The ‘Queen’ will go into aestivation soon. The world will get no longer enjoy the luxury of travelling inside the ‘queen of all heritage trains in India’ – Rajasthan’s regal train Palace on Wheels (POW) in the upcoming tourism season. It’s because the Indian Railways has made up its mind to discontinue the luxury train, seeing that it has completed its life-cycle.
The train has been a major contributor in tourism economy of Rajasthan since last 35 years. Having established itself as a phenomenal tourism product, the train has put Rajasthan on the world tourism map. Therefore, the members of Indian Railways and RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) will have a meeting to discuss on the new joint travel project. The railway authorities are likely to discontinue the Palace on Wheels and rechristen the RPOW (Royal Rajasthan on Wheels) as the new Palace on Wheels.
The History of Palace on Wheels: How the Luxury Train Came into Existance…
Rajasthan was first introduced to the queen in 1982. After completing a span of nearly 35 years, the original palace on wheel will be replaced by the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. It may be because the train has been running in losses. Also, RROW, which is a relatively newer train, will be rechristened to attract customers in the name of its predecessor.
According to Additional Chief Secretary of Tourism and RTDC chairman Mr. N.C. Goel, the final decision will be taken after consulting the ICF (Integral Coach Factory). If the railway officers are to be believed, the train has completed 35 years of its operation. Corrosion has deteriorated its quality and the train desperately needed a new rake. Falling short of funds, instead of buying a new rake, the RTDC officers had proposed the use of old rake of RROW in the upcoming season.
Knowing that Royal Rajasthan on wheels was launched in just 2008, the train has the potential to wipe out the memories of palace on wheels. With an accommodation capacity of 82 passengers, the 9-year-old luxury train boasts superior luxury. Nevertheless, because of its itinerary, the train suffered more losses than the original POW; hence this decision.
The rechristened RROW will operate under the banner of POW. It’ll follow the same schedule, itinerary, revenue pattern and tariff as the POW. The train already had advanced bookings worth Rs 24 crores through Worldwide Rail Journey and Yatra.com. It’ll be shifted to the new train.
Compared to the original regal blue, the newly rechristened POW will exhibit new colors. The stakeholders believe it’ll help attract more customers.