How to Transport Bike Via Indian Railways

By Rutuja Bhagwat - November 15, 2018

We all know a person who loves to ride bikes and always has a Ladakh or a Sikkim trip on his mind. If you don't know such person, probably you're someone who loves to ride bikes and are here to know how to transfer a bike from one city to another via Indian Railways. Well, both the process and the cost is not overwhelming so you may chill. The hack here is to book a train that starts and reaches on such timings that the parcel office is not shut. 

Towards the end of this article, I have mentioned a few contacts of transport agents across India. They charge around Rs. 500 extra but your troubles are looked after by them. Find all the details pertaining to these agents towards the end of the article.

I have tried my best to cover all the possibilities. If you have any doubt, please feel free to ask me in the comments below.


DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

1. Bike registration certificate (RC)
2. Insurance paper
3. Identity card (aadhar card, driving license, passport...any one is fine)
4. Photocopies of all the documents mentioned above
Note: Please make sure your documents are readable and in good condition; some parcel officers hesitate to accept otherwise. 

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Emptying the petrol tank: It is compulsory to empty your petrol tank before you hand over the bike. Worry not as usually, the men working at the parcel office have a tube through which they pull out petrol. Just carry an empty bottle to store excess petrol from the bike. You might hand over this bottle to the men there. Just ensure that you utilise as much petrol as possible before reaching the parcel office.

The timings of the parcel office: The parcel office shuts at around 5:00 pm so book a train that reaches the destination before 3:00 pm to avoid hassles. You must check the train departure timing too along with the arrival timing before you book your tickets. However, the hack here is to submit your bike an evening prior if you have a morning train. So for instance, if your train starts tomorrow morning, then go to the railway station and submit your bike by today evening itself. (The agents might save your troubles and I highly recommend you contact them if this is your first time.) The ideal train is the one that starts after 11:00 am and reaches the destination before 4:00 pm. 

Booking the first and the last station (recommended): If you can, please book the first and the last station to avoid worries. If for some reason, you cannot, at least book a station with a minimum 20 minutes halt. The luggage compartment of your train is full of boxes, veggies, and stuff you can't imagine. It requires a lot of time to unload these boxes and then take your heavy bike off. To ensure your bike is loaded and unloaded, please book the first and the last stations. 

Taking off the mirrors to avoid damage: This goes without saying, but I recommend you to take off whatever you can, especially the mirrors to avoid breakage. 

Reach station 3 hours before to submit the bike: If you have submitted bike an evening before, then you needn't reach three hours before the train departs. However, if you're yet to submit it, then the parcel officers–and the agents too–ask you to be there at the station three hours before the departure.  

TWO MODES

1. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE AS A LUGGAGE

In this method, you travel with your bike; i.e., your bike is loaded in the luggage compartment of the train you're travelling on. Before you submit your bike, you compulsorily need a reserved ticket. You need to reach the railway station around three hours before the train departs. The average cost for transporting your bike is Rs. 3000 for up to 2000 km. The cost is determined on the distance and the weight of your bike. This is the quickest way to transport since the bike travels with you. You also get to see how they're loading the bike on the train which is contrary to the parcel method. And the best part is, especially for the bikers, you get your bike as soon as you get down at the destination station! But, as mentioned under 'things to keep in mind', please try to pick the first and the last destination to avoid hassles. The railway porters could even fail to load or unload your bike if the halt is for a few minutes. So to avoid any mishaps, it's advisable to book the first and the last station. Another thing to note is the timing of the train. (Please refer to the 'things to keep in mind' section for all the tips.)

How to transport your bike as a luggage:

1. Go to the parcel office, like I mentioned earlier, about 3 hours prior to the departure.
2. Take the delivery challan/slip and the ticket for your bike from the parcel officer. (You'll need to show these while collecting your bike at the destination station.)
3. Meanwhile, the men from the parcel office shall empty the petrol tank and then wrap your bike. Ensure to take off the mirrors!

2. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE AS A PARCEL

Transporting your bike via parcel method is just like sending a courier/parcel. You don't need to travel along with the bike. You just send and the train takes it to the destination station. This method works best for those who have shifted to another city and cannot ride the bike to their new house. Please note that only the name of the recipient that has been written down in the form is allowed to collect the bike. Make sure you go for booking a couple of days in advance in case of urgency. The bike will be sent in any train to the destination station and will reach in around 4-5 days or earlier depending upon the distance. 

How to transport your bike as a parcel: 

1. Take your bike to the parcel office of the nearest railway station. Usually, all the major stations have a parcel office. Just ensure to go during the office hours (10:00 am to 5:00 pm). 
2. They will ask you to show your ID proof, bike's RC, and insurance copy.
3. Your fuel tank would be checked therefore make sure there's zero to little petrol when you arrive at the office. (Worry not, as the men there would help you drain off the petrol.)
4. Next step is to pack the bike. You might come across agents who help you pack. Ensure that they pack nicely. Packing requires about Rs. 300 (better the packing, higher the rates).
5. Collect the booking form from the parcel office and fill it.
6. You also need to declare the current cost of your bike. Along with it, you need to provide with the bike's engine and chassis numbers.
7. Another important thing is to mention the contact details of the sender and the recipient.
8. Please make a note that only the person whose name you have mentioned under recipient is eligible to collect the bike, that too, only on showing a valid ID proof. The recipient also needs to have the parcel booking receipt so please send the receipt to the recipient so that he/she can collect your bike.
9. The recipient needs to visit the parcel office at the destination station with the booking receipt and his ID proof. Once the officer approves, the recipient would be given a gate pass. Without the gate pass, the bike cannot be taken outside the railway station.

Average Cost
500 km: Rs 700
1000 km: Rs 1,200

AGENT CONTACTS ACROSS INDIA 
https://www.bcmtouring.com/forums/threads/railway-contact-list-transporting-bikes-by-train.51941/

Please let me know if you have any doubt.

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