In a first, a 'tourist friendly' Vistadome coach was launched along the Visakhapatnam-Araku route in Andhra on Sunday.
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the trial run of the much awaited coach service, via a video conference from Bhubaneswar, the headquarters of the East Coast Railway. The coach reportedly have features like glass roof, LED lights, rotatable seats, GPS-based info system.
"The long cherished dream of Visakhapatnam tourists to travel in Vistadome coaches with wide windowpanes has become a reality. The objective here is to offer tourists to enjoy the scenic beauty, not only at destination, but also en route to picturesque Araku Valley. This is just the beginning, we have more surprises in store. Plans are afoot to introduce the Vistadome services in the scenic north eastern states to promote tourism,” Suresh Prabhu was quoted as saying.
Waltair Divisional Railway Manager, Chandralekha Mukherjee along with Araku MP Kothapalli Geetha, experienced the trial run on Sunday.
With the huge demand from tourists, more vistadome coaches would be needed on the Araku train. The second vistadome coach is expected to arrive in Visakhapatnam by the end of this month and it would be attached to the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger, Chandralekha told The HIndu.
The manufacturing cost of the coach is said to be Rs 3.38 crore.
According to the Times of India, the coach also has facilities like electrically operated automatic sliding compartment doors, a wide side door for physically challenged persons, toilets with ceramic tile flooring, and good food services.
“The beauty of Ananthagiri ghat will breathtaking for passengers travelling in the vistadome coach. The train will be rolled out for passengers from Wednesday and the tickets will be available from Tuesday," the DRM told TOI.
The coach consists of 40 seats, and each chair will cost Rs. 650 per head.
Once operational, the train will leave from Visakhapatnam railway station at 7.15 am daily and begin its return trip from Araku at 4 pm.