Leh-Ladakh / Travel

Transporting your motorcycle by train

For motorcycle tourers from far flung areas of India (with respect to Ladakh), traveling to Ladakh  presents a unique challenge, and how to get your motorcycle closer to the mighty Himalayas, without riding it for days on end, in the boring plains.

If you too are thinking of this, then there are two options in front of you, one is using the Indian Railways to transport your motorcycle to the nearest railway station (Jammu, Delhi or Chandigarh) or using a transport/courier company to transport your motorcycle to a place of your choosing (subject to their operation area).

Transporting motorcycle through train is not only cheaper than using a courier company, it is faster as well! However, thanks to the bureaucracy involved, it can be a tiring and at times, frustrating affair. Here are couple of links for reference, which will help you cope better with this ordeal by letting you know the basic procedure involved in shipping your motorcycle through train; Transporting motorcycle by train and Rules and Charges of Bike transportation.

It is best to transport your motorcycle (if you are taking it as luggage with you) in a train which starts from the station you would be boarding from and ends at your destination station. This is necessary to not only ensure that you get enough time to load your motorcycle in the train, but also to ensure that there is enough space left in the parcel wagon to accommodate your motorcycle.

If the train does not end at the station you would getting off at, you might not have enough time to take out your motorcycle. Take for example, what happened to a friend of mine, who was bringing his motorcycle from Pune to Delhi. Due to the way luggage was stuffed in the parcel wagon, the wagon door could not be opened at Delhi railway station, where the train had stopped for around 20mins and in the end he had to travel in the same train till Pathankot, where the other side door of the parcel wagon opened and he could take out his motorcycle, though not before arguing and bribing railway officials, who wanted to ship his motorcycle back to Delhi, as that was supposed to be the destination station!

Also while your motorcycle is being packed, make sure you are present to inspect everything, to ensure it is properly done and the bike is loaded in to parcel wagon in a correct manner, else there is a chance of fairing and other items breaking/cracking due to improper handling by the porters.

However despite all the precautions you take, there is still a chance of something or the other going wrong, so make sure to factor in at least a few hours of buffer time, to get the motorcycle checked/repaired and for any major delays at the railway station.

Happy touring…

17 Comments

  1. brings back mny memories!

    I used to carry my bike as ‘luggage’ in trains while travelling around in AP. (this was in 1996-97). The draining the fuel tank was one thing i remember very well. I used to ‘pack’ my own bike. I think the regular gunny bag pakcing is overrated. after the first couple of times, I stopped the packing and would load the bike as is

  2. What about bike’s paint? I have seen the way they load luggage on top of the bikes and it is scary at times!

  3. Customer never gets to be the king here, isn’t it?

  4. hi,,,iam new to this kind of discussion,,but i would like to contribute my views which i had faced in the yesvantpur station in bangalore whr in these guys have a whole team to work on the parcel items irrelevant to the things been transported,,i had to load my diesel enfeild and these guys were sweet enough to help me,,,in doing all kind so of petty things right from th emptying the tank of the bike and they took the deisel as if it was fr them as a gift and then the provided me all th information i need to drop on the form and what i need to send by a speed post to my dad,,,to whom i was sending the bike for,finally after the whole story they got me the bill which stated the amount of 580rupees and then they said they would be doing the loading and it wud be fine, and i was surprised by the end i did give them the tip of 200rupees for both of them for the all the labour they had done. That had a face of a turtle,,,who had his food taken off from it, and they started the whole story that i covered up the identity , since my father had to be there personally with the bike papers and the licence to transport the bike,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and the rest you know i had pay them 250 per head almost 500 extra to send my bike:( i did this becoz i had to have some contacts for further prospectus,,,,,

  5. shaik azaruddin says:

    sir

    hyderabad to guntur motorcycle ….to cost

  6. Tips for delhi-jammu and chandigar-delhi bullet transportation?
    2 bikes

    P.s. – I’ll go with my bike.

  7. For such short distance, it is best to ride the motorcycle. Packing, loading and unloading itself would likely take more time than riding to Chandigarh!

  8. Hi Yogesh,

    I am planning of buying 3 RD’s from Imphal to Bangalore..I would be unable to go there personally to pick up the vehicles and hence am arranging for a cousin of mine to go..
    Now if the vehicle is being bought in as luggage, does the RC book and the ticket be in the same person’s name? How will it happen cos here the bike would be in the seller’s name. However all documents pertaining to NOC,RC Book would be available. Please advice.

  9. There shouldn’t be any issue, however considering that there are 3 motorcycles, it might be a good idea to send a signed letter stating that you are sending these motorcycles with your cousin and have you id proof attached with that.

    Having said that, taking help of one of the numerous agents at the railway station would likely be easier, though slightly more expensive.

  10. Hi Yogesh,
    Your prompt and swift actions are highly highly appreciated. Thanks a ton!

  11. Mohan Chandra says:

    Hi Yogesh,
    Have one more query if you’d know the answer to.

    Is there a restriction on the number of bikes an individual can get in Train. As luggage in the same train?

    • Sorry Mohan, I am not aware of any such restrictions. But I seriously doubt that they will let you take more than a bike or two with a single ticket. However it would be best to contact the station from you wish to book your motorcycles.

  12. I would like to transport 2 wheeler pulsar from bangalore to visakhapatnam approx 1100KM. Can you pls help me what would be the cost by train transport.

    • Hi Srinivas,

      Can you please let me know how did you transport your vehicle? I need to transport mine from Bangalore to Rajamundry

  13. Hi , i want to transport my bike by a train , which starts at 9 pm from the station,after booking at parcel office in working hours. can it be loaded as luggage on the same day, i the same train am travelling, will railway porters available at that night??.

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