BENGALURU: It is possible to soon benefit from the panoramic view of holiday destinations in Karnataka while travelling in trains. In a bid to encourage tourism, the railways will probably operate luxurious vistadome (glass-top) air-conditioned coaches on trains plying through major tourist routes in hawaii.
The railways’ tourism and catering directorate had requested Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to recognize potential routes for vistadome coaches. “IRCTC, after taking into consideration the scenic beauty and potential tourist flow, has identified routes across various railway zones,” said the official communication from the railway board to all or any zones.
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In South Western Railway (SWR) jurisdiction, IRCTC has identified several routes to introduce vistadome coaches. Included in these are Bengaluru-Karwar, Bengaluru-Shivamogga via Kadur (Chikkamagaluru), Bengaluru-Goa, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Mangaluru-Goa via Udupi, Bengaluru-Hosapete (Hampi) and Bengaluru-Mysuru.
Vistadome coaches, which is attached to the prevailing trains, have 40 reclining chairs that may rotate 360 degrees also. As well as the glass roof, vistadome coaches shall have LED lights, GPS-based info system, microwave oven and small refrigerators. They’re built at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai at a price of Rs 3.38 crore.
E Vijaya, chief pr officer (CPRO), said they shall conduct a feasibility study to introduce vistadome coaches in the prevailing trains. “The routes suggested by the railway board has high tourist potential, but we must attach these coaches and then daytime trains. We shall need to conduct a report on the coach requirements also,” she added.
NS Pradeep Kumar, a rail enthusiast, said: “It’s a welcome proceed to introduce vistadome coaches so you can benefit from the beauty of places along the way as they’re more transparent than conventional coaches. SWR also needs to include Madgaon-Londa route that is a popular route on the list of tourists. However, routes like Bengaluru-Shivamogga, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Bengaluru-Mysuru and Bengaluru-Hosapete is probably not viable as much of the accepted places are actually concrete jungles and barren lands, which might not entertain tourists.”
In 2017, the former Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the initial vistadome coach, that was mounted on the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train passing through Araku Valley hill station, ghat tunnels and sections. In addition, it has wider window glasses so passengers can benefit from the beauty of the accepted places. Vistadome coaches were recently introduced on Mumbai-Goa route on Dadar-Madgaon Jan Shatabdi Express also.
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