For die hard bikers, the million dollar question that comes is “How can you carry your bike in train to Ladakh or other parts of Himalayas?”
Well, here is Nabeel S, sharing his own experience as a Guest Post with all of us at DoW Himalayan Travel Community so that we are made aware of the process on how we can carry our own bike in train. Nabeel, was with me on DoW’s last Ladakh Mega Meet past September and I MUST say he is one of the finest and courageous bike riders I have ever traveled with. He had that unmatched grit and determination to move along with us neck to neck on toughest and most treacherous roads in the world I shall say !! AFAIK, he is the only biker to do the Kyon Tso 1 – Kyon Tso 2 – Thit Zorbit La – Nidar route in Changthang region of Ladakh along with us. But, we were in cars and he was on his own bike, that really made his effort stand apart… Guess, enough of off – topic from me, so, let’s quickly go and read about his experience on transporting the bike in train for Ladakh ride…
Riding motorcycle is a passion for those who have the guts and the toughest of mind. Especially when it comes to a bike ride to Ladakh and Zanskar Valley or other parts of Trans Himalayas like Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley or Pangi Valley, etc.. where “road” is just an irrelevant term, there you need to have a good healthy body and mind with a positive attitude.
Carrying your own bike in train to Ladakh or some other parts of Himalayas gives you an additional comfort making you feel an almost similar riding experience the way you have at home; confident and problem free. Enough have been emphasized in the article: How to Hire or Rent a Bike or Motorcycle in Manali that there is nothing better than to carry your own bike at desolated places such as Ladakh, Manali – Leh Highway, Spiti Valley, etc..
It gives you better control, flexibility of schedule and the thing is that you and your bike understand each other like friends. You can get the best in the toughest roads and situations on your own bike as compared to the rented bikes. It also costs you less than the rented ones in a long journey and gives you the freedom to ride around as you wish without any penalty or tension of not returning the rented bike on promised date.
I am also one of those who are passionate for long bike rides. This past September, I did a Ladakh ride on my own Pulsar 220, which I carried from home in train, as I from capital city of gods own country, Kerala. In this article, I will share my experience on how I carried my bike in train to Ladakh from Kerala hoping it will be helpful for all my other biker friends as well who are looking out to such information for transporting the bike in train to Ladakh.
Carrying Bike in Train to Ladakh from Kerala
Over my journey to Ladakh, I carried my bike in train to Jammu Tawi and then hit the roads for 3000+ KMs for next 13 days. I went all the way from Jammu – Srinagar – Leh – Ladakh – Manali – Delhi and finally carried my bike back to home in Kerala from Delhi in Train only.
Some things I had experienced or faced and then analyzed during my short travel to Ladakh. Before I traveled, I did search a lot on the web regarding carrying bikes in train to Ladakh but it was too difficult to get a good informative write-up and hence, I thought to share my experience hoping it will be useful to all.
There are two ways to carry motorcycles or bikes in train in India
- Carry it as luggage along with the traveller or passenger (as I did) OR,
- Parceling from one place to another
Here, I will mainly discuss about the first option as carried bike in train as luggage of mine because it’s much more effective than sending the bike as a parcel in train.
Some Details about Documents to Carry
Following things should be kept in mind before you venture out on your journey:
- Make sure all documents are properly maintained with no ambiguity. Keep them in a safe place where they do not get lost.
- Make 4-5 copies and get them attested. They can be used in case you lose the originals or any need.
- Keep the Original Driving License and other bikes document like R/C, PUC (Pollution Under Control Certificate), Insurance Copy, etc..
- Train Tickets and couple of copies of it
It is always best to carry your own bike only rather some friend’s or relative’s. The documents should be in the same name (R/C of the bike, driving license, and train tickets, etc..) because as you traverse then in some cities it might cause unnecessary problems. Even if you produce the original documents, as I faced the issue in Delhi, it might cost you something here and there (you might understand what I mean ;)). I used my cousin’s machine and did not have any problem at Thirunelveli station even not even at Jammu Tawi and Trivandrum but got a shocker in Delhi 🙁 not sure if there were any local laws there but… So, it’s better that there is no margin of error and you have your own bike under your own name with all other documents, if possible. Otherwise, be ready to face some hassles or delays here and there, though nothing major.
Procedure to Carry Your Bike in Train to Ladakh
Now let’s talk about the complete process. First let’s talk about what will happen at source station…
You need to reach the railway station at least 3-4 hours before the departure of your train and once you reach there then go to the parcel office at the railway station.
Tell them your requirements and they will instruct you to remove petrol and get the machine packed properly. Make sure you dry out complete fuel.
Find any loading staff or porters there and ask them about the packing, usually the porters do this and they will guide you.
Finalize the cost of packing before it gets packed. I paid Rs 300 at Thirunelveli and Rs 400 at Delhi; it will be around max Rs 300 in all stations.
They will also help you make sure that your fuel tank is completely dry which is very much needed else you may end up in hassles here and there while taking out the bike.
Ask the packing guys to provide enough cushions and padding to pack it well. Don’t prefer loose packing as you know if any parts get broke then it can ruin your entire trip or cost you even more. Hence, even if they charge little more for packing, give them but get it very well packed.
As suggested by Gaurav in below comments with respect to safety, better ask any of your friend on the destination to carry petrol/fuel to the station OR get it yourself after reaching the station. Respect the safety of whole train and do not indulge into practices of hiding fuel anywhere which can jeopardize the safety of whole train. Make sure that you know the nearest Petrol Pump at the destination so that you can tank up immediately after reaching there.
Then take the packaged bike to the officer there and they will ask you to fill the form. There may be some sample forms glued to the wall which will guide you fill the form.
I filled Rs 30000 as the cost of machine because it costs you Rs 100 for every Rs 10000 as insurance. So, based on your bike & its condition take a calculative risk.
Hand over the filled form along with the copies of all the documents of your bike which they will verify and will tell you the cost to pay.
As per my experience cost takes you Re 1 per KM and insurance extra. I paid Rs 3500 from Delhi to Trivandrum for 3100 KMs.
Now it’s almost done. Keep the receipt they will hand over in a safe place because it will be required at the destination station.
Finally, make sure that your bike gets loaded in the same train and not any other one. Otherwise, you should have to complain the guard at the train whose compartment is near the brake van. You are paying extra for carrying it as a luggage along with you. So, this luggage has highest priority and must go with you in the same train.
Enjoy the train ride till you reach destination. Now the process at destination station is quite simple.
Get off the train and go to the parcel office at destination station. Tell them about the delivery of your bike by showing them the documents and the original receipt which you got from source station.
It will take around 1 Hr for the whole process to complete including getting your bike from train to the parcel office, showing them your documents and delivery notes, etc..
Once you get the bike delivered, drag it outside station first and drag it to nearest station for tank up.
Finally, RIDE ON TO HIMALAYAS 🙂 :)…
More Tips to Carry your Bike in Train
More tips added in DoW Community by a member Charles, thanks to him for sharing this experience with all of us at the link: More Tips to Carry Bike in Train listed in DoW Community
This was my overall experience for transporting your own bike in train to Ladakh and I hope it proves useful to you as well on your upcoming Himalayan or Ladakh Ride. Feel free to post any suggestions/improvements/anything I missed or any queries etc.. below as comments or post them in the DoW Himalayan Travel Community.
Have a Great Ride!!