ANDHRA PRADESH

Travel in vistadome coach to be an exhilarating experience

Curious people looking at the vistadome coach during its inaugural on a trial run to Araku at Visakhapatnam station.C.V.SubrahmanyamC.V.Subrahmanyam

Curious people looking at the vistadome coach during its inaugural on a trial run to Araku at Visakhapatnam station.C.V.SubrahmanyamC.V.Subrahmanyam  

The long-cherished dream of tourists going to Araku to travel in a vistadome (see through glass) coach will be realised on Wednesday (April 19). Though the trial run of the coach was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu through video conference on Sunday, tourists can book their seats from Tuesday for travel by this coach from Wednesday.

There was demand for introduction of vistadome coaches for about a decade now. “A single coach cannot suffice the needs of tourists, we require more such coaches for tourists travelling to Araku,” MLC P.V.N. Madhav said.

The beauty of Araku can best be explored by travelling in train that goes through tunnels, and this would give an exhilarating experience.

“During my childhood, it was a fascination for me to travel to Araku by train. The Araku route has the second largest number of tunnels in India, perhaps, after Lonavala in Mumbai,” Mr. Madhav said.

Thousands of tourists travel to Araku and Borra caves, especially during summer holidays and Dasara vacations. Owing to lack of accommodation on the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger, which is the only passenger train, going on this route, tourists are forced to travel by road.

There is also a demand to operate a tourist special from Vizag to Araku.

Though the East Coast Railway (ECoR) had operated special trains during the peak season during the last two years, no such announcement has been made on special train to Araku so far this year despite persistent demands from the public.

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The IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) website has changed the name of train no. 12717 Visakhapatnam – Vijayawada as ‘Ratnachalam’ Express. However, the name of 12718 Vijayawada – Visakhapatnam train has, however, been correctly given as ‘Ratnachal’ Express.

One may think: What’s in a name? One may even dismiss it as a simple error.

But, for most travelling passengers, name of the train is everything. Many do not know the train numbers but identify them by their names.

Duvvada Railway Users’ Association secretary K. Eswar brought the issue to the notice of the IRCTC through Twitter on March 9 this year but no action has been taken so far.

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