Visakhapatnam

Tourists suffer as second Vistadome coach eludes city

The view of a tunnel on the K-K line from the Vistadome coach.

The view of a tunnel on the K-K line from the Vistadome coach.  

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It takes a minimum of three months to manage a seat in the lone see-through coach

A little over 16 months have passed since the launch of Vistadome coach, the first in the country, on the Visakhapatnam-Araku route, but many tourists from the city, despite being eager to savour the panoramic view of the picturesque valley. Reason: the popularity of the state-of-the-art see-through coach attached to the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train.

The lone glass-roofed coach in the train have only 40 seats to cater to the needs of the domestic and foreign tourists as well and the train has only one service per day. Such is the popularity of the Vistadome coach that the tourists from the city say most of the time, all the seats are found to be reserved and they have to wait months together to manage a ticket.

Memorable experience

“One has to plan at least three months ahead to get a seat in the Vistadome coach. Tourists coming from other States can plan it well in advance but for those going from the city it is difficult to plan their trip so early,” Seshagiri Mantri , who travelled on the Vistadome recently, says.

But he quickly adds that the journey on Vistadome is all worth. “The watch deck, on the rear side of the glass coach, provides an exhilarating experience as the train passes through the tunnels. One can have an uninterrupted view of the tunnels and valleys. It also provides a better view of Katiki falls near Anantagiri,” he says while narrating his experience on the glass-roofed coach.

“A tourist train with three or four glass coaches should be run from Vizag to Jadalpur. A large number of tourists are travelling from Vizag to Araku and Jagdalpur,” says Mr. Seshagiri.

The air-conditioned coach with large glass windows enables tourists to have an uninterrupted view of the green hills, picturesque valleys of Araku. The revolving chairs provides a 360 degree view.

But the readily unavailability of the tickets leaves the tourists from outside of the city in utter disappoint as they have to fit the Vistadome journey in their hectic travel plan. A few months ago, G.V.S.N. Srinivas, a physician who came on a short visit to the city from the USA, had planned to go on a picnic to Araku on Vistadome coach, along with his relatives.

“But, I had to drop the idea as I learnt that the booking of seats had to be done months in advance,” he says.

Leave the Vistadome coach alone, getting a seat in the normal coaches from Visakhapatnam to Araku is difficult during the peak season from October to January-end every year, he adds.

Peak tourist season

As part of the original, two Vistadome coaches were allotted to the Visakhapatnam – Araku route, but only one coach was received by the inaugural run of the service in April, 2017. It was announced that the second coach would arrive by the end of the same month, but it is yet to be materialised. “The coach is now being built at the Integral Coach Factory at Chennai,” says a railways official.

The peak tourist season to Araku begins in October and continues until the January-end, with the arrival of thousands of tourists from West Bengal and Odisha. But, the second Vistadome coach still eludes Visakhapatnam, he adds.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 11:13:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/tourists-suffer-as-second-vistadome-coach-eludes-city/article24858910.ece

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