Private tour operators can now take trains on lease from the railways and run them on any circuit of their alternative, with the liberty to resolve routes, fares and high quality of providers beneath a brand new scheme known as Bharat Gaurav, launched Tuesday.
The railways has earmarked 3,033 ICF coaches for this goal, roughly translating to 150 trains. Anyone, from societies, trusts, consortia and even state governments can apply to take these trains and run them on particular tourism circuits primarily based on a theme.
By theme-based tourism, the railways means trains like Guru Kripa that goes to all locations associated to Guru Nanak or a Ramayan-themed prepare to the touch upon locations associated to Lord Ram, the railways mentioned in a press release.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw whereas launching it mentioned this could be a brand new phase in Indian Railways.
“All this while we had freight and passenger segments. Bharat Gaurav would be another new segment in train services,” he mentioned. “Our country has such rich cultural heritage. These trains are meant to take tourists to experience the places with cultural heritage,” he instructed reporters.
Vaishnaw mentioned the railways has achieved stakeholder session and there was demand for ICF coaches and sooner or later, even Vande Bharat, vistadome and LHB sort of coaches could be included. “ICF coaches have familiarity. That’s why there was a demand from the stakeholders,” he mentioned, including a number of state governments have proven curiosity in taking over operation for these trains.
Any social gathering can apply on-line by registering with a one-time charge of Rs 1 lakh. The parameters of the scheme are that the operator has to supply sightseeing, meals, native transport (taxi and so on), resorts at stopover locations, onboard leisure and such issues. The association could be for 2 to 10 years. Operators have to present a safety deposit of Rs 1 crore per rake. The dimension of every prepare could be 14-20 coaches, together with two guard vans. The railways will simply take haulage fees and a Right to Use charge.
The railways will arrange particular models in zones to facilitate and handhold the operators. Branding and commercial are permitted inside and on the outside of the trains.