Now, luxury chartered train for foreign tourists

In order to attract foreign tourists in the region, the Indian Railways Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is set to introduce a luxury chartered train from Kalka to Shimla.

The first such train in the northern region is likely to leave the Kalka railway station on January 16 and the tourists will be able to soak up the scenic beauty of the “Queen of Hills” and other tourist spots along the way. The tourists will have to shell out between $ 120 and $ 150 for a one-way trip.

Talking with The Tribune, IRCTC Chief Regional Manager RK Sondh said the train was being introduced with a view to target foreign tourists who visited the capital city of Himachal Pradesh throughout the year.

He said the chartered train would leave the Kalka railway station in the morning and return in the evening.

Sondh said they were also planning to provide drinks to their travellers during the trip. Steps were being taken to seek liquor licences from the authorities concerned in this regard.

He said the chartered train to South India as part of the Bharat Darshan initiative would leave on January 7. The train would visit Tirupati and Mahabaleshwaram. The first halt of the train would be at Shirdi and those wishing to travel on the train would have to shell out Rs 5,500 for the 11-day tour, he added.

A team of doctors would be provided on the train to take care of the devotees in case of an emergency.

Arrangements would also be made to accommodate passengers, who want to leave the train on health grounds, in other trains, subject to availability of seats, for their return journey.

He said over 10,000 persons had travelled on these chartered trains under their Bharat Darshan initiative.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20111218/cth1.htm