Trains are one of the safest and most economical modes of transport in India. Either when travelling on a budget or just for the experience; trains are the best bet, and so these are some of the best trains and best train routes in India that the Indian railways have to offer.

Indian trains are also quite complicated and different in the variety of classes available. Ranging from sleepers to extremely luxurious A/C trains, here’s a complete guide to the range of classes.

If you’re already deciding to come to India but have no idea where to start, or if you need some help with the logistics, get in touch with us and we’ll sort out all the hassle for you. 

Best trains in Indian railways (in North India)

Trains in the Indian Railways provide range of luxury train journeys in India, that one can experience, such as the Palace on Wheels. Launched by the Indian Railways in association with Rajasthan Tourism Development, The train service serves its lineNew Delhi – Jaipur – Udaipur – Bharatpur – Agra – New Delhi.

However, there are yet a number of trains in the Indian Railway to opt for, on an affordable and cost-effective trip!

IRCTC Train from Delhi to Agra

Train name – 12002 Bhopal Shatabdi (Station of origin – New Delhi up to Bhopal)
Departure time – 06:00 hrs (Delhi)
Arrival time – 08:06 hrs (Agra Cantt)

  • Pros: Shatabdi is the fastest train after the Rajdhani. This train reaches Agra in 2 hours whereas a car would take about 3.5 to 4.5 hours depending on traffic. There are other trains to Agra but this is the only one that reaches in such a short time. Breakfast is served, as catering is available in the train. The train also halts at Jhansi so take this train to get to Orchha from Delhi or Agra (Jhansi is the nearest station to Orchha).
  • Cons: As it’s an early morning train, it’s not entirely ideal for late risers.

Return journey – 12001 Ndls Shatabdi
Departure time – 20:35 hrs (Agra Cantt)
Arrival time – 22:45 hrs (New Delhi)


Indian Trains from Agra to Jaipur

Train name – 12195 Af Aii Intercity (Station of origin – Agra Fort up to Ajmer)
Departure time – 05:10 hrs (Agra Fort)
Arrival time – 09:30 hrs (Jaipur)

  • Pros: As it originates from Agra itself, the train will depart on time. The other trains on this route are long-distance trains, which originate from Kolkata, Varanasi, Khajuraho, etc. and will be delayed by the time they reach Agra.
  • Cons: The travel time is the same as driving to Agra. And if you rent a car, you can also stop to visit the fortress city of Fatehpur Sikri. Also not ideal for late risers.

There is also an evening train that runs every day apart from Thursday departing at 18:00 hrs from Agra reaching Jaipur at 22:20 hrs (Af Jp Shatabdi 12036).

Here are a couple of two-week travel routes around the north of India that you could do by train.

Return journey – 12196 Aii Af Intercity
Departure time – 17:10 hrs (Jaipur)
Arrival time – 21:30 hrs (Agra Fort)

best trains in north india, north india, trains, indian railway Trains are a great way to see the countryside by day, and meet new, exciting people by night (Photo Credit – Belur Ashok)

Trains in the indian railways (in Rajasthan)

From Jaipur to Jaisalmer

Train name – 14659 Dli Jsm Exp (Station of origin – New Delhi up to Jaisalmer)
Departure time – 23:45 hrs (Jaipur)
Arrival time – 11:15 hrs (Jaisalmer)

  • Pros: It’s the only train on this route and the best alternative. You can take a one stop flight or drive. Both are not recommended as there is just one flight between these 2 cities and is operated by 2 different carriers with a long layover and the drive is too long. You can take a bus but there is no direct connectivity. The bus only goes up to Jodhpur and from there you have to take another bus to Jaisalmer. You can also end your trip in Jaisalmer and take this train up to Delhi (if your international flight is from Delhi. This train reaches Delhi at 11:10 hrs.
  • Cons: Late night train, however, Jaipur is a busy junction and you will always find people around so don’t worry about being alone and unsafe.

Return journey – 14660 Jsm Dli Exp
Departure time – 17:15 hrs (Jaisalmer)
Arrival time – 04:50 hrs (Jaipur)


Trains to Jodhpur from Jaisalmer

Train name – 14660 Jsm Dli Exp (This is the same train that goes from Jaisalmer to New Delhi)
Departure time – 17:15 hrs (Jaisalmer)
Arrival time – 22.25 hrs (Jodhpur)

  • Pros: The train runs at a convenient time, you can spend the day in Jaisalmer and leave at your own leisure.
  • Cons: As it is a long-distance train (goes up to New Delhi), it can get delayed although it doesn’t happen too often.

Return journey – 14659 Dli Jsm Exp
Departure time – 05:30 hrs (Jodhpur)
Arrival time – 11:15 hrs (Jaisalmer)

There is an intercity that runs between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. This train departs at 23:30 hrs arrives in Jodhpur at 05:20 hrs. However, as the timings are odd and inconvenient (you miss out on a good nights rest), we recommended taking the evening train.

