New Delhi: Here comes a piece of good news for people travelling by train. The luxurious Golden Chariot train will start its service from March next year, the Indian Railways said on Tuesday.
The development comes after the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to revive the state’s Golden Chariot train and restart its operations.
The agreement between the IRCTC and the KSTDC was signed in the presence of Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, Minister of Tourism of Karnataka C T Ravi and Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav.
Addressing the gathering during the agreement signing ceremony, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said that the train will boost tourism in Karnataka and other southern states as well.
Urging the IRCTC and the KSTDC to keep the dates of the Golden Chariot train competitive, he said the Golden Chariot aims to fulfill the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to connect 15 tourism destination in the country.
As per the update, the 18-coach-long luxury train has 44 guest rooms which can accommodate 84 guests and also it can cover tourist attractions in Karnataka and Goa.
Due to low occupancy rate and huge loss, the train’s operations were stopped in March last year. However, this march, the train will witness a revival in its operations, the KSTDC managing director said.
“The haulage charges used to be 92 per cent of the total revenue. We were paying more than the net revenue to the railways as haulage charges… Had the occupancy rate reached 50 per cent, we would have broken even,” he said.
Began operations in 2008, the Golden Chariot train was a joint initiative of the Karnataka government and the Indian Railways.
Once operation starts, the Golden Chariot will cover tourist destinations in Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry and other south Indian states. It also proposes to include Bandipur, Mysuru, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa in its itinerary.
Since 2010, the IRCTC already has been running the ultra luxurious Maharaja Express train. Similarly, while Rajasthan has the Palace On Wheels, Maharashtra has the Deccan Queen.