You can now have a hotel room experience on Indian trains during your long distances travels. At the end of March this year, the Indian Railways had opened its luxury saloon coaches to common man which were earlier reserved only for railway officials.
What are saloon coaches?
These are specially designed rail coaches with two spacious air-conditioned bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a dining area, and a kitchen. These are attached to existing mail/express trains on routes the passengers wish to travel. The first one was attached to Jammu Mail at Old Delhi Railway station. It was availed by six people of a private tour company- Royal India Train Journeys.
It comes with one AC attendant and one saloon attendant, who will help the passengers for a hassle-free travel. It can accommodate 6 guests for 4 to 5 days.
How much do saloon coaches cost?
You can book the saloon coach on IRCTC website. The luxury service will cost 18 times the first class ticket fares for the distance and train chosen. As per a PTI report, it could cost about Rs 2 lakh.
In order to increase revenue and improves customer experience, the Indian Railways has launched the program for its citizens. The department has 336 such saloon coaches, out of which 62 are air-conditioned. These can be attached to all scheduled mail/express trains across the country except Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and Gatimaan trains.
The saloon coaches were started in early 1880s for British emperors to use. Post independence these were reserved for zonal general managers, rail-road committee members, divisional railway managers and above for official purposes. The access has been made available to common public for the first time in India.
Picture Credit: Indian Railways