Toilets in trains stink? Here’s a 3-point survival strategy

By Mayuri Bhattacharjee
My roll of toilet paper.

Loos are the reason I dread train journeys. Blame it on being raised by  a   cleanliness-loving mother or being born with some ‘needs clean loo’  disorder, but I cannot tolerate bad loos.

My first overnight train journey on second class sleeper was with  friends on an excursion to Uttar Pradesh. I distinctly remember  stopping my water intake two hours before boarding the train. I was 18  and my bladders sustained the torture.

For the past two years, I have been travelling a lot by train. With ‘age’ I      feel I cannot bear the self-inflicted torture of not drinking water.      Although on shorter journeys ,i.e. the 8-9 hour ones I can still follow my   ‘no water, no tea, no coffee’ policy, but what to do on the longer journeys which can go up to 20 hours.  Initially, I had a bad time and bad times are good for triggering survival mechanisms and thus I had to come up with some hassle-free strategy. So, here is my 3-point survival strategy especially meant for Indian trains:

  • I wear trousers with elastic bands or leggings. I find such trousers easier to manage than jeans inside loos. Moreover, isn’t it so uncomfortable to sleep in jeans?
  • I carry a wad of loose toilet paper wrapped around a pencil (don’t ask me why). Hygiene, folks! I know a lot of women who do not clean themselves after peeing.
  • Carrying a hand sanitiser/hand soap is a must for me as the liquid soap provided in most train loos has more suds than soap. Recently, I discovered Dettol wipes, which came in the free gift hamper I got at the World Toilet Summit. They are good for cleaning surfaces, if you choose to sit on a western toilet.


So, that’s it and I hope it made some sense. If you have your own survival strategy, then write to us at


Mayuri is the Founder of Loo Watch. She loves toilets, food and travelling, while hates bad loos, public urination and the sound of chalk on blackboard.



  1. arnab 10th March 2015 at 9:36 am

    It is cool

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