IRCTC to operate tourist train from Delhi to Goa in January 2012

Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will start an exclusive train from Delhi to the coastal state of Goa, which offers sightseeing by dedicated tourist buses and stay at decent hotels for seven nights and eight days. The train will start from Delhi on January 21 and return on January 28, 2012.

IRCTC will also offer provision to embark or disembark at tourist spots like Agra and Jaipur during the onward or return journey. The organisers have also set aside an entire day for sightseeing of North and South Goa, according to a report in The Times of India. The budget of frequent train travellers have been factored in while finalising the package as there are four categories of travel, ranging from budget to deluxe class.

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rail booking boost for villages

When chief minister Nitish Kumar was heading the railway ministry, he had a vision to install Internet ticket counters in rural Bihar. His dream is about to be fulfilled.

The Indian Railways has decided to open 400 Internet ticket counters in the next five months in Bihar with the help of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). It has come to light that Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee took the initiative to execute the plan before leaving the railway ministry.

Sources said the decision to start the Internet ticket counters was taken in the wake of frequent complaints lodged by people from rural areas regarding the unavailability of tickets.

Patna IRCTC regional manager Anand Kumar Jha said: “Indian Railways has received several complaints from villagers on procuring tickets. So, the railway has asked us to set up ticket counters in the rural areas. We will install 400 ticket counters in the next five months with an aim to provide railway tickets to villagers who otherwise need to travel to the city to buy them.”

Jha said: “Rural areas will have one ticket booking counter at every 5km. In the beginning, the counters will be installed at Darbhanga, Katihar, Bhagalpur, Rohtas, Samastipur and Hajipur regions and would benefit around 1,000 villages. Later, the facility would be extended to the other places.”

Jha also put all worries regarding the possible inability of villagers to fill up the forms mandatory to purchase the Internet tickets to rest. He said: “There would be dedicated IRCTC employees, who will be assigned to fill the forms on behalf of the villagers. The employees would also provide the villagers with all kind of information, including train schedule and timings. Apart from booking regular tickets, the villagers can also book tour packages like Bharat Darshan and Bharat Tirth, offered by the IRCTC.”

The service would be a boon to villagers who will no longer have to travel miles to book tickets and would receive them at their doorsteps.

“Often, people living in the cities are unable to send train tickets to their parents in the village. But now the parents just need to visit the nearest ticket counter in the village with the PNR number and get a printout of the ticket.” said Jha.

Although the IRCTC officials accepted that starting the facility was not going to be an easy job, they said it would be accomplished at any cost. “In rural areas, the most common problem is electricity. So, there would a dedicated line for the Internet service and power back-up for at least 10 hours. The service would be available from 6am to 10pm daily,” said Jha.

IRCTC food joints to come up at 130 Delhi Metro stations

Diversifying its catering business, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to open food joints at 130 Delhi Metro stations in the capital soon.

“We are in the process of signing an agreement with DMRC for opening IRCTC cafeterias at 130 Delhi Metro stations here,” a senior IRCTC official said.

As per the arrangement, DMRC will provide space for the cafeterias on a rental basis to IRCTC. “While DMRC will facilitate space and other infrastructure support, our responsibility will be setting up the kitchen, cooking, service and operation of the food outlets at Metro stations,” said the official.

A senior DMRC official said though there are fast food restaurants at some Delhi Metro stations, they are finalising the deal for IRCTC-run cafes at several stations to offer Metro passengers competitive facilities.

The DMRC official said the move is also part of the property development plan to earn additional revenue. IRCTC, a subsidiary of Railways, has been divested of catering responsibility in trains as per the new railway catering policy.

“We are now diversifying our catering business by opening up food plazas and cafeterias at many places across the country,” said the IRCTC official. Currently, IRCTC runs 70 food plazas and plans to open 50 more across the country.

Recently, IRCTC has opened up cafes at nine locations in the capital including Udyog Bhawan, Shastri Bahwan, IIT-Delhi.

