Two tourist coaches proposed to be attached to Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger

Tourists travelling to Araku by train may soon find the journey more enjoyable and pleasant.

On a plea made by Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari, the Railway Ministry recently asked the Government of Andhra Pradesh to send a proposal on launching a tourist train from Visakhapatnam to Araku.

As a first step in this direction, two tourist coaches with chair car facility are proposed to be added to the Visakhapatnam — Kirandul passenger during the tourist season commencing Dasara and continuing up to March.

During the tourist season, all the coaches are generally full with hardly any space to sit.

The train passes through long tunnels along the hills and valleys, which gives an exhilarating experience to tourists.

But, passengers fail to enjoy the scenic beauty, as they hardly have space to sit properly in the overcrowded train. Many sit on the upper berth as the doorways and windows are full of ‘peeping passengers’.

This has been robbing passengers of the most delightful experience year after year.

“The 1 VK passenger runs with 11 coaches during normal time. But during the tourist season, additional coaches are augmented to meet the extra rush of passengers.

“The steep gradient, however, allows only a maximum of 14 coaches,” Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar told The Hindu on Tuesday. On the proposal to introduce vista dome coaches for the Araku train, he said such coaches had to be specially made and could take time.

“We are yet to receive any communication on the tourist train or the tourist coaches from the zonal headquarters,” he said.

Shortage of rakes

The Visakhapatnam — Sai Nagar Shirdi weekly express and the Visakhapatnam — Chennai weekly express trains, which were proposed to be operated as regular trains in the 2012-13 budget, couldn’t be launched so far due to non-availability of rakes, he said.

On diversion of through trains via Duvvada, Mr. Anil Kumar agreed with the view that there was no need for diversion as there were sufficient platforms at Visakhapatnam now.

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