Hampi Express is a greatly popular travel option for those traveling between Bangalore/ Mysore and Hampi. There are quite a few reasons for its popularity.
First of all its convenient timing. See the Hampi Express Schedule
It's an overnight journey to Hampi by this train. If you are traveling to Hampi from Bangalore, you can boar Hampi Express either from Bangalore City or Bangalore Cant. stations. Leaves Bangalore City by 10 PM and arrives Hospet in the morning (by 8). So you've practically saved a night for the journey, and can start your Hampi itinerary right from the morning you've arrived in Hampi.
In case if you're starting from Mysore, Hampi Express is a superb overnight train for Hampi. The train leave s Mysore in the evening (6PM), allowing you the full day to explore Mysore before boarding the train.
The reverse journey too is pretty the same. You can board Hampi Express at Hospet in the night (8.45pm) allowing you to use the full day's time to explore Hampi. This train reaches Bangalore in the morning (around 6am) and Mysore by 9.40 am. Again, if you are traveling to Mysore for tourism, you have used the night journey efficiently to get a full day's time to explore Mysore.
Obviously the Hampi Express on both directions and jam packed with tourists visiting Hampi and Mysore. Seats get overbooked , especially during the peak tourist season and during those extended weekends.
By the way if your itinerary is Mysore and Hampi, you can also explore the Sainagar Shirdi Mysore Weekly Express (Train no 16217 & 16218) . This train leaves Mysore on Mondays towards Hospet and on Wednesdays from Hospet towards Mysore. This weekly train too follow more or less the Hampi Express route. However the Mysore to Hospet journey is during day time.
Back to the Hampi Express...you have 5 options to chose from in reserving in Hampi Express, the First AC (1AC), Second AC (2AC), Third AC (3AC), Sleeper Class (SL) and the General Class (unreserved).
Except for the General Class you need a prior reservation to travel in any of the other classes. For the General Class, you can buy the tickets directly from the ticket counters close to the platform. This class is the cheapest of all options but the coaches and usually crowed. The seats and occupied on a first come first served basis. No sleeping berths in the General Class. For traveling from Bangalore to Hospet , there is one more passenger train, the Hospet Passenger (Tran No 56509). This is a slow train but with a couple of Sleeper Coaches attached, that you can book in advance.
Fist AC (1AC) is the highest class in Hampi Express. The coach is partitioned into semi private sections. Also each of the berths is provided with curtain to create a sort of seclusion. Pillow, woolen blanket and linen sheets are provided for each berth.
Second and Third AC (2AC & 3AC) looks a bit similar but the former is relatively spacious than the later. Here too a bedroll consists of pillow, linen sheets and woolen blankets are provided.
Hampi Express is typically attached with one or two coaches of the above classes. But the bulk of the train consists of the Sleeper Class (SL) coaches. These are non-AC coaches with sleeping berths. Unlike the enclosed type of ambiance in the AC coaches, the sleeper class compartments are more open and airy. Also note that for the AC coaches, the glass windowpanes are dark tinted and cannot be opened. That hampers the visibility for those who would like to get a glimpse of the rural Karnataka pass by.
Hampi Express has 3 coaches each for 1AC, 2AC and 3AC, typically attached toward the second half of the train. The Unreserved coaches (about 6 ) are attached to the front (4 coaches) and rear (4 coaches). The Sleeper Coaches (about 8) are in the middle.
The Sleeper Coaches are marked as S1, S2, S3...etc. 1AC/2AC twin coach is marked as HA1, 2AC as A1, 3AC as B1
The Coach Composition for Hampi Express: Engine-Brake Van-GEN-GEN-GEN-S8-S7-S6-S5-S4-S3-S2-S1-HA1-A1-B1-GEN-GEN-GEN-Break Van.
|Class||Route||Fare (Rs)||Reservation Fee(Rs)|
|1||1A||Mysore - Hospet||1941||60|
|2||2A||Mysore - Hospet||1146||50|
|3||3A||Mysore - Hospet||789||40|
|4||SL||Mysore - Hospet||300||20|
|5||1A||Bangalore - Hospet||1517||60|
|6||2A||Bangalore - Hospet||885||50|
|7||3A||Bangalore - Hospet||616||40|
|8||SL||Bangalore - Hospet||235||20|
|9||SL||Bangalore-Hospet (Passenger Train)||185||20|
Unlike many long distance trains, the Hampi Express doesn't have a pantry car. However people do sell dinner and snacks inside the train.
You can do the reservations either online or do it directly at any of the railways reservations counters in India. A little bit of homework and understanding on the Indian railways system is required to book the ticket online.
Typically reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance from the date of journey. Create an online account at www.irctc.co.in to book ticket online
See also the Amaravati Express ( Vasco Da Gama - Hospet - Howrah ) and Haripriya/ Rayalaseema Express (Vasco-Da-Gama - Hospet - Hyderabad/Tirupati)
Note: Check with irctc.co.in for the updated train details (schedule, fare etc)