Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)’s first chartered train from Kerala to Kashmir and Shimla has received overwhelming response, with over 500 people booking packages for the 15-day Onam rail tour package. The bookings started on July 20 and will remain open till September 10.
“It’s the first time IRCTC is charting a tour train from the state. The tour to Kashmir is organized because there is a good demand for the packages to there and it is one of the favourite destinations among professionals and government employees who go on LTC tours,” said IRCTC manager Ratheesh Chandran. “After reaching Delhi, tourists will be divided into two groups and one group will head for Kashmir and the other will travel to Shimla-Manali,” he added.
The 18-coach train, which has capacity to accommodate 800 tourists and 100 staff and security personnel, is scheduled for departure on September 13. The package, which includes travel, accommodation and food, is available in four categories. While the budget and standard packages, which include sleeper class journey, costs Rs24,410 and Rs29,460 per person respectively, the comfort and deluxe packages, including AC journey, costs Rs38,360 and Rs40,780 respectively.
Chandran said that contrary to their expectations, there was a good demand for deluxe and comfort packages, which provide air conditioned coaches. IRCTC will also provide insurance coverage to the travellers.