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The steam engine, vistadom coach for heritage train soon

Monday - June 17, 2019 10:38 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

A good initiative by the Indian Railways
 
JUNE 17 (WTN) – The much-awaited steam engine to haul the Mhow-Kalakunda section of the heritage train will now be brought into use post-monsoon season. The 54-year-old steam locomotive was supposed to be used in the Kalakunda-Patalpani section from April this year, but due to the model code and Lok Sabha elections, the restoration and repair work of the engine could not be finished in time.
 
The Railway Board had issued a notification in this regard on February 27, in which it was said that the steam engine would be sent from Northern Railways Rewari steam shed to Indore. Meanwhile, railways have also issued tenders for vistadome coaches, which too would be augmented to the heritage train after the monsoon.
 
The coaches will have sofas to give tourists a comfortable experience. According to information, a steam engine named ‘YG Sahib 3415’ was built in 1965 and it ran on tracks for the last time in 1993. From then on, it was parked at the Rewari shed. After the Feb 27 notification, Northern Railway officials inspected the engine and decided that it needed a thorough overhaul to be able to run again.
 
Now specialists at Tiruchirappalli are working on the bearings, wirings, suspension and wheels of the engine to make it track worthy. Executive Director (Heritage) of Railway Board Shivendra Mohan has instructed Northern Railways GM that the steam locomotive must be handed over to Western Railways’ Ratlam division, under which the Indore-Mhow regions fall.
 
The steam engine adds to the heritage value of a project like this for the nostalgia and history it carries. Once in place, the steam engine and vistadome coaches are bound to raise the tourism potential of the circuit and make the heritage project a bigger success. After the launch of the train, there were several lacunae that had come to the fore and though some were addressed by the railways, there were many complaints pouring in still.
 
There was a problem of ticketing as online booking system had not been put in place and people had to go all the way to Mhow to book tickets making a beeline from early morning. Often many had to return for lack of seats. Moreover, the compartments not being air conditioned caused discomfort to visitors and in the summers they turned into heat chambers.
 
Now with AC coaches and better facilities, the project is bound to draw tourists. The ticket and food prices have to be kept reasonable, the food quality and variety need to be improved and more recreation facilities need to be added to the destination where tourists will spend time. It has to be a wholesome and memorable touristy experience in all aspects and the minutest things need to be taken care of by the management so that no stone is left unturned in making it an internationally famous heritage track like the Kalka-Shimla or Darjeeling heritage trains.