Maiden service of Bharat Gaurav train commences from Coimbatore to Sainagar Shirdi
Chennai, June 15, 2022
In what could be a major boost for domestic tourism, the first journey of the theme-based Bharat Gaurav train from Coimbatore to Shirdi and back, offered by a private company as a registered service provider, started on Tuesday.
Gautam Srinivas, Divisional Railway Manager, Salem Division, R Senthil Kumar, Chief Commercial Manager/Passenger Services, Southern Railway, Hari Krishnan, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Salem Division, and senior officials of the South Star Rail Project and Southern Railway were present on the occasion.
With this, Southern Railway has become the first zone in Indian Railways to get the first registered service provider under the "Bharat Gaurav” scheme.
As many as 1,100 passengers travelled on the maiden round-trip service from Coimbatore to Shirdi.
The train commenced its journey at 18:00 hours on Tuesday and will reach Sainagar Shirdi at 07:25 hours on Thursday, with stoppages at Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Yelahanka, Dharmavaram, Mantralayam Road and Wadi.
During the onward journey from Coimbatore, the train has stoppage at Mantralayam Road station for five hours to facilitate "darshan" at Mantralayam temple
In the return direction, the train will leave Sainagar Shirdi at 07:25 hours on Friday and reach Coimbatore North at 12:00 hours on the next day with stoppages at Wadi, Dharmavaram, Yelahanka, Salem, Erode and Tiruppur.
The train has the following composition of coaches: First AC -1; 2-tier AC - 3; 3-tier AC - 8; Sleeper Class - 5 , Pantry car - 1 and Luggage-cum-Brake Vans - 2, to add up to a total of 20 coaches.
South Star Rail is the registered service provider that operates this service. It is a Coimbatore-based registered company and part of Future Gaming & Hotel Services Pvt. Limited.
The service provider has paid Rs. 1 crore as security deposit to Southern Railway for the rake with a composition of 20 coaches. Besides, the company has paid Rs. 27.79 lakh for annual Right to Use charges and quarterly fixed haulage charges of Rs.76.77 lakh. In addition, variable haulage charges of Rs. 38.22 lakhs also has been collected towards the current round trip. All these charges are excluding GST.
From operation of this Bharat Gaurav train, Southern Railway would get a total fixed revenue of Rs. 3.34 crore per annum, i.e., an annual Right to Use charges of Rs. 27.79 lakhs (exl GST) and Rs. 3.07 crore towards fixed haulage charges per annum In addition variable haulage charge of Rs. 38.22 lakhs (excluding GST) for the 5-day trip from Coimbatore to Sainagar Shirdi and back will accrue to Southern Railway. Similar variable charges will be collected for every trip depending upon the itinerary.
The company has refurbished the interiors of the coaches and all the coaches will be manned with round-the-clock cleaning staff and a team of service professionals to offer passengers a wholesome experience.
Public address system has been provided in all coaches for regular communication, playing of devotional songs and mantras. In addition to offering the option of exclusive transportation services, the registered service provider also offers a package fare which includes transportation from Coimbatore to Shirdi and back, VIP darshan, bus arrangement, air-conditioned accommodation, facilitation by tour guide, etc.
There will be a doctor on board to attend any emergency. Private security firms have been engaged along with the Railway Police Force to protect the passengers.
There will be on board electricians and AC mechanic and Fire and Safety Officers.
The train is maintained by branded housekeeping service providers who will clean the utility areas at frequent intervals and the caterers are experienced in serving traditional vegetarian menus.
The coaches are fitted with high bass sounding speakers and an on-rail Radio Jockey to keep the passengers entertained during the journey. There will be devotional songs, spiritual stories and live interviews to keep the journey pleasant
Indian Railways had launched the operation of theme-based Bharat Gaurav trains in November 2021. The objective is to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world, through Bharat Gaurav Trains. This scheme also aims to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of the tourism sector to run theme-based trains to tap the vast tourist potential of India.
At present, IRCTC is already running several tourist circuit trains in Railways. With introduction of this policy, all tourist circuit trains shall be operated as per the guidelines issued under this policy. This Bharat Gaurav scheme will now help in roping in of more tour operators with professional experience and will give boost to tourism sector in the country, an official press release added.