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Blog Entry# 3176256
Posted: Mar 06 (13:57)

1 Responses
Last Response: Mar 06 (13:57)
  
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Mar 06 (13:07)   Plan afoot to cut luxury trains tariff by 50%

   214 news posts
Entry# 3176256   News Entry# 330812         Tags   Past Edits
The Centre has decided to slash the tariff by almost 50 per cent on popular trains like Maharaja Express, Palace on Wheels, the Golden Chariot, Deccan Odyssey and Royal Orient. Rail tourism aficionados can now make the most of it and spend more time to traverse the scenic and colourful landscapes of India. Tariff on such trains range anywhere from Rs 10,000 to Rs 34,000.
The move follows the Railway Ministry's decision to slash the haulage charges borne by the State Tourism Departments, partners or stakeholders like IRCTC which run the trains in coordination with the network of Indian Railways.
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only this, in yet another decision, private persons, who till date had only read about the luxury saloons or the inspection coaches used by the President of India, Prime Minister and top railway officials, can now hire the two-bedroom carriage with a lounge, kitchen and toilet setup aboard a train to enjoy a luxurious journey.
The tourism sector of the Indian Railways in recent months has been going through a lean patch as the popularity of royal trains, which once held a big attraction for foreign tourists, declined sharply.
The revenue from the super luxury tourist trains - the Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan - operated jointly by Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism - has dipped in a big way. The revenue for the Royal Rajasthan has come down by massive 63.18 per cent and Palace on Wheels' revenue decreased by 24.08 per cent.
Taking a serious note of the declining trends, the Railway Board on March 1 reviewed the policy on luxury trains and decided to reduce the existing haulage charges by 50 percent through a commercial notification. Haulage charges were borne by the State Governments. For example, Palace on Wheels is operated by Rajasthan Tourism, the Deccan Odyssey is operated by Maharashtra Government and IRCTC, the railways' own tourism arm, operates trains like Maharaja Express.
The saloon journey will come at an “exorbitant” price, decided when the journey will be taken by individuals. The Railways has a total of 336 saloon cars across railway zones, among them 62 are air-conditioned.
Further, a railway official said that the national transporter now also intends to give the common man an experience of travelling in saloons that was a popular and much sought after train ride during the British regime as they were used by their top authorities.
He said there had been a demand for offering of saloon train journeys for quite long but the decision was taken under the present regime. Soon after he took over as Chairman, Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani had discouraged the use of saloons by railway officials and asked them to travel by routine trains and cut down the costs.
Lohani recently took the initiative to conduct the first interactive session with travel trade partners and associations and stakeholders after a parliamentary committee blamed the national transporter for not doing enough to promote rail tourism.
Saloons were most commonly used by senior railway officials to reach accident sites and remote railway lines not connected by road or air. Railway sources said that crores are spent on maintenance of the saloons or the inspection coaches which in recent times was misused by top rail officials and their families for vacationing.
“Saloons are ideal for two families to travel and built to facilitate stay for up to a week's time. We have asked the IRCTC to chalk out routes on which saloons can be operated. Thereafter the price mechanism, which has to be telescopic tariff, will be finalized. Because on a section of New Delhi-Mumbai route an individual will like to use the saloon only from New Delhi to Surat or from Agra to Surat and for them the logistics has to be framed up and the price would vary definitely,” said a senior railway official.

1 Public Posts - Tue Mar 06, 2018

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