New Delhi: The Centre has decided to slash the tariff by almost 50% on popular trains like Maharaja Express, Palace on Wheels, the Golden Chariot, Deccan Odyssey and Royal Orient. Rail tourism aficionados can now make the most of it and spend more time to traverse the scenic and colourful landscapes of India. Tariff on such trains range anywhere from Rs 10,000 to Rs 34,000.
The move follows the Railway Ministry’s decision to slash the haulage charges borne by the State Tourism Departments, partners or stakeholders like IRCTC which run the trains in coordination with the network of Indian Railways.
The revenue from the super luxury tourist trains – the Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan – operated jointly by Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism – has dipped in a big way. The revenue for the Royal Rajasthan has come down by massive 63.18% and Palace on Wheels’ revenue decreased by 24.08%.
The Railway Board on March 1 reviewed the policy on luxury trains and decided to reduce the existing haulage charges by 50% through a commercial notification. Haulage charges were borne by the State Governments. For example, Palace on Wheels is operated by Rajasthan Tourism, the Deccan Odyssey is operated by Maharashtra Government and IRCTC, the railways’ own tourism arm, operates trains like Maharaja Express.