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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

vistadome coach at Araku valley ! - Kilimanjaro Machu Picchu ..

The Incas were brutally conquered in the 16th century by the Spanish, who made Peru one of the capitals of their empire, and sent a steady stream of gold and silver from the country to Spain. But Machu Picchu, also known as “the lost city of the Incas,” was never discovered by them and so never plundered.   This place was seen in "Kilimanjaro" song in Enthiran starring Rajnikant, directed by S Shankar.  Machu Picchu is in Cusco Region, Urubamba Province  on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level.

PeruRail is a railway operator working tourist, freight, and charter services in southern Peru. It was founded in 1999 by peruvian entrepreneur Lorenzo Sousa and British company Sea Containers. Its website claims that - If you love nature and the countryside, the Vistadome is exactly what you’re looking for.The panoramic windows located beside and above your seat will bring you close to nature unlike anything you’ve experienced before.The Vistadome* train offers a unique connection with the scenery along the way to Machu Picchu, making passengers feel as if they were somehow part of the nature that surrounds them.

Quite exotic and we could see them only in Cinema, one may wonder – not really, as there is Vistadome coach having  glass panels in the roof providing  tourists with all-round views on scenic lines in India – yes, at Vishakhapatnam – Araku route.  Two Vistadome coaches have been built for the route by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. As well as the glass ceiling, they have rotating seats, LED lighting and a GPS-based passenger information system. Similar vehicles are planned for introduction on other scenic routes.

‘The long cherished dream of Vishakhapatnam tourists to travel in Vistadome coaches with wide windowpanes has become a reality,’ said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu when he flagged off the first service via a teleconferencing facility. ‘The objective here is to offer tourists to enjoy the scenic beauty, not only at destination, but also en route to picturesque Araku Valley.’  - it is yet another attempt by the active Railway Minister   Suresh Prabhu.   With cleanliness, world-class technology, quick responses, reduced grievances, agile booking facilities and a lot more, services with Indian Railways have touched a new high. But that doesn't stop Prabhu from improvising. Aiming to provide a delightful travelling experience to the picturesque Araku valley in Visakhapatnam, the Railways recently  introduced a see-through Vistadome coach on its Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train.

This train has Vistadome coach that has glass roof, LED lights, GPS-based info system and rotating seats among other features.MrPrabhu also laid the foundation stone for mechanised laundry at Visakhapatnam, which he said will significantly improve the quality of linen provided on the trains and would lead to enhanced passenger satisfaction.A function was also arranged at Visakhapatnam in which a number of public representatives including MP Kothapalli Geetha and several MLAs were present.

Though the demands and expectations of common man are high, they do not often transform – though the attractive train was made available, it is reported that many tourists did not avail the train with vistadome coach from Araku to Vizag due to high ticket prices and unfavourable timings ! 

Railway officials said tourists are not willing to pay Rs 665 per head for one journey and are also upset that there are no concessions for children. Moreover, the trains scheduled daily departure back to Vizag from Araku is 4.10pm and arrival at the port city is 8.30 pm. However, passengers complained that the return journey gets delayed regularly because of which the train leaves Araku much after sunset and leaves no room for them to enjoy the view before reaching Vizag.

The  journey in the glass-domed coach from Vizaag to Araku would provide  a good glimpse of the valleys, trees, animals, birds and tunnels – and luxury naturally comes at a price. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Apr 2017.

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