Indian Railways will run a special train equipped with world class facilities on the Buddhist circuit to attract tourists from Japan, China, Thailand and Sri Lanka by the end of December this year, an official said on Wednesday.
Railway Board member Rajesh Agrawal, while inspecting the coaches being manufactured for the special train at Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, said the express will cover the Buddhist destinations of Bodh Gaya, Budh Vihar, Sarnath and Kushi Nagar.
The first rake of special coaches will be rolled out of RCF by the end of this month and put into operation by the end of December, Agrawal said while talking to media persons after inspecting the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches.
He said the Indian Railways Catering and Tourists Corporation (IRCTC) will manage and run the special train and also decide the fare.
The luxurious Maharaja Express is being run by IRCTC for international tourists and the new rake of 12 coaches will add a feather to the cap of the IRCTC, he said.
Revealing the features inside the coaches, RCF General Manager Satya Prakash Trivedi said the train will have digital lockers, venetian windows, decorative lighting, CCTV cameras, hands-free taps and soap dispensers, anti-graffti coating and bio-toilets among others.
The first rake includes four coaches of AC first class, two of AC second class, one AC 3-tier for staff, two for dining car and one for pantry besides two power car coaches, said the GM.
Replying to a question on the inordinate delay in running the New Delhi-Chandigarh Tejas express train when the rake of 19 coaches was lying idle with the Northern Railways for the past more than four months, Agrawal said the Railway Board will take a decision within two to three days.