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Rail Tourism in India

भारत में रेल पर्यटन

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http://irctctourism.com

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Luxury Rail in India
The Indian Railways along with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation provides a wide range of luxury rail travel in India. There are four tourist trains and three categories of superfast passenger rail services availed by the Indian railways. Indian Railways has recently decided to introduce luxurious Anubhuti Coaches in regular Trains, which would be similar to coaches in Luxury Trains like Maharaja Express or Palace on Wheels. However the Kolkata Metro Railway, which is also the 17th Zone of the Indian Railways also comes under the Luxury railways in India.

Tourist Trains
The Palace on Wheels is a luxury tourist train. It was launched by the Indian Railways to promote tourism in Rajasthan, and has been highly popular since its launch. The train service was refurbished and relaunched in August 2009 with a new decor, itinerary and cuisine. The concept of the Palace on Wheels was derived from the royal background of the coaches, which were originally meant to be the personal railway coaches of the erstwhile rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India. Each coach has four cabins (named chambers or saloons by the company) with twin beds, wall-to-wall carpeting, air-conditioning, DTH satellite television, channel music, intercom, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, with personal attendants.
The Maharaja Express is a luxury train owned by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and operated from early 2010. The train used to be a joint venture between Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporationbut after the verdict of the High Court and Supreme Court of India the train now belong exclusively to the IRCTC. The IRCTC are the owners of the Maharajas Express Train The reintroduced Maharaja Express train offers 5 itineraries, all of which either begin or end in Delhi and include a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. Each morning, the train arrives at a different station for off-rail excursions, including visits to monuments, heritage sites, shopping, palaces, forts, and hotels. New itineraries announced by the operators of Maharajas Express include 3 pan-Indian journeys and 2 golden triangle tour itineraries covering Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. The Maharaja Express is the most expensive luxury train in India. It was named to the 2011 list of World's Top 25 Trains by The Society of International Railway Travelers and was praised for its onboard accommodation and dining facilities, service, and off-train excursion program after its review in the Fall of 2010.
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a luxury tourist train run by Indian Railways. It is modelled on the Palace on Wheels, and follows a similar route through Rajasthan. Tourists are taken to several important tourist, wildlife and heritage sites across Rajasthan. The train was launched in January 2009 following the success of the Palace on Wheels, another luxury train that travels through Rajasthan. Some of the tourist attractions covered are the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Ranthambhor National Park, Chittaurgarh Fort, Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Agra Fort and finally the Taj Mahal.
The Golden Chariot is a luxury tourist train that connects the important tourist spots in the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa. It is named after the Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi. The 19 coaches on the train are coloured purple and gold, and sport the logo of a mythological animal with the head of an elephant and a body of a lion. The Golden Chariot operates weekly and had its maiden commercial run on March 10, 2008.[18] The train, along with the Deccan Odyssey, is designed on the lines of the more popular Palace on Wheels with accommodations, spa treatments and dining. The train is operated by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation and marketed by The Luxury Trains, whereas The Mapple Group handles the hospitality services on the train. The Golden Chariot offers accommodation in 44 cabins in 11 coaches that are named after dynasties that ruled the region: Kadamba, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bahamani, Adil Shahi, Sangama, Satavahana, Yadukula and Vijayanagar. It also has two restaurants, a lounge bar, and conference, gym and spa facilities. It is the only train in India to have onboard Wi-Fi connectivity, and satellite antennae providing live television service in the cabins.

High speed Trains
The Duronto Express "Rebel" or "rebellious" or "Restless"in a positive way.) is a category of long distance trains run by the Indian Railways. The special feature of these trains is that they run non-stop from source to destination, barring technical halts. All Duronto Express trains can be easily recognized by the characteristic yellow-green livery of their passenger coaches. Several Duronto Express services connect the metros and major state capitals of India. The Duronto Express trains are projected to be the fastest trains between the particular pair of cities they serve, although this is not necessarily true for all services. The Duronto Expresses are one of the fastest trains in India. These trains run faster than Rajdhani Express trains which hold the record of the fastest long-distance trains in India.This has been made possible as these trains, unlike the Rajdhani Express, will have no intermediate stoppages and run in much the same speed clocked by Rajdhani.For example, the new bi-weekly non-stop train between New Delhi and Sealdah will take 16 hours to cover the journey, as against 17 hours taken by Rajdhani Express.The trains will, however, have technical stoppages at a few stations for facilitating staff and loco change but the transit time will come down drastically.The trains will adhere to the speed limit of 110 km/h {non stop}.[23] The Chennai and Pune Duronto run at a speed of 130 km/h.
The Rajdhani Express is a passenger train service in India connecting New Delhi with other important destinations, especially state capitals. Rajdhani means "The Capital" in Hindi and other Indian Languages. Rajdhani Express was introduced in 1969, for providing fast connections (up to 140 km/h or 87 mph, speed varies depending upon the particular track section) from various railway stations in the capital city of New Delhi to the capital cities of various states in India (or, in certain cases, prominent cities within the state the train serves). The first Rajdhani Express left New Delhi station for Howrah station to cover a distance of 1,445 km in 16 hours 55mins. These trains get the highest priority on the Indian railway network. They are fully air-conditioned. Passengers are served complimentary meals during the journey. Depending on the duration and timings of the journey, these could include lunch, high tea, dinner, morning tea and breakfast. Almost all Rajdhani trains offer three classes of accommodation: First Class AC with 2- or 4-berth lockable bedrooms, AC 2-tier with open berths (bays of 4 berths + 2 berths on the other side of the corridor) with curtains for privacy, and AC 3-tier (bays of 6 berths + 2 berths on the side) with curtains for privacy.
The Shatabdi Express trains are a series of fast (called superfast in India) passenger trains operated by Indian Railways to connect Metro cities with other cities important for tourism, pilgrimage or business. Shatabdi Express are day-trains and they return to the station of origin the same day. The word "Shatabdi" means centenary in Sanskrit, Hindi and several Indian languages. The first Shatabdi train was started in 1988 to commemorate the centenary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's Birthday (the First Prime Minister of India) by Madhav Rao Scindia, minister for railways. It operated from New Delhi to Jhansi, later extended to Bhopal. It is now known as the Bhopal Shatabdi Express. The Bhopal Shatabdi is the fastest train in India and it runs at an average speed of around 93.05 km/h (57.82 mph) between the origin and the destination though it runs at speeds at 160 km/h (99 mph) on some stretches between Agra and New Delhi stations.These trains are now using latest L.H.B. Rakes to provide extra comfort in the train. The Lucknow - Delhi Shatabdi has a recorded speed of 145 km/h (90 mph) although it lingers in the neighborhood of 130 km/h (81 mph) for most of the cruising distance.


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