Big initiative: Indian Railways plans to spread rail-based tourism

New Delhi: Indian Railways on Saturday (September 11) announced their plan to spread rail-based tourism among masses through leasing of coaching stock to interested parties to run them as theme-based cultural, religious, and other tourist circuit train.

This has been planned to tap the potential of the tourism sector and to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of the tourism sector in tourism activities like marketing, hospitality, etc.

An Executive Director level committee has been constituted by the Ministry of Railways to formulate the policy and terms and conditions.

According to the Railways Ministry, the proposed model would have the leasing of coaches as per the desired configuration of interested parties.

Outright purchase of coaches can also be done. “Leasing to be done for a minimum period of 5 years and extendable till codal life of coaches,” said the ministry. The proposed model would have a minimum train composition for leasing purposes as per policy guidelines.

It was also informed by the ministry that a simple registration process would be conducted for the interested parties based on the eligibility criteria. Indian Railways will levy haulage charges, nominal stabling charges, and lease charges.

As per the ministry, some key features of the proposed model are that punctuality would be its priority and timely approvals would be provided for coach refurbishment and itineraries. The proposed model would also permit third-party advertising inside the train. 

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