The Golden Chariot train will again start its journey from March next year. This announcement was made after the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot train.
This is the only luxury train in South India with the 18 coaches. This train can accommodate 84 passengers in the 44 guest rooms. As per the revival plan, the IRCTC is also planning to include the Bandipur, Mysore, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa on the train itinerary.
The luxurious Golden Chariot started its services in 2008 but has been struggling due to low occupancy and high cost. So the services have been suspended by the Karnataka government temporarily on account of huge losses. The Golden Chariot will become the second luxury train after Maharaja Express to be operated and maintained by the IRCTC.
IRCTC will also carry out the refurbishment of the train. This luxury train is named after the stone chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi. The Golden Chariot connects the tourist spots across Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, and Tamil Nadu.
The Golden Chariot train will boost tourism in the Karnataka and other South Indian states. This train will fulfill the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to connect the 15 tourism destinations in the country. Since 2010, IRCTC already operates the ultra-luxurious Maharaja Express train. Likewise, Rajasthan has the Palace on Wheels, Maharashtra has the Deccan Odyssey.