CHANNAI: A city-based organization has been given the green light to operate trains under the Bharat Gaurav train program by the Southern Railway.
As a result, Southern Railway becomes the first area of ââIndian Railways to get the first service provider registered under the program.
According to a Southern Railways official, the name of the service provider can only be shared when it pays the charges to the railways.
Southern Railway said that when the service provider registers the request online by specifying the type and number of coaches, the rakes / trains will be allocated on the basis of the right of use for a specified number of years.
The rakes will be used by the service provider to organize a thematic visit according to the itinerary approved by the Railways.
Indian Railways introduced Bharat Gaurav trains from November 23 with the aim of showcasing India’s rich cultural heritage and beautiful historic places to people across India and around the world.
As part of this unique system of its kind, the Railways will offer operators the “Right to Use” of its rakes.
“The rakes can be used as is or the operator can refurbish them. The motor and its operator will be provided by Indian Railways for a fee,” an official told IANS, preferring anonymity.
We learn that tour operators and players in the hotel industry are in discussion with Indian railways for this project.
The initial registration fee will be Rs 1 lakh and the right of use will be provided for a minimum period of two years and a maximum period until the remaining lifespan of the coaches.
The service provider can also purchase cars directly from the railroad manufacturing units under the Non-Rail Customer Scheme (NRC).
Service providers will be free to decide on the business model and price depending on the level of service of these trains. They should offer an all inclusive package for tourists including train travel, hotel accommodation, organization of sightseeing tours, visit to historic / heritage sites, tour guides.
In addition to charging tourists, operators are allowed to tag and review advertising revenue both inside and outside the train.
The composition must be from a minimum of 14 cars to a maximum of 20 cars, including the two compulsory guard vans.
The security deposit for the rake will be Rs 1 crore which must be submitted in the form of a performance bank guarantee.