Opening its doors to common man for the first time, IRCTC operated Railway Saloon Coach departed for its maiden tour to Katra. The privately-occupied coach which was earlier available for only top railway officials had six passengers on board when it pulled out of the Old Delhi Railway Station. The private coach was attached to the Jammu Mail train.
The coach is equipped with amenities like two exclusive air-conditioned bedrooms with attached bath, a large living cum dining room, kitchenette and rear window for unobstructed views. IRCTC has even called it a 'moving house'. The privately-occupied saloon coach comes with valet service.
According to IRCTC, the cost of chartering this saloon coach is around Rs 2 lakh.
The six customers were the first passengers to experience the grandeur of travelling in a saloon car, after the facility, which till now was primarily reserved for railway officials to reach places not connected by road or air, was opened to public, the IRCTC said.
The first charter service was been booked by M/s Royal India Train Journeys for its six customers for a saloon travelling from Delhi to Jammu.
"This will be an all inclusive tour where the guests will be offered all the comfort of a hotel. Exclusive staff will be available for services on board. Railway also provides one AC attendant and one saloon attendant for ensuring hassle free travel," the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said.
The four-day tour started on Friday and the saloon will be back on April 2. It was attached to the Jammu Mail at the Old Delhi Railway Station for onward journey to Katra.
From now on, the saloons are available for charter for the common people and the details are available on the IRCTC website, it said.
The decision to make such saloons available to people was taken soon after a meeting of Chairman of the Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, with travel and trade associations in Delhi in January this year.
The Railways has a total of 336 saloon cars across railway zones, among them 62 are air-conditioned.
with PTI inputs