India's first-of-its-kind rail system has come to track after the Indian Railways has announced the introduction of the new age railway system - 'Bharat Gaurav', through which trains can be taken for rent by private players. The introduction has drawn nationwide attention as the Railway Ministry has unveiled a rental drive for the purpose of tourism and it has come into effect from Tuesday with a plan of not disturbing the existing railway ecosystem.
In what has been called the tourist circuit of the Indian Railways, Bharat Gaurav will be showcasing India's rich cultural heritage and history to the world. The Ministry has approved the rental operation and 190 such trains will be operated on lease by private players and state entities such as tourism departments and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). While addressing the press conference, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that the ministry has identified 3,033 coaches for Bharat Gaurav trains.
According to PTI, the Union Minister said, "We have allocated trains for Bharat Gaurav and 3033 coaches have been identified. We will start receiving applications from today (Wednesday) and we have received a good response. Stakeholders will modify and run the trains and the Railways will help in its maintenance, parking, and other facilities." The minister called the rental and lease services the third segment of the Indian Railways after the passenger and freight services.
He further said that the private players and stakeholders running Bharat Gaurav trains will have the freedom to fix fares and amenities. He stated that these trains will not be regular trains that will run on schedules. He further said that states like Odisha, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu have shown interest in operating these trains. It has been reported that each pair of Bharat Gaurav trains will have 14 to 16 coaches including two guard vans.
Vaishnaw added that anyone, from individuals, societies, trusts, tour operators, to state governments can apply and take these trains and operate them on special tourism circuits. "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 added.
On the front of registration fees, these trains can be taken with the online registration charge of Rs 1 lakh and with the bond of Rs 1 crore to install various amenities. It must be noted that the IRCTC has already been running the Ramayana train circuit and plans are being made to launch Gurdwara trains to connect important gurdwaras across the country.
Press Conference on ‘Bharat Gaurav’ trains. https://t.co/giyAOjpya3— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) November 23, 2021