NEW DELHI :
PRIVATE players can now run theme-based tourist circuit trains by leasing them from the railways with the freedom to fix fares and amenities under a new service, Bharat Gaurav, which was launched by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday. The railways has allocated around 190 trains for these theme-based circuits, described as the third segment in services offered by the national transporter after the freight and passenger segments. “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. “As of now, ICF coaches have been earmarked for the Bharat Gaurav scheme. But in the future even Vande Bharat, Vista Dome and LHB coaches can be included based on demand,” he said. He said that anyone, from individuals to societies, trusts, consortia, tour operators and even State Governments can apply to take these trains and run them on special tourism circuits based on a theme. The minister said that State Governments like Odisha, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have shown interest in these trains. He further added that the core strength of the professionals of tourism sector would be leveraged to develop and identify tourist circuits and run theme-based trains to tap the vast tourism potential of India.