Indian Railways will introduce vistadome coach on regular basis from December 11 giving a perfect scenic view of the Shimla-Kalka route to passengers. The fares in these coaches will be Rs 130 for adults and Rs 75 for children.
"Indian Railways has decided to introduce vistadome coach on regular basis from December 11 on the Shimla-Kalka route. Fares would be Rs 130 for adults and Rs 75 for children," Shimla Railway station superintendent Prince Sethi said on Sunday.
Prince Sethi, Station Superintendent, Shimla Railway station: Indian Railways has decided to introduce vistadome coach on regular basis from December 11 on the Shimla-Kalka route. Fares would be Rs 130 for adults and Rs 75 for children. pic.twitter.com/YhG82v9uOW
— ANI (@ANI) December 9, 2018
Earlier reports had suggested that the glass-enclosed coaches on the narrow gauge in the Kalka-Shimla route will cost more than Rs 500 per seat. The only such coach in a narrow gauge network exists in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
Such coaches, with transparent roofs to enjoy the scenic beauty outside, are currently run in broad gauge networks between Mumbai-Goa and Vishakapatnam to Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh. There is also a proposal to run vistadome coaches in Jammu and Kashmir, but reports said that security issues have kept the plans on hold.
The vistadome coach, which will run on the 95.5 km route, has been built locally in 100 days at a cost of around Rs 10 lakh. Currently, the fare of the Shivalik Deluxe Express which runs on the route is Rs 425 and the cheapest costs Rs 25.
An official said the fare of the vistadome coach, which is the first train on the route to have air-conditioning, is likely to be more than Rs 500.
It is an old second-class coach which has been refurbished into a glass-enclosed one and the seats have been upgraded. The service, mostly aimed at catering to foreigners, will have installed glasses all around so that the tourist can sit in the train and enjoy the beauty of the area without even stepping out.
It has a capacity of 36 seats, with no toilets or catering service at the moment, Divisional Railway Manager Ambala DC Sharma had said. He also said that the next coach is expected to have toilets. Sharma said as compared to the other vistadome coaches on the broad gauge routes, the one on the Kalka-Shimla route was a basic one.
Depending on the success of these coaches, more such glass-enclosed coaches are likely to be put into service. The train with such a coach currently will run at a speed of 25 km per hour.