New pan-India luxury tourist train to showcase heritageDecember 10th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) A new luxury train that will showcase the best of Indian heritage will soon trundle down the railway tracks across the country. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) and tourism major Cox and Kings India Wednesday signed an agreement to set up a joint venture company, the Royale Indian Rail Tours, which will manage and operate the first pan-India luxury tourist train.
The train, which is scheduled to start operations in the third quarter of 2009, would be a “landmark” in the growth of luxury tourism in the country, said IRCTC managing director Nalin Shinghal.
“The combined strength of IRCTC in rail tourism and hospitality and Cox and Kings in high-end international tourism would make this latest state-of-the-art train an epitome of luxury and comfort,” he said in a press statement.
Added Cox and Kings managing director Peter Kerkar: “We welcome IRCTC’s initiative in breaking state boundaries for a luxury train. We are happy and excited on being selected as their partner in this venture that shall redefine luxury trains not just in India but the world.”
The train will carry nearly 100 passengers in 15 coaches and have two bars and two restaurants. It will also have a kitchen and a boutique.
The train has many firsts to its credit. It will be the first train to have four different classes of passenger accommodation - deluxe, super deluxe, luxury suites and presidential suites.
An entire carriage will accommodate the presidential suite. All passenger cabins will have micro-processor based climatic control and eco-friendly washrooms.
The specially-customised itineraries will include the Princely India Tour and the Classical India Tour. While the first is a seven-night itinerary covering important heritage sites on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Jaipur-Delhi circuit, the second is a seven-night itinerary through Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuraho-Varanasi and Patna.
IRCTC, a recent entrant in the tourism sector, has introduced a wide range of products and services, including a special train for the “Buddhist circuit”, the “Bharat Darshan” trips for economy segment of tourists, educational trips for school children and budget hotels.