hot samosa, instant coffee powder, milk sachet, and hot water along with a pack of sugar. I enjoyed the evening tea along with the beautiful view of the setting sun. The train otherwise had a non-stop run to Chennai Central from Vijayawada and was expected to arrive at 8.30 pm.
Arriving at Chennai Central
As I had nothing to do, I decided to take a stroll in the train's corridor but was bored soon and came back to my seat. It was evening and getting dark already. Soon it was 7 pm and we were served a hot soup with breadsticks accompanied by Amul butter, salt, and pepper sachets. Though I was not hungry I relished the hot tomato served by the pantry staff. Soon at around 7.45 pm, vegetarian rice with dal gravy was served as a dinner.
I enjoyed the light dinner and quickly got ready to leave the train as Chennai Central was just a few minutes away. We arrived at Chennai Central bang on time at 8.30 pm. I got down from the train and hurried to view the chart of my return train to Bengaluru by the train number 12657 Chennai Central-Bengaluru Chennai Mail originating from Chennai Central.
I was happy to note that my ticket was confirmed and quickly arrived at the designated platform. My train was already parked and I settled down in my designated coach of air-conditioned First Class and had a good night's sleep. We arrived at Bengaluru the next morning at 5 am and I was at my sweet home in Bengaluru by 5.30 am
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Varun Dambal (author) from Bangalore on May 27, 2021:
Liz Westwood from UK on May 26, 2021:
You are building up an interesting portfolio of accounts of your trips by rail. I was interested to hear about the food provision on your trip.