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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The India Railways Traveling Ticket Examiner

The Traveling Ticket Examiner on the Indian railway system, or the TTE as he’s known, collects all the tickets on the Indian train. You have to show him your ticket on request. The TTE is usually dressed in a dark blazer with a name badge over his white shirt, and always carries a chart board with a huge clip over it. The TTE typically speaks fairly well, though in the Indian dialect of English. You will hoard of passengers around him towards the front on the India railway station, asking him questions all sorts of questions about the statuses of the waitlist.

The TTE is the best person to speak with about questions or concerns about your India train journey. Some common inquiries that the TTE will be able to address are:

Swapping your berth,

Arrival and departure timings,

The train is best to reach your destination,

Extending your journey on the same train,

Upgrading your class, which is based on availability.

Medical emergencies that arise during your journey. The TTE, and other train staff, is trained to give first aid, and will locate a doctor on the train if the situation is more serious. India railway encourages medical practitioners to identify themselves while making reservations. By the way, all the passengers are insured by the India railway system against accidents while at the station or on the trains.

You can even ask him personal questions like how many children he has... the question will be appreciated!

Typically one TTE is in charge for about 4 coaches, and will travel along with the train. For long distance trains, a new TTE takes over every day. The TTE locks the coaches from inside during the nights. Many night running trains have a few policemen as night guards.

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