Indian Railways is within the means of revamping the heritage Kalka-Shimla toy practice route — well-known for its 102 tunnels — with a vista dome coach that gives panoramic views, an infotainment system, a hop-on hop-off choice, and a sooner common velocity, in line with senior officers acquainted with the matter.
The necessity for this revamp has arisen from the truth that the route is incurring an annual lack of ₹70 crore per 12 months, railway official acquainted with the matter mentioned. Officers now imagine that as an alternative of chopping losses, the modifications may assist them get an annual turnover of ₹500 crore each year, which might imply a revenue of about ₹350 crore
“The route definitely has the potential of ₹500 crore – we simply have to promote it correctly. The improve of the primary vista dome coach has been accomplished regionally, with an funding of ₹10 lakh. We’re assembly tour operators subsequent week to debate how we will promote the practice,” mentioned DC Sharma, the divisional railway supervisor of Ambala, underneath which the Kalka-Shimla route comes.
With a glass roof and huge home windows that supply a view of the hills, officers count on the vista dome to be in excessive demand throughout the winter. They mentioned that one of many previous coaches has nearly been upgraded, and 4 extra will observe with giant screens for on-board leisure.“The (first) coach will probably be accessible for reserving inside 10 days. We’re but to take a closing name on the fare,” Sharma mentioned.
“This line is our heritage, and now we have to protect it. The world over, such practice and routes are in excessive demand and a serious income. The fare for vista dome is more likely to be round ₹700 per passenger and fare of different trains are additionally more likely to be rationalised,” mentioned a railway official who requested to not be named.
Indian Railways runs six trains on the 94km route, and the fare begins at as little as ₹25 for basic class and goes as much as ~ 665 for Top quality. In July, the railways began a hop-on hop-off service by which passengers can alight at any station on the way in which and take the subsequent practice. It will promote tourism at these places on the route and draw extra distributors to the stations, mentioned the official quoted above. One other plan within the works is growing the velocity of the hall to cut back journey time. A examine for this has been accomplished .
The Guinness E-book of Rail Information & Feats has described the Kalka-Shimla because the “biggest narrow-gauge engineering in India”. The route opened for site visitors on November 9, 1903, has 18 stations — probably the most well-known of them is Barog, named after engineer Colonel Barog, who was the incharge of the development of the primary unsuccessful tunnel close to the positioning.