A railway saloon will be built for President Pratibha Patil. Designed in shades of dark maroon with golden stripes to resemble the regalia of the palaces of yore, the luxurious new presidential saloon will have a meeting room, dining room and a study, besides a majestic bedroom.
To be built by the Kapurthala-based Railway Coach Factory (RCF), the Presidential saloon is expected to be manufactured in a year’s time at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore.
Of the 1956 vintage, the old presidential saloon was declared un-serviceable in 2006.
The saloon will have a separate coach to provide for travel of the Presidential staff, including enclosures for doctors and security staff.
To be modelled on the German LHB-designed light-weight coaches, the new steel-bodied saloon will have the capacity to run approximately double the speed of the old wooden-bodied presidential saloon...”, a Railways official said.
Blueprints of the proposal were put up by Railways for approval by the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday.
President Patil had desired to travel by a railway saloon in 2008. “The Railways did not have a serviceable saloon at that time, but was fortunately saved from the embarrassment, as the President cancelled the trip”, an official said.