IRCTC, pvt operators allowed to operate theme-based trains under ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme
According to a HT report, Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Bharat Gaurav trains, launched to boost tourism in the country, can be operated by private operators as well as the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
“We have allocated over 180 trains for Bharat Gaurav trains and 3,033 coaches identified. We will start taking applications from today. We have received a good response. The stakeholders will modify and run the train and the railways will help in maintenance, parking and other facilities,” Vaishnaw said.
“After passenger and goods segments, we will start the tourism segment to run Bharat Gaurav trains. These trains will show India’s culture and heritage,” Vaishnaw said.
“For example, if an operator wants to do a ‘Safari’ tour, the operator can decide at which station they want the train parked. They can also decide on a flexible itinerary. We have made provisions for operators so that they can enable these features when they take people out for a tour,” the railways minister added.
Vaishnaw also explained that any tour operator or departments, for example, MakeMyTrip or state tourism departments can take as many trains as they want, as per their business plan and they can then modify it accordingly depending on the tour plan or them.
He further said that the Indian Railways will offer assistance related to maintenance, parking, water supply and raw materials for food as and when required.
Speaking about fares, he said that tour operators will decide on fares but the Indian Railways will ensure that abnormal fees are not charged to travellers. Vaishnaw pointed out that all kinds of coaches – Vistadome, Vande Bharat or Tejas etc – can be used for these trains and the Indian Railways will try to cater to these demands as much as possible.
Bharat Gaurav trains are a segment of trains that aims to give people an authentic way to experience India’s culture, heritage, diversity, the railway minister said earlier this month.