Indian Railways will be the lead partner of the Commonwealth Games organising committee, Rail Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday in her rail budget speech.
“To mark this event and also to spread its message, Railways proposes to run a Commonwealth exhibition train,” Banerjee said.
Wrapped in vinyl coating carrying messages of the Games, the Commonwealth Express will run on various routes across the nation.
The railways may also run special trains between Delhi and nearby tourist destinations on special fare rates during the 14-day Games period, sources said. And as a special initiative, coolies at the railway stations are being trained in English to enable them to act as city guides to tourists during the Games.
Officials estimate more than one lakh foreign tourists will descend on the capital for the Games.
The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee viewed the railways’ move as a fillip to sports as a whole.
“It augurs well for the Games that Railways has come on board as lead partner. Railways’ role in nation building and in the evolution of Olympic sport in India is well known,” said Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Organising Committee.
The rail budget also allocated sports academies in Delhi, Secunderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai development number of astro-turf hockey pitches across the country.
“This will help develop Olympic sports in a great way,” he said.