Trains from Jaipur to Udaipur

Train name – 09721 Jp Udz Superfast Special
Departure time – 06:45 hrs (Jaipur)
Arrival time – 13:45 hrs (Udaipur)

  • Pros: Although the travel time is the same, the train is convenient and cost-effective as compared to renting a car. As this is a special train, it is not permanently on the railway system but extended on a regular basis.
  • Cons: This train has only a Chair Car seating (like in an A/C Volvo Bus). For some, it can get uncomfortable sitting at a stretch for 7 hours.

Return journey – 09722 Udz Jp Superfast Special
Departure time – 14:15 hrs (Udaipur)
Arrival time – 21:15 hrs (Jaipur)

The train halts at Ajmer (nearest station to Pushkar), you can take this train if you’re going to Pushkar from Jaipur or you want to go to Udaipur from Pushkar.

Jaipur to Jodhpur by train

Train name – 22478 Jp Ju Superfast Exp
Departure time – 06:00 hrs (Jaipur)
Arrival time – 10:30 hrs (Jodhpur)

  • Pros: Driving to Jodhpur takes about 5.5 hours or more depending on traffic conditions. The train is super fast and reaches in 4.5 hours so definitely worth saving the extra bucks.
  • Cons: It is an early morning train, still being, however, the best option available on this route.

Return journey – 22477 Jp Ju Superfast Exp
Departure time – 18:15 hrs (Jodhpur)
Arrival time – 22:40 hrs (Jaipur)

If you’re very interested in exploring Rajasthan and want to include Delhi and Agra into your tour, here are some great routes that can help you do that.

best trains in north india, indian railway Traversing the Thar Desert is a memorable experience (Photo Credit – Shashanka Nanda)

trains in the indian railways (In and around new Delhi)

From Khajuraho to Agra by train

Train name – 19665 Kurj Udz Exp (Station of origin – Khajuraho up to Udaipur)
Departure time – 09:10 hrs (Khajuraho)
Arrival time – 17:35 hrs (Agra Cantt)

  • Pros: The best way to get to Agra from Khajuraho. There are no direct flights and the only other way is to fly to Delhi (again most flights are via Varanasi) and from Delhi, drive to Agra.
  • Cons: An entire day is spent in the train. However, when possible, travel by First Class as the fare is cheap enough and you get to spend the day in absolute comfort.

Return journey – 19666 Udz Kurj Exp
Departure time – 10:50 hrs (Agra Cantt)
Arrival time – 19:30 hrs (Khajuraho)

Here’s a list of the twenty best places to visit in the entire Northern region of India.

Trains from Delhi to Pathankot

Train name – 14033 Jammu Mail
Departure time – 20:10 hrs (Old Delhi)
Arrival time – 06:10 hrs (Pathankot)

  • Pros: The train timings are perfect. You take the train after an entire day of sightseeing in Delhi and after a good sleep; you wake up in the Himalayas.
  • Cons: Pathankot is the nearest station to Dharamshala and it’s a 3 hours drive from the railway station to Dharamshala. So after a long train journey, another 3 hours driving can get tiresome. Nevertheless, the drive is extremely scenic.

Return journey – 14034 Jammu Mail
Departure time – 19:05 hrs (Pathankot)
Arrival time – 05:45 hrs (Old Delhi)

Recently flights have been introduced and Air India and SpiceJet have regular flights between Delhi and Dharamshala.

Reaching Amritsar from New Delhi by railway

Train name – 12029 Swarna Shatabdi
Departure time – 07:20 hrs (New Delhi)
Arrival time – 13:35 hrs (Amritsar)

  • Pros: If travelling on a budget, taking a train to Amritsar is the best alternative. You can also take buses, but the train would be more comfortable. There is another Shatabdi that leaves in the evening at 16:30 hrs towards Amritsar.

Return journey – 12030 Swarna Shatabdi
Departure time – 16:55 hrs (Amritsar)
Arrival time – 23:05 hrs (New Delhi)

Indian Railway from New Delhi to Haridwar

Train name – 12017 Dehradun Shatabdi
Departure time – 06:50 hrs ( New Delhi)
Arrival time – 11:25 hrs (Haridwar)

  • Pros: The bumpy roads from New Delhi to Haridwar make this train a better alternative. There is another Shatabdi that departs Delhi at 15:00 hrs reaching Haridwar around 19:00 hrs.

Return journey – 12018 Dehradun Shatabdi
Departure time – 18:13 hrs (Haridwar)
Arrival time – 22:45 hrs (New Delhi)

Haridwar is a 30-45 minutes drive to Rishikesh. You can also fly to Dehradun which the nearest airport to Rishikesh from New Delhi. Rishikesh is an hour’s drive from Dehradun.

Learn More: Comprehensive Guide to India Travel Costs

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Trains are filled with interesting people, so interacting with them can pass time quite easily , Trains in North India Trains in the Indian Railways are filled with interesting people, so interacting with them can pass time quite easily (Photo Credit – Rignam Wangkhang)


Harsh Sonawala

About Harsh Sonawala

Harsh Sonawala is the co founder of India Someday and since his childhood, he has travelled to different parts of India and the world. The thrill of travelling and sharing his experiences with others was the reason behind starting India Someday. Other than the office where he is conjuring up marketing ideas, he can be found scuba diving in the Andamans or relaxing in a chalet in the Himalayas.

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