Golden Chariot to begin Summer Run

TNN Apr 15, 2012, 02.23AM IST

BANGALORE: The Golden Chariot will roll out on its maiden summer tour on April 16. Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) officials say this will be the perfect test run before they introduce full-fledged summer trips on this luxury train next year.

"We're toying with the idea of running the Golden Chariot till April end from next year. The two trips lined up this April are precursors for it," M Srinivas, project director, Golden Chariot, told TOI.

The luxury train will be flagged off April 16 and April 23. As of now, KSTDC has around 20 bookings for the April 16 trip and an approximate 25 bookings for the tour starting April 23. There's an incentive for triple-occupancy travelers.

Will it not run at a loss given that the occupancy rate of this train is 80? "Not really, as we had anticipated bookings to be somewhere around that mark considering this is the first year when the train will be out in April. We're happy by the response from people and enquiries from corporate groups so there's a fair chance for them to get converted into bookings," said Srinivas.

The train will have onboard attractions like live music and entertainment shows from 11am to 1pm every day of the trip. Officials said tourists need step out only after 4.30pm, well after the peak summer heat fades away. The special attraction is the 'Hampi by Night' wherein visitors are taken around popular Hampi monuments at night.

The train will also cover the Daroji Bear Sanctuary, an addition to the existing itinerary. At present, apart from Palace on Wheels which runs through Rajasthan from September till April, none of the other luxury trains operate beyond March.