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food on train journeys

Level Contributor
93 posts
47 reviews
food on train journeys

I have booked 1st class a/c from Goa to Mumbai on the Mandovi Express early March. Wish I'd not after reading the posts about black closed windows and better to book non a/c sleeper for a better experience. anyway my question is - do they sell food on the trains ?- do you have to find the buffet carriage or do they come to you, or do you get food at stations (which I had imagined) thru the windows? but obviously I wont be able to do that now. Is it just snacky food available or can you get meals? Any info would be great - thanks in advance

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
57 posts
1. Re: food on train journeys

You have booked in 1st class a/c. So even though you would not get a view because of the black glasses, you would at least get meals and you do not have to go hunting for them in the train. So don't worry :)

Level Contributor
452 posts
1 review
2. Re: food on train journeys

Hi Msdemeena,

You will be able to get up and walk around, there will be plenty of chances for you to stretch your legs and look out of doors and windows in the other carriages, stewards come along the train taking orders for lunch and then bring it to you when its ready, you can get off at some stations and buy pop n crisps, you need to be quick tho, some stops are only a couple of mins and some are fiftenn mins.

In the lowers classes, there are sellers constantly walking along the train with snacks, coffee, tea and water, so im sure you will have a great journey, let us know how it goes.

Level Contributor
731 posts
32 reviews
3. Re: food on train journeys

On 1st AC, you get the following:

1. Packaged drinking water. This is safe to drink.

2. Packaged Cold drinks like juice [free of cost and again safe]

3. The food is a set menu hving soup, the main course and dessert. If your stomach has not got used to the Indian food [and bacteria] then you may get a case of the trots the next day. Best avoid it. Carry something with you. If you want to eat it then have the vegetarian one and not the non veg. You may get a choice of continental food and Indian food. Pefer the continental veg one because it would have cutlets, bread, some veggies etc and would probably be better on your stomach.

4. there is no system of a buffet etc.

Besides, you will get the services of a butler to carry luggage, make your bed, get cold drinks etc and an enclosed compartment - so enjoy the trip.

Level Contributor
93 posts
47 reviews
4. Re: food on train journeys

Thanks for your replies. Wish i had researched train travel better before booking. the pic i had in my minds eye and the picture i now have are very different. I did consider cancelling and rebooking but the whole process was lengthy and "testing", so i think i'll hold on to the tix i have and make the best of it. Walk around etc as suggested and mingle. OMG a butler!! Will make the most of it as I think this is the only time in my life that i will have one of those! LOL. Cant wait - I love India and all things Indian - I've been waiting 20 years to return, and finally I'm coming.............

Level Contributor
3,056 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: food on train journeys

Erm it's a coach attendant, not a personal butler and I've never seen them carrying luggage??

Food varies wildly on Indian trains and the food all comes from the same source, there isn't a 1st class kitchen.

The food can be at best tasty, normally bland and exceptionally horrible, no matter what class you travel in.

It's mass catering on the move, or from zonal kitchens situated along India's railways, as such it has obvious limitations.

The menue also varies greatly, a train from a South Indian zone will likely offer idli sambhar or dosa for breakfast, or a westernised omellette and bread/butter/ketchup/jam with tea of course.

Northern trans might offer you a dry veg curry or bhaji or parotha with Dahi, alongside the omellette & bread/butter/ketchup/jam

Some offer side items to a main menu (like chicken fry or biyrani)

Other have a good selection of snacks, like veggie cutlets, soup and very occassionaly (these days) samosas or Wada filled,pastry/batter containers with potatos, pea pulses in a curried a spicey masala.

Chilli hot, but great with a bit of ketchup.

If the train has a "pantry car" as they are known, often there are biscuits, crisps/chips soft drinks, peanut toffee or Chikkoo, flavoured milks and fruit juices for sale these are regularly peddled through the carriages by the attendants of all classes, all are fairly priced.

Even on these trains though the choice can vary.

Some are well stocked with an imaginative choice of eatables, others are pretty poor.

Buying from the platform offers a whole boatload of extra choices, fresh fruit, the horrible "bread pakora" crips peanuts, samosas, sandwiches, pastries, etc etc, but time makes this a chase, usually you won't stop for long and the negoatiations with the vendor, whilst fighting several other hungry passengers (who speak the local lingo) make this a somewhat stressfull occupation.

Tea and coffeee you'll get all the time, well Nescafe with milk..................

Level Contributor
3,056 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: food on train journeys

By the way the windows in AC aren't "blacked out" they are tinted, to help the AC unit work more efficiently, you can still have a good nose as you whirl through the Konkan countryside, it's just not too good for photos is all.

The experience will be what you make of it, middle class Indians are interesting people and love their country and usually people who bother to visit, make friends and enjoy the ride.

7. Re: food on train journeys

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