Hoping to take a bike trip through India? There are many reasons why you may wish to take a train while on bike trips to Ladakh, a remote and picturesque region in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir near Tibet and the Himalayas. Perhaps you want to arrive in the region quickly and this is the fastest route, perhaps the weather is bad and you don’t want to be soaked to the bone during your travels, or perhaps you have a schedule to meet and you’re running behind. For whatever reason, it is important to know how you should travel on a train with your bike (either push or motor).
Did you know that there are actually two ways that you can carry motorcycles or bikes by train? You can choose to either carry it as luggage along with you or to parcel it from one place to another. Here, we focus mainly on the first option, as it is the one that most people choose.
Documents to Carry
There are a number of documents that you will need to have on you at all times when travelling via train in Ladakh. These include a roadworthy certificate for your bike, a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, insurance information, and your driver’s license. Wherever possible, ensure that the documents are in your name, as this will avoid hassles and delays since some stations are more strict with this than others. Take four to five copies of each document, just in case.
Make sure that you follow each of these steps when embarking on bike trips to Ladakh via train:
- Arrive at the train station around three to four hours before the train is due to depart. Make your way to the parcel office.
- Explain your requirements to the parcel office; the workers there will instruct you to remove the fuel from your motorcycle and get it packed properly. Make sure you finalise the cost of packing before you do this.
- Find the loading staff or a porter, as they will know how to pack. They will also help you to make sure that the fuel tank is completely dry.
- Ask the loading staff to provide you with enough cushions and padding to pack the bike well. Loose packing could result in damage.
- Respect the other passengers, and do not attempt to hide fuel whilst on the train. Have someone deliver fuel at your destination or find out where the nearest pump is for your convenience.
- Take the packaged bike to the relevant officer, who will provide you with a form to fill in. Hand over the form and your relevant documents; the officer will verify these and tell you the total cost.
- Make sure you keep the receipt that you will be provided in a safe place, as you will be asked for it at your destination. Make sure that your bike is loaded onto your train, as you are paying for it to be carried as luggage.
Once you reach your destination, you will need to make your way to the parcel office and tell them you are having a bike delivered. Show them your documents and the original receipt that you received. The whole process should take around an hour, but you will then be free to leave the station. As you can see, using a train during bike trips to Ladakh can actually be quite a simple process once you know what you’re doing.
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