For all die-hard bikers, the million-dollar question that comes is “How can I carry my bike in train to Leh Ladakh or other parts of Himalayas?” Well, here is Nabeel S, who is going to share his own experience in this Guest Post today on how to carry your own bike to Leh Ladakh in the train.
Nabeel was with me on DoW’s Ladakh Mega Meet and I MUST say that 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 our neck to neck on the 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 at the time of writing this article.
But, we were in cars, and he was on his bike, which made his effort stand apart. Guess, enough of off-the-topic from me, so, let’s quickly go and learn about his experience on transporting the bike in train for a Leh Ladakh bike 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. You need to have a good healthy body and mind with a positive attitude.
Carrying your own bike in a train to Leh Ladakh gives you additional comfort and makes you feel an almost similar riding experience the way you have at home; confident and problem-free.
Enough has been emphasized in the article on 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, the flexibility of schedule, and the thing is that you and your bike understand each other as friends. You can get the best in the toughest roads and situations on your 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 the promised date.
I am also one of those people who are passionate about the long bike rides. I did a Ladakh bike ride on my own Pulsar 220, which I carried from home in the train, as I from the capital city of God’s own country, Kerala.
In this article, I will share my experience on how I carried my bike in the 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 a train to Ladakh.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
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 the next 13 days. I went all the way from Jammu – Srinagar – Leh – Ladakh – Manali – Delhi and finally carried my bike back 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 the, but it was too difficult to get an 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 a train in India:
- Carry it as luggage along with the traveler or passenger (as I did) OR,
- Parceling from one place to another
Here, I will mainly discuss the first option as I carried the bike on the train as a luggage of mine because it’s much more effective than sending the bike as a parcel on the train.
Documents Required when Carrying Bikes to Ladakh in Train
Following things should be kept in mind before you venture out on your Leh Ladakh trip by carrying the bike in train:
- 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 a couple of copies of it
It is always best to carry your bike only rather than some friend or relatives bike. The documents should be in the same name (R/C of the bike, driving license, and train tickets, etc..) because as you travel, 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 bike and did not have any problem at Thirunelveli station even not 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 bike under your 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 the source station.
Do not forget to check my article on how to plan a cycling trip from Manali to Leh.
- 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 the below comments for safety, better ask any of your friends on the destination to carry petrol/fuel to the station OR get it yourself after reaching the station. Respect the safety of the whole train and do not indulge in practices of hiding fuel anywhere, which can jeopardize the safety of the 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 out 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 the bike 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 to the guard at the train whose compartment is near the brake van.
- You are paying extra for carrying it as luggage along with you. So, this luggage has the highest priority and must go with you on the same train.
Enjoy the train ride until you reach your destination. Now the process at the destination station is quite simple.
- Get off the train and go to the parcel office at the destination station. Tell them about the delivery of your bike by showing them the documents and the original receipt which you got from the 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 the nearest station for tank up.
- Finally, RIDE TO LADAKH 🙂 :)…
Some More Tips to Load bike in Delhi Railway Station
I am also going to add some more tips on carrying my bike in the train to Ladakh, shared by a DoW Community member Charles. Below are the compiled list of tips Charles shared in the DoW Community forums link:
- New Delhi parcel office is open 24 hours all 7 days in a week.
- The luggage facility is available on every train including Rajdhani.
- The booking of the bike will be made on the same day of traveling with confirmed tickets only whether they are booked online or on the counter at the train station.
- If you are traveling in Rajdhani then it is assured that they will send bikes on the same train, but if you are in any other train, then it depends upon the availability in the luggage compartment.
- You have to reach at least 3 to 4 hours in advance before train departure time.
- Packing guys will take Rs 150 to 200, and as I spoke to them if you pay them some extra tip they will try to load your bike in the same train.
- I spoke to the officer also and he was nice to provide information. He said that for Jammu, normally they get less consignment so they will load my bike in the same train, but if there is any army consignment which they need to deliver, then it will wait for at least 4 to 6 days. They have to send army stuff on priority. (this is for non-Rajdhani trains for Jammu route)
- I asked abt the charges, so he said normally it’s around Rs 900 plus 1% of the total value in insurance plus your packing and tip to the loading guy extra.
- It is very important that the ticket and RC of your bike should be on the same name along with insurance and pollution certificates too. And if u don’t have the bike on your name then get all id proof of your and the person who is the owner of the bike else you will end up in trouble.
- There is no contact number for them, and you have to go there in person for the bookings. On New Delhi railway station it is located on platform number 16 which is close to the Ajmeri gate side entrance.
- Finally what I understand after talking to them is that, if you have confirmed tickets in any train then even if they say there is no space in luggage talk to them nicely, they will be able to help you get your bike boarded on the same train.
Do not forget to check my article on how to rent bike in Leh – Ladakh and ride with pillion.
This was my overall experience for transporting my bike in train to Ladakh, and I hope it proves useful to you as well on your upcoming bike ride to Leh Ladakh.
Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comments on my YouTube videos. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.
Feel free to post any suggestions or improvements or anything I missed in this article. I will also be happy to answer your questions in the comments section below of this article.
In the end, in case you find this article useful, then do not forget to share with your friends or family members who are planning their upcoming trip to Leh Ladakh.
Have a Great Ride to Ladakh!!