To make the tourism experience more immersive, private companies will soon be able to hire and buy railway coaches to run theme-based and other tourist circuit trains. According to the report of a leading daily, Indian Railways is working on making a policy for this. Railways has said that the Ministry of Railways has constituted an Executive Director level committee to allow private companies to do this and to frame the rules of the project.
According to the report, Indian Railways is planning to spread railway-based tourism among the public by leasing out the coaching stock to the interested companies to run them in the form of themed cultural, religious and other tourist circuit trains. It is believed that this will increase the potential of the tourism sector and also leverage tourism sector professionals in marketing, hospitality, integration of services, outreach with the customer base, development and identification of tourism circuits etc.
It has been told in the report that the company running such tourist train will have to pay haulage charge to the Indian Railways. If the train is taken on lease, then the lease charge will also have to be paid. But the party purchasing the train outright will not have to pay the lease charges. Under this scheme, interested parties will have to purchase or lease a train with at least 16 coaches.