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How to travel with your pet dog via Indian Railways

There are 2 possibilities of traveling with your pet, when travelling via Indian Railways. IRCTC, the Indian Railways, has not made life any easier for travellers who have to travel with their pets from one city to another.

In India, you essentially need to travel in First Class AC, if you want your pet to travel with you(highly recommended).

The other option is your pet will be put in a luggage van, which will be very dark once closed and bolted from outside. This van will probably be at the end of the train. So you will have to run to that last coach to see your pet or feed him with food and water, that too if the a Railways TC on board is friendly and opens the luggage van for you. And you have to manage everything within the short time period that a train stops. If its summer season that you have decided to travel, your pet might get dehydrated and feel more suffocated in that closed dark luggage van. The longer is the duration of the journey, the harder it will get for your pet. From whichever city you are travelling, you can enquire about which train has this facility of ferrying pets in their luggage van. I would never recommend you to make your pet travel in this fashion. NOT RECOMMENDED.

So going forward with the recommended procedure, i.e travelling with your pet in the same coach. Travelling in First Class AC. Indian Railways has not made it any easier for pet owners.

This is Chetak, my German Shepherd.

I travelled from Mumbai to New Delhi via Rajdhani in September 2018. Chetak travelled back from New Delhi to Mumbai via Duronto Express in May 2019.

You need to have an entire coupe/cabin booked in your name, to travel with your pet by your side, in the First Class AC.

In First Class AC coaches there are 2 seater and 4 seater cabins only. They come with doors. What I mean is, you can book a 2/4 seater coupe/cabin and occupy your seats and close the door. A 4 seater cabin would obviously be bigger, have 4 seats and will be more spacious. So these 4 seater and 2 seater cabins will come with doors. These doors aid in privacy. Hence you will not be bugged by fellow travellers complaining about your pet. You have this cabin entirely for yourself and your pet.

Now the catch is, you can never be guaranteed of getting a personalised coupe/cabin, unless you are a MLA or some V. I. P. The seats for the First class are allotted just 4 hours before the departure of the train.

A common man like me will first book 2 tickets. 1 for me, 1 for my father/mother who is a senior citizen, who may not be even travelling. Then, 2 days before the date of journey, I need to visit the railway headquarter of that city from where I will be boarding, with an application. If you are boarding from Mumbai, you need to visit Churchgate or LTT or CSTM. Visit Churchgate if you are boarding via Bandra or Mumbai Central. Visit Baroda house, if you intend to board from New Delhi Railway station.

The application that you need to submit here should have your ticket's PNR number, date of journey, train number. Also attach a copy of your I'd proof (since you are travelling) and a copy of your ticket. In that application you have to put in a request stating that you are travelling with your father, who is a senior citizen and your pet dog. Hence you need a coupe. Submit this application to the authority. They will not give you any acknowledgement. They will say, that they will try their best. Now get back home and pray!

Because apart from your pet, you have mentioned that you are travelling with your father who is a senior citizen, you stand a better chance of getting a coupe allotted.

Now you will only get to know via sms, on the phone number that you have provided, whether you have been allotted a coupe, at a time approximately 4 hours before the journey begins. That means, when the charting of seats has been done already, your will get an sms informing you whether you have been allotted a coupe.

You need to reach the boarding point at least 2 hours before departure, with your pet. Visit the luggage centre, fill up a form. They will see your pet and issue a pass for your pet. It will cost your around 700-800 bucks. This is your pet's ticket.

The Indian Railways need to come up with more helpful facilities which can help you feel ascertained as to whether or not you have been allotted a coupe. If you have not been allotted a coupe, you will not be allowed to travel with your pet and as charting has been done, you can't cancel the ticket. The money will not be refunded.


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