After two years of Covid-19 havoc, the popular luxury train 'Palace on Wheels' will be back on track during the coming tourist season. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), which runs the train with Indian Railways is all set to re-operate the train from the last week of September.
RTDC chairman Dharmendra Rathod said, "Palace on Wheels is the identity of Rajasthan in the country and the world. Serious efforts are being made by the corporation to restart the train. All preparations have been made to run the train and probably by the last week of September, the train will start running on the track."
Palace on Wheels: A luxury tourist train
The Palace on Wheels has been running for the last 40 years, except for the last two years of Covid. It started in 1982 with the concept of the first luxury heritage train in the country. It is 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 and others.
The interiors of the train have been designed to highlight the cultural and heritage ethos of Rajasthan.
The train starts from Delhi and during a week-long journey, covers the destinations like Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur etc.
The RTDC, this time, is planning to add some more destinations to the list. "We are planning to add Bundi and some other tourist places this time. Its route and timetable are being discussed in detail and will be announced soon," said Rathore.
He informed that the Indian Railways and the RTDC have agreed to operate the train on the O&M model. For this, the railway has also issued an acceptance letter.
It is to mention here that the tourist season in Rajasthan starts in October with the onset of winter. The tourism industry of the state has gone through a bad phase during the last two years as there was no foreign tourist because of Covid. This year the tour operators and industry are hoping for a good season.