Last year, Shruti Sharma, a techie from Bangalore swore she will never travel by train again. The reason: a bout of food poisoning caught after eating train food. This is not uncommon. With flight tickets available at cheap prices if booked months in advance, more and more people, especially women have started giving the train journey a miss for various reasons, safety being the main one.
Train journeys can be fun if you plan a few things before hand. Your safety is in your hands
Book in advance: This really helps as you get seats in the AC compartment. This atleast solves the problem of getting a comfortable seat.
Carry your own food: Better safe than sorry. Time and again complaints have surfaced about the food that is sold on trains. Just carry a sandwich, a packet of chips and a drink. This will be enough for a night's journey. If you are travelling for more than a day, carry dry snacks or even dry fruits. Almonds fill you up and are easy to store. Avoid indulging in food sold on stations. It is unhygienic. Also, carry bottled water as the water sold on the train is not safe for drinking.
Don't talk to strangers: Use the time to read or contemplate life. You don't know what the other person has on mind, so it is better not to divulge personal information. If someone offers food, politely deny. Carry a book or listen to music to pass time.
Keep an eye on personal belongings: If you are travelling alone, always carry a chain and lock for your luggage. This way you can atleast sleep peacefully. Also expensive items like mobile phone or laptops should be kept inside after the lights are switched off.
Be safe: If you are a woman travelling alone by train, make sure you don't garner attention. Keep to yourself. Also, wearing apt clothes makes a huge difference. Wear lose fitting clothes as they are comfortable.