People say, when there's a longer route, always prefer train travel and I agree with all those people. Of course Manali from Rajkot is not a short distance travel, and having a good company always makes us remember our journey - A Special Journey! Talking about only the train, considering the comfort, yes, the train is very much comfortable as railway department have now improved a lot since last 5 years. We're total of four friends and it was really a blast.
Although, there are no direct train from Rajkot to Manali, we got the train from Ahmedabad to Delhi and from Delhi to Manali we travelled by bus. We had a little time when we planned our journey and that is when we choose Ahmedabad to Delhi route to reach Manali - per affordability wise as well as comfortability wise, this train is a good deal! We got the train and it was scheduled as usual in the evening at 6.30 pm. In evening the platform was crowded with full of people and Ahmedabad Railway Station was like a fair. You'll be able to find majority of the stuff, from food to tea, newspapers, magazines, fruits, cold-drinks and you name it. Platforms are kind of all right regards to its cleaning part.
The train as usual does have all the facility like fan, lights and everything was in working condition. The sleeper class was quite comfortable and anyone can relax and sleep well especially in a longer journey. The toilets are all right. We all friends enjoyed a lot as it was quite a longer period for us to reach out to Manali via Delhi. The train doesn't have a charging point to charge our mobiles/laptops/tablets which I'm hoping that our government will definitely provide us within few years. Within all the way, you will be able to get food non-stop and especially tea-coffee from other people who sells snacks kinda stuffs as well as train does have pantry which provides the lunch/dinner facility as well. Although, the food tastes not so delicious, but it is alright to feed your stomach!!! My advice would be, carry fruits as they are the best choice as it will never spoil your journey per health wise and you will be able to enjoy a lot as well.
In the Delhi route, don't forget to try few fruits from Abu Road and Gurgaon as they have Punjabi food which really tastes delicious. Train reaches Gurgaon station at around of 9.30 and our breakfast was Punjabi one and I really recommend to go on the platform and pick up Punjabi food!
We reached Delhi by morning at around 11 o'clock and then after that we got a bus in the noon timing to reach out to Manali.
Always carry smaller battery which can be handy when you've totally dark situation, a small chain and lock to tie up your luggage with train to protect against thief, if possible power banks would be a great saviour to juice up your gadgets, of course the camera, more and more memory cards (instead of one 16 GB card, you can take two 8 GB cards because if you lose out one 16 GB, all of the pictures that you have clicked, it goes within one shot, but two 8 GB cards can save at least some of them, makes sense, right!) and yes, fill your internet data within your cell phone so that it'll be very handy if you wanted to search out anything within the area which you totally unknown for you or the place you are visiting for the first time; you'll save a lot money as well; and yes, if possible always use mineral water instead of normal water from any platform.