Special train connecting heritage sites to be launched soon

Vaishnaw said the Railways have plan to introduce the train under a new concept -- 'Heritage special.' Photo: Representative image/Manorama

Imagine being able to explore all the heritage sites of India through a train journey. Indian Railways is en route to making this a reality and as the first step, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw unveiled a special train in Chennai, that would run on heritage routes across the country. He said that more of such trains will be introduced in the coming months.

'Heritage special'
Elaborating on the concept, Vaishnaw said the Railways had planned to introduce a new concept -- 'Heritage special' which would be built using 'steam engines' as the theme.

"The steam engine as we all know, is very emotionally connected to us and even though it is not running today, we thought we can create a new concept that looks like a steam engine but actually operates by electricity," he told reporters. "This new concept has been created as heritage special, I thank the very good technical officers, staff and Golden Rock Railway Workshop, Tiruchirappalli, Perambur, and Avadi who have all contributed in creating this concept," said the minister.

Testing on long heritage routes

The special train launched first would consist of three air-conditioned executive chair cars and one air-conditioned pantry and restaurant car.

To a query, the minister said the special train would be first tested on long heritage routes and later it would be open for tourists in two-three months.

"We will first try this and then manufacture more of this. In another two or three months, it should get into public use. Basically, our testing on the ground is complete, we received the safety certificate for it. we will be running it on longer routes and then take it into regular commercial operation" he said.

Vaishnaw said the Ministry would initially look at popular heritage routes across the country for launching the special train.

Asked about the funding went for developing this concept, he said, "This is more of a modification of the existing things, the boiler is newly constructed. it is not very expensive."

More Vande Bharat trains for the south
On the launch of Vande Bharat trains, he said the Railways was manufacturing at the rate of one train a week. "More trains will be coming in south," he said.

The concept for the coaches was conceived, and developed by Southern Railway in consultation with Research Designs and Standards Organisation and Railway Board.

The four air-conditioned coaches, each having a capacity of 48 seats, were converted with modern features along with aesthetically designed interiors and fittings to have a comfortable experience for the tourists.  

(With PTI inputs)

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