New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) The railways ministry and the Punjab government have signed an agreement to launch a luxury train on the lines of the famed 'Palace on Wheels', a top railway official said here Wednesday.
While "Palace on Wheels" that starts from Delhi but is Rajasthan-centric - with Agra being the only touchpoint outside that state, the proposed train will cover more than one popular spot outside the state, Railway Board chairman K.C. Jena told reporters.
Destinations covered will include Amritsar and Chandigarh in Punjab, apart from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, Agra in Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur in Rajasthan, during its seven-day itinerary.
The train is targeted at the premium-end clientele and the coaches will be equipped with five-star facilities like spa, restaurant, lounge bar, cyber cafe, gym, beauty salon and library.
Jena said the train will be operational within two years. It will be manufactured at Kapurthala rail coach factory.
"The total cost of this project will be Rs.36 crore (Rs.360 million) out of which Rs.13.5 crore (Rs.135 million) will be borne by the railways. Another Rs.13.5 crore (Rs.135 million) will be borne by the Punjab government, and the rest by the tourism ministry," Jena told reporters.
"The long term initiative of the railways ministry is to promote the tourism industry, and after the success of Palace on Wheels, we are receiving offers from many states for such luxury trains. It will also add revenue to the Indian railways, as well as the state government," said railways minister Lalu Prasad.