Delhi, September 11: Indian Railways is planning to spread rail-based tourism among masses through leasing of coaching stock to interested parties to run them as theme based cultural, religious and other Tourist Circuit trains.
“To tap the potential of tourism sector and to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of tourism sector in tourism activities like marketing, hospitality, integration of services, reach with customer base, expertise in development/identification of tourist circuits etc, Indian Railways is planning to spread rail-based tourism among masses through leasing of coaching stock to interested parties to run them as theme based cultural, religious and other Tourist Circuit train,” said a Ministry of Railways statement.
Broad features of the proposed model:-
· Leasing of coaches as per desired configuration of interested parties. Bare shells may also be taken on lease. Outright purchase of coaches can also be done.
· Minor refurbishment of coaches is permitted.
· Leasing to be done for a minimum period of 5 years and extendable till codal life of coaches.
· Minimum train composition for leasing purpose as per policy guidelines.
· Interested party to develop/decide business model (routes, itinerary, tariff etc).
· Simple registration process for interested parties based on eligibility criteria.
· Indian Railways will levy haulage charges, nominal stabling charges and lease charges. (No lease charges for outright purchase).
· Priority in punctuality.
· Timely approvals for coach refurbishment and itineraries.
· No haulage for maintenance runs.
· Third party advertising allowed inside trains, Branding of trains permitted.
An Executive Director-level committee has been constituted by the Ministry to formulate the policy and terms and conditions, the statement added.