Luxury travel may get a fillip if the Railway's recent proposal to turn old coaches of Palace on Wheels into "thematic vintage hotels" becomes a reality.
With an aim to let the passengers experience the old heritage while tapping into potential revenues, Indian Railway's heritage wing has proposed to turn the original coaches of India's luxury train into vintage hotels and restaurants.
"We have sent the vintage hotel proposal to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for consideration. Each vintage hotel will have two to three coaches and would cost an estimated Rs 16 crore," a senior Railway Ministry official told PTI.
Currently, seven of the original nine coaches of the Palace on Wheels is an exhibit in the National Rail Museum, which houses more than 100 exhibits including coaches in which erstwhile royalty travelled, antique furniture and photographs, among others.
The proposal envisages putting up such coach-turned-restaurants at select stations, locations that draw tourists or at strategic points like the Rewari Steam Locomotive Shed and Museum which draws locomotive enthusiasts.
In a bid to boost bookings, the Rajasthan tourism department was planning to introduce wedding packages on luxury trains like Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, according to an Indian Express report. According to the plan, the trains would also be available to transport guests to luxurious weddings.
The Cox&Kings-operated luxury train Deccan Odessey also came up with a package this month that allowed Indian residents to avail a 50 percent discount for their "companion" while booking a cabin for journeys taken up between June 30 to October 16, 2016, reported the Financial Express.