Luxury trains in India

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Deccan Odyssey, a luxury train launched to promote Maharashtra tourism, may start ferrying tourists again next year.

About Luxury trains in India:

  • India has four luxury trains — Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, Golden Chariot and Maharaja Express. 

Palace on Wheels (Rajasthan):

  • The train’s royal origins give it its name ‘Palace on Wheels’.
  • Its carriages once seated the rulers of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India.
  • These luxurious coaches lay abandoned post-Independence till 1981-82, when the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways launched a special heritage train for tourists visiting Rajasthan.
  • A Broad Guage version of the Palace On Wheels was introduced in 1996.

Deccan Odyssey (Maharashtra):

  • This luxury train was introduced by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
  • The first proposal to launch a deluxe train tour in Maharashtra was made in 2001 and, accordingly, the MTDC and Indian Railways signed an MoU in the same year to turn this proposal into a reality.
  • In 2003, the ‘Blue Limousine On Wheels’, as it is named, was ready. On January 19, 2004, the inaugural journey of the train set off from CST Mumbai.

Golden Chariot (Karnataka):

  • An MoU signed between the Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation (KSTDC) and Indian Railways in 2002 resulted in the Golden Chariot, south India’s first luxury train.
  • The luxury train was named after the famous stone chariot in Hampi.
  • In 2008, the then President Pratibha Patil gave a ceremonial presidential flag-off to the Golden Chariot at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station.
  • On March 10, 2008, Golden Chariot chugged on its maiden voyage from Bengaluru to Goa, making its way through the picturesque destinations of Karnataka.

Maharajas Express:

  • The Maharajas Express made its maiden voyage called ‘Gems of India’ on October 17, 2012.
  • The train draws inspiration from the private saloons of the erstwhile Maharajas’ of India.
  • The three-night-four-day journey, touring the ‘Golden Triangle’ covering Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, first began at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station.

Source : Indian Express