A set of around 190 theme-based trains called Bharat Gaurav trains will soon be launched, Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

TrainsPTI
news Transport Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 18:19

After freight and passenger segments, the Indian Railways is set to begin a third segment dedicated to the tourism sector. A set of around 190 theme-based trains called Bharat Gaurav trains will soon be launched, Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Tuesday, November 23. The themed trains are expected to boost the tourism sector, which was severely hit when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in 2020.

Addressing a press conference, the Railways Minister said these trains could be run both by the private sector as well as the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). "These are not regular trains that will be run on timetables. We have identified 3,033 coaches or 190 trains for these theme-based trains. After passenger and goods segments, we will start the tourism segment to run Bharat Gaurav trains. These trains will showcase India's culture and heritage. We have invited applications for them from today," he said.

He also said the fare of these trains would be practically decided by tour operators, but the railways would ensure that there is no abnormality in the prices.

The minister also said that the service providers must offer all-inclusive packages for the tourists, including rail travel, hotel accommodation, sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides and other services. Further, the service providers are free to design the coaches as per the theme, and will be allowed to advertise their services both inside and outside the trains.

Earlier, on November 19, the Railway Board issued an order to resume serving cooked meals to passengers on trains. The service was earlier halted due to COVID-19 restrictions. Officials, however, said curbs introduced in view of COVID-19, such as temporary restrictions on concessions, and bed rolls, would continue to be in effect.

With the operation of special trains and no concessions, the Railways' revenue too has seen substantial growth. The railways registered an increase of 113% in earnings from the passenger segment during the second quarter of 2021-2022 as compared to the first.

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