‘Bharat Tirth’ train to commence from Bhopal

‘Bharat Tirth’ train — a special tourist train to be run by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited — will leave from the state capital on March 4.

In a release issued here, IRCTC’s Western Region’s Group General Manager Virendra Singh said the train will leave from Habibganj station at 1230 hrs on March 4. The train will convey tourists to Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Aurangabad.

This is the second such train from Madhya Pradesh. The first one will leave from Indore on February 19. Sixty per cent seats have been reserved for the purpose.

Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rly meals to offer diet-conscious choices

Patients and the calorie-conscious train traveller need not worry any more. Indian Railways is planning to introduce a diet menu. The menu will offer unlimited options to those who prefer simple cooking and those whose diets are restricted by ailments.

This new addition to the menu comes after the railways introduced diabetic cuisine for its passengers from October. “The sugar-free diet has scored a huge hit among those who have been strictly instructed by their doctors to consume less calories. We hope diet food will solve the crisis for passengers with ailments and those who are wary of spicy food,” said a senior railway official.

In Rajdhani Express, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has already introduced diet meals for dinner. The menu comprises moog dal combined with jeera rice, lauki tomato curry, rajma masala, curd and green salad. “The option is available. Any passenger can opt for a diet meal. The price is included in the ticket,” added the official.

The meal on mail trains will, however, have to be paid in addition. “We are yet to fix a price chart for the food items which will be available in the diet meal. The new menu was issued on December 3. We will introduce the new menu in phases and only selected items will be available on trains,” informed the official.

The menu offers an elaborate choice of juices and drinks — beetroot soup, tender coconut water, bittergourd soup and soy milk. In breakfast, the options are milk with cornflakes, boiled egg, vegetable dahlia, scrambled eggs with brown bread and boiled vegetables and fruit yogurt. “For lunch or dinner, the passengers can select from a variety of chicken and vegetable preparations. The menu offers lemon chicken breast with brown rice and tossed vegetables, atta roti, cucumber raita and dal. Depending on the condition of the patient, vegetable khichdi can also be served. Trains which have a pantry car attached to their trail of compartments can order some food to their specifications. The cooking can be customised according to requirements,” said the official.

“Patients who travel on Indian Railways can also carry their own diet chart. If permitted under the options available, items which dieticians have prescribed can also be served,” concluded the official.

Special tour package for south India

LUCKNOW: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has proposed a special `South Bharat Darshan Yatra’ for 14 nights/15 days at Rs 7,695 per person. The departure of the train will be from Delhi, Safdarjung on January 10, 2011.

The train will pass through Moradabad, Bareilly, Hardoi, Lucknow (arrival at 19:15 hrs and departure at 19:30 hrs), Varanasi (arrival at 01:00 hrs and departure at 01:10 hrs), Gaya, Puri, Tirupati, Rameswaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Bangalore and Manmad (Shirdi). The train will return to Delhi on January 24, 2011 at 20:50 hrs via Lucknow (arrival at 09:00 hrs).

Bharat Darshan train to start on Sept 10

The `Bharat Darshan’ train will now start its run from September 10. The train was to run from August 28 initially. The train has been proposed by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). It will take passengers around the country. Those willing to be on-board can book a ticket.

The train will run for 12 days starting on September 10. The package cost for the train is Rs 6,156 per person. It will depart from New Delhi on September 10 and will pass through Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow (arrival at 6:50 pm and departure at 7 pm), Puri, Ganga Sagar (Kolkata), Gaya, Varanasi, Allahabad, Indore and New Delhi. It will return back via Lucknow on September 21 (arrival at 10:00 am) on way to Delhi on the same day.

Those willing to know more about the train can contact IRCTC regional office, Lucknow at 0522 2305566/2305522 and 9794863619 or can log on to the website, said IRCTC official. There are also some facilities provided for this train viz confirmed train tickets in sleeper class, accommodation facilities at various places, all vegetarian meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner and sight seeing at all the above mentioned places by a non-AC vehicle.

