When we were planning our trip to Sikkim, we had only one good route to get from Gwalior to Kolkata, which was via NH2. Now this route is appx 1200 km and I was not keen on covering this distance twice (to and fro) so decided to courier the motorcycle from Gwalior to Kolkata. Options for getting this done were a transport company like Gati and Indian Railways.
I asked other riders for review and most suggested to use Gati. However, when I asked Gati for a quote. They quoted the price for the service which was around Rs.3000, but did not take any assurance about the delivery time. It could take anything between 10 days and a month. I could not obviously leave the timing of the trip to the timing of the delivery of the motorcycle and thus decided to opt for the train, which took assurance of getting the motorcycle to Kolkata in 48 hours.
This was how it went :
- I took the motorcycle to the railway station. Was asked to drain petrol entirely and get it packed. The packaging person there took Rs.250 and packed the motorcycle with jute bags. Although this was not enough to secure the motorcycle, but then I though, its a bullet, what can happen to it?
- The parcel has to be booked 24 hours before the timing of the train, which is something to remembered. I had gone in the evening to book the parcel for next day morning, which could not happen. So, the parcel was booked for the next to next day.
- Around Rs.3000 were charged for the service. On payment I received a bill and an sms on my mobile. Rs.100 were additionally paid to the guard.
- On the morning when the motorcycle was to be loaded on the train, I went to the station and guided the proper loading. It is very important to be there at the time of loading or else you won’t know how they load it. They can place it upside down if it fits better, so its better to ensure it is put in the right way.
- Once in Kolkata, I went straight to the parcel warehouse. There I had to produce my original invoice. I was charged Rs.780 more as the motorcycle was in the warehouse for a day.
- I bought petrol from a nearby petrol pump in a can I had taken with me. Filled it up, unpacked the motorcycle and took it out.
- The motorcycle suffered some damage. The luggage carrier was bent from one side, the fog lights were out of alignment and the handle and turned all the way to touch the tank, maybe because some load was placed on the motorcycle. Although all these things were easily correctable.
On the hindsight, I think the packaging should have been better. We cant completely depend on the railway package person to do it and thus some better packaging solution is needed. I will update about this solution when I find it.