NEW DELHI: The IRCTC showcased its first-ever tourist international train under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme at Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run on the Ramayan circuit and will travel to Janakpur in Nepal.
The train will take its first journey on June 21. It will be flagged off by Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy.
Talking to The New Indian, Achyut Singh, joint general manager of IRCTC, said that IRCTC has plans to launch several tourist trains under the ‘Bharat Gaurav scheme’.
“We have more projects in the pipeline for the near future. The Bharat Gaurav express will boost tourism and will also promote India’s culture and heritage,” Singh said.
The train will originate from Safdarjung Railway station in Delhi and will cover a distance of nearly 8,000 km from Delhi to Rameshwaram via Janakpur in Nepal.
The train will cover key places related to Ramayana and Lord Ram including Ayodhya, Nandigram, Janakpur, Sitamarhi, Buxar, Varanashi, Prayagraj, Shringaverpur, Chitrakoot, Nasik, Hampi, Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram and Bhadrachalam.
It will complete the journey in 18 days with the accommodation of 600 passengers. “So far, 500 people have booked for the journey,” Singh added.
“This will be India’s first tourist train to cross international borders and will promote tourism as well as strengthen ties with Nepal. The train will provide a best-in-class experience to the passengers at affordable rates,” said Anand Prakash Jha, general manager, PR, IRCTC.
The tourist express will have top-class facilities like 3rd AC coaches and a modern-day pantry serving vegetarian food. The train coaches will be equipped with CCTV cameras and medical facilities including a personal safety kit along with a doctor available on call.
“A temple will be constructed inside the train coach for the devotees and an infotainment system installed for the entertainment of the passengers,” Sharif Mahfooz, a private contractor hired by IRCTC, said.
The ‘Bharat Gaurav tourist express’ will have housekeeping staff along with security personnel and chefs on board to assist and enhance the passenger’s travelling experience. The total cost of the journey is pegged at Rs 62,370 per person.