New Delhi: Riding on the stupendous success of Palace on Wheels, one of the top ten luxury trains in the world, Rajasthan will be launching a second super luxury train in January.
The tourist train — Royal Rajasthan on Wheels — will be operated jointly by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) and Railways. The train will be run from 11 January.
“Our Palace on Wheels is a great success story and we expect the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels to be better than the former as there are more onboard facilities in the latter,” RTDC chairperson Mira Mehrishi said.
The itinerary of the train is almost the same as Palace on Wheels except that it will go to Bikaner instead of Sawai Madhopur. The train starting from New Delhi will travel to Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bharatpur and Agra before coming back to the capital during its eight-day long journey.
“This train is more luxurious than Palace on Wheels as it has facilities like spa, retro lounges, wi-fi connectivity and spacious super deluxe saloon,” she said.
However, unlike Palace on Wheels, RTDC has to pay haulage charges as per the new policy formulated by Railways for tourist trains.
“We will be paying about Rs30 lakhs per trip to Railways as per the new policy,” she said adding: “Palace on Wheels is being run on revenue sharing basis with Railways.”
While Railways get 56% of the revenue, Rajasthan’s share is 44% in Palace on Wheels.
Equipped with a spa, gym, two resto-bars, STD and Internet facilities, the special coaches for the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels are being made at Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
The train will be ready by the end of this month and it would be operational in January.
According to a senior RTDC official, the new train will have 22 coaches including super deluxe suites and deluxe saloons among others as also special suites for small groups and individuals.
Besides, the super luxury train will have a board room and a conference room.
“Since the new train will have more onboard facilities, tourists have to pay more for it,” said the official.
Meanwhile, Heritage on Wheels, another tourist train operational in Rajasthan will stop running next month.
“Since railway is converting the metre gauge route to broad gauge, operation of Heritgae train will come to a halt on 31 December this year,” said the official.