Feb 6, 2012

Karnataka's luxury train, Golden Chariot will chug out of city today with full occupancy

Karnataka's luxury train, The Golden Chariot, will run with full occupancy for the first time since its launch four years ago, when it chugs out of Bangalore on Monday for its ‘Pride of the South' run across Karnataka and Goa.
For the only luxury train of south India, which faced challenges of occupancy, technical glitches and payment of haulage charges to the Indian Railways at the start of the tourist season in September 2011, the full occupancy seems to be a good comeback. In fact, the train saw six of its trips cancelled owing to these challenges this season.

Passengers travelling on special New Year's trip in Golden Chariot can dine in this plush restaurant inside the train . Photo: M.A.Sriram
In the 82 trips so far since its inception, 90 per cent occupancy rate had been the highest.
The train, operated by the State-owned Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), can accommodate 88 travellers in its 44 cabins. “We have had travellers willing to pay premium rates to get accommodation on this trip, but they had to be turned down or accommodated in future trips,” train's project director M. Srinivas, told The Hindu.
“Our marketing efforts have paid off and Monday's trip is a definite milestone for us,” he said, adding that there was a demand for an additional 10 cabins (20 passengers), which could not be accommodated.
Full occupancy on this trip has been achieved due to two big group bookings from the U.S. and Austria with 60 and 20 passengers respectively. This full occupancy could be possibly because the train reaches Goa ahead of Valentine's Day.
Mr. Srinivas said the Splendour of the South, the next run of the train across Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, commencing on February 13, has over 80 per cent occupancy.
“We have been growing steadily over the years due to marketing efforts abroad,” Mr. Srinivas said.
Source - The Hindu

Multi-level car parking for Airport Metro users

New Delhi: Delhi's high-speed Airport Metro Express commuters would soon be able to park their vehicles without any hassles with the operator planning to inaugurate the multi-level car parking at Shivaji Stadium station.
The multi-level car parking facility is already operational at New Delhi Airport Metro station and the one at Shivaji Stadium Airport Metro station parking will be operational within a month's time.
"The multi-level parking has a total parking capacity of over 1400 cars. Parking facilities will provide additional customer convenience and connectivity to the Airport Metro," a Reliance Infra spokesman said.

It will also facilitate non-commuters to park their cars and enjoy the retail experience available at these metro stations.
Source - Zee News

सिखों के धार्मिक स्थलों के दर्शन कराएगी लग्जरी ट्रेन

नई दिल्ली. रेल मंत्रालय ने सिख धर्म के अनुयायियों को बेहतरीन तोहफा देने की घोषणा की है। विदेशों में सिखों की बड़ी आबादी को ध्यान में रखते हुए आईआरसीटीसी ने सिख-सर्किट बनाने की योजना बनाई है। आईआरसीटीसी ने पहली बार देश के सभी सिख धर्मस्थलों को जोड़ते हुए पर्यटन का नया खाका खींचा है। इसके तहत एक लग्जरी ट्रेन भारत में सिखों के धार्मिक स्थलों से होकर गुजरेगी।

10 दिन 9 रातों का टूर

10 दिन 9 रात के इस टूर के लिए डीलक्स, स्टैंडर्ड और बजट श्रेणी में अलग-अलग मूल्यों के पैकेज होंगे। इसके रेट अभी घोषित नहीं किए गए हैं। यात्रा के दौरान लजीज भोजन की व्यवस्था भी होगी।

यह होगा रूट

ट्रेन अमृतसर से चलेगी। यह यात्रियों को आनंदपुर साहिब, केसगढ़ साहिब, बठिंडा स्थित दमदमा साहिब, पटना के हरमिंदर साहिब और नांदेड़ के हुजूर साहिब के दर्शन कराते हुए ग्वालियर के बंदी चोर गुरुद्वारे पहुंचाएगी। वहां से ट्रेन दिल्ली होते हुए अमृतसर वापस जाएगी। यात्रियों को दिल्ली के शीशगंज साहिब गुरुद्वारे और बंगला साहिब गुरुद्वारे के भी दर्शन कराए जाएंगे। कॉरपोरेशन के एक अधिकारी ने बताया कि यात्री जालंधर और लुधियाना से भी ट्रेन में चढ़ सकेंगे।

बौद्ध सर्किट का टूर जारी

आईआरसीटीसी ने इससे पहले बोधगया, नालंदा, राजगीर, सारनाथ, वाराणसी, कुशीनगर, लुंबनी, श्रावस्ती और आगरा को जोड़ते हुए बौद्ध-सर्किट की शुरुआत 4 फरवरी से की थी। यात्रा आगामी 13 फरवरी को खत्म होगी। इसके बाद सिख सर्किट की शुरुआत हो सकेगी।

Source - Bhasker

Israel approvs key rail link of 'interest' to India

JERUSALEM: Israel on Monday approved the construction of the first rail link between its Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, offering a new Asia-Europe trade route to compete with the Suez Canal, a project in which India is also said to have evinced interest.

The so called proposal for Red-Med train link was unanimously approved by the Israeli cabinet and its construction is likely to take about 5 years from the time of start at a cost of approximately USD 2.3 billion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initiating the discussion on the subject more than a week ago, said that the project had "strategic, national and international importance."

In an apparent reference to India and China, Netanyahu on Sunday told his ministers that in the "coming decade new powers will arise [with whom] Israel must create vital interests from a national strategy point-of-view."

Netanyahu has stated that both the Asian giants have expressed a great deal of interest in the project.

The premier on Sunday also asserted that Israel had an interest in creating an alternative route between Asia and Europe to the Suez Canal, and that this could serve as an "insurance policy".

Such a link has the potential to serve as a means of transporting goods to Europe without having to go through the Suez Canal, since cargo unloaded in Eilat would then be sent by rail to Israeli ports, and from there to Europe.

"Israel must become a continental land crossing route and create great power interest," the Israeli premier said.

In addition to the strategic aspects of this rail link, Netanyahu said it would also shorten travel time from Eilat to Tel Aviv to two hours, "and will change the face of the country".

"For 63 years, there has been talk about linking the periphery to the center, but nothing has been done," he added.

Currently the drive from Tel Aviv to Eilat takes about 5 hours.

According to Sunday's decision, a team chaired by PMO director-general Harel Locker will consider three options to finance the project - an inter-governmental agreement with another government with which there are economic and strategic interests; public funding; or construction through a private franchisee, a press statement said.

Constructing of the new rail link would necessitate both upgrading existing tracks, and laying new ones, the transportation ministry said.

The Red-Med railway will include 63 bridges, which altogether will span some 4. 5 kilometers, and 5 tunnels, which together will extend for some 9.5 kilometers, it said.
Source - Times of India





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