Indian Railways in association with Odisha Government are making plans to launch luxury train in Odisha. Recently at a high level meeting, discussions were going on between the Additional Member of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Board, Sanjiv Garg chaired by Chief Secretary AP Padhi in lieu of feasibility of running a luxury train on the Odisha tracks.
The proposal of launching a luxury train in Odisha, similar to the existing ones like the award-winning Maharajas’ Express, is also an initiative to promote high-end tourism, bringing foreign clientele from the world. The plan is a joint effort of the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) and Indian Railways.
Reports are being made after discussing and deliberating on the different aspects of the train launch proposal. Taking into consideration economy, administration, business and management of the cruise train service, reviews will be made on the current infrastructure facilities, train connectivity and scope for development at the different tourist destinations of Odisha. The joint collaboration will divide the revenue and costs. Construction of one luxury train coach requires an investment of around 2.5 crore. Railways will be responsible for rakes and take the haulage charges, while the interior furnishings, route of the train, etc. will decided by the Odisha State Government.
The tourism department of Odisha plans to include attractive tourist destinations such as the Chandipur beach, Bhitarkanika and Similipal National Parks, Konark Sun Temple, Puri Jagannath and Lingaraj temples, Chilika, Puri-Konark marine drive, and the Hirakud reservoir. Named as the ‘Train Cruise’ project, the luxury train tours aim to cover the vast history, heritage, culture, natural beauty, adventure and other experiences.
Currently, Indian Railways operates luxury trains Palace on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, Deccan Odyssey and Golden Chariot that cater to various tourist circuits in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and the Golden Triangle. The luxury trains have enhanced the prospects of tourism. Equipped with modern amenities, with the feel of royal days, it attracted the 3-7 day train tours appeal to large number of foreign tourists seeking to explore India.
Each of these luxury trains have 20-22 coaches, accommodating around 88 guests and almost 60 staff. From comfy guest accommodations, dining car, bar & lounge, spa, souvenir shops, personal attendant, lavish off-board dining experiences, specially-crafted itineraries, the trains offer memorable holidays. Other world class facilities including generator, LCD TVs, internet connectivity, etc.