Thursday, November 6, 2008

Train - E - DISCO

This Article is taken from The Telegraph, a newspaper published from Kolkata, India.

Disco train rolls to Goa
- Luxury on wheels

A train with a discotheque, cabin crew and live music will roll out from the city on January 2 for a 10-day trip to Goa and Mumbai.

A city-based private travel operator is organising the trip in collaboration with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).

The Rs 35,000 package per passenger will include journey in an air-conditioned three-tier coach, a three-night, four-day stay at beach resorts in Goa and a day in Mumbai.

The 16-coach rake, booked by i-nova from Indian Railways, will take about 36 hours to reach Goa. “This is the first time a private operator has booked a train for retail tourism,” said Vivek Srivastav, the general manager (eastern zone) of IRCTC.

“We will be responsible for the on-board services, including food, hospitality, housekeeping, public address system and security. A multi-cuisine menu will be served on board,” he added.

“An entire coach will be converted into a discotheque. Folk and baul songs will be performed on board. There will also be other entertainment options,” said Rajib Mukherjee, the managing director of i-nova.

Passengers will stay in beach resorts in north Goa. “In Goa, beaches are the most attractive places. Beach volleyball, water sports and rain dance will be organised. The route has been planned in such a way that passengers can enjoy the natural beauty,” added Mukherjee.

A railway official said the train would be handed over to the company — which has paid Rs 60 lakh — four to five days before the trip.

Winter is the peak tourist season in Goa. About 700 chartered flights fly in to Goa every year from Europe and the US, according to tour operators.

If the project is a success, more such trips will be organised. “We are planning to organise similar tours to various destinations throughout the year,” said Mukherjee.

The IRCTC, on its own, is launching a train, Village on Wheels, for budget tourists.

The first Village on Wheel will set out from Howrah station for north India on November 15. It will return after seven days. Each passenger will be charged Rs 500 daily for food and sightseeing, said an official.