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IRCTC to start radio cab service

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is now planning to have their own cab service. The IRCTC will soon roll out plans to offer radio cab services in the city with its own call centre. The cabs can be hired for a particular time period by train and air passengers with hi-end vehicles like Toyota, Honda, Skoda and Indica in

“The IRCTC will offer economy, standard and luxury cab services and there will be choice of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned services,” a senior IRCTC official said.

“Currently, we are in 11 cities, including Ahmedabad, Bangalore and New Delhi.”

“Plans for Mumbai are in a preliminary stage and we are in the process of working out the modalities,” he added.

He said there will be a centralised control room and passengers requiring cabs will have to dial the call centre. The call centre executive will then instruct the cab driver nearest to the location of the passenger to pick him up.

IRCTC has been looking at the tourism industry at a macro level and has also begun booking tickets for domestic flights.

“Trains do not go everywhere. There are sections and areas where train passengers have to look at other options to reach their desired destination after they complete their own journey,” said the IRCTC official.

“This is what IRCTC is trying to fulfill, by giving our passengers the complete experience of picking him up from one place and taking him to his desired destination. If there’s no train, IRCTC will offer cabs, planes and even book hotels,” the official added.

Railways to unveil special tourism package

MYSORE: For the ensuing holiday season, the Railways will unveil a special tourism package originating from Mysore to different parts of South India.

Buoyed by the response to its tourism promotion, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to include Mysore — a major tourist centre — as the embarking point for different tours to be launched by the corporation in due course.

Speaking to The-Hindu, S. Gagarin, Chief Regional Manager, IRCTC, South Western Railways, said the package tours will be launched by the second or third week of December and tourists visiting Mysore who wish to venture and explore further south at an affordable rate, as also people of Mysore and surrounding region, can avail themselves of the facility.

The package has been well designed and for the tourists hard-pressed for time as also those looking for a break, and it includes confirmed train tickets, transportation apart from lodging and boarding. “Catering to the residents of Mysore, IRCTC will roll out a new package operational to Chennai-Puducherry-Mahabalipuram-Tirupati-Kanchipuram” circuit”, Mr. Gagarin said.

Giving details of the itinerary which will become operational from December, he said the Mysore-Puducherry-Mahabalipuram-Tirupati-Kanchipuram trip will be covered in five nights and six days. Mr. Gagarin said the prices were competitive with assured accommodation on trains and onward journey by road apart from accommodation.

The IRCTC is also coming out with the rail tour packages for Madurai-Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram circuit with embarkation by train no. 6732 Tuticorin Express. This package will be operational by January 2010. These are special packages to cater to special needs of the tourists, said Mr. Gagarin and pointed out that in addition there were other packages from Mysore, which had proved to be popular.

This includes the Mysore-Tirupati package and also Bangalore-Shirdi package for which however, the boarding point is Bangalore. Mr. Gagarin said the pilgrimage circuit to Shirdi was immensely popular and there was daily departure by the Karnataka Express, and people of Mysore could avail themselves of it.

A few more circuits could be rolled out in future depending on the response to the new packages, said Mr. Gagarin who pointed out that IRCTC — which is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of Indian Railways — was on the fast-track to develop rail-based tourism in India ( and was hence exploring new vistas to spread its footprint and make itself the obvious choice for tourists.

IRCTC seeks passengers’ opinion on quality of food

New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) As part of its efforts to ensure passenger satisfaction, IRCTC has invited online opinions from travellers on the quality of food served onboard trains.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Limited, which looks after catering services on trains, has come in for a lot of flak over the quality of food served.

Though IRCTC has opened various channels to help passengers post their feedback which includes registering complaints on trains itself to improve services, it feels that the latest initiative will provide a correct assessment of its catering services.

On its website ‘’, the Railway PSU seeks an opinion poll with the question — How was onboard catering on your last train journey?

Passengers have to click in either of the two — satisfactory or non satisfactory.–opinion-on-quality-of-food

Published in: on October 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment