Private players can operate Bharat Gaurav trains on tourism circuit
Indian Railways has announced introduction of theme based, tourist circuit trains named ‘Bharat Gaurav’ to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and history to the world. 190 such trains, to be operated on lease by private players and state entities such as tourism departments and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), have been approved. The ministry has identified 3,033 coaches for Bharat Gaurav trains, railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Tuesday.
“We have allocated trains for ‘Bharat Gaurav’ and 3033 coaches have been identified. We will start taking applications from today. We have received good response. Stakeholders will modify and run the trains and the Railways will help in its maintenance, parking and other facilities,” Vaishnaw said.
Each pair of Bharat Gaurav trains will have 14 to 16 coaches including two guard vans. The minister also said that states like Odisha, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have shown interest in operating these trains.
Describing it as the third segment in services offered by the national transporter after the freight and passenger segments, Vaishnaw said private players running Bharat Gaurav trains will have the freedom to fix fares and amenities. He added that these will not be regular trains that will be run on timetables.
“As of now, ICF coaches have been earmarked for the Bharat Gaurav scheme. But in the future even Vande Bharat, Vista Dome and LHB coaches can be included based on demand,” PTI quoted him as saying.
He stated that anyone, from individuals to societies, trusts, consortia, tour operators and even state governments can apply to take these trains and run them on special tourism circuits based on a theme.
The IRCTC is already running the Ramayana train circuit and plans are underway to start the gurdwara train circuit connecting prominent gurdwaras across the country. These trains will be called Gurukripa. More such trains are expected to hit the tracks soon, the agency added, quoting officials.