Tourist Trains in India

Travel on India luxury trains has become extremely popular. It's an excellent way to explore the country without having to compromise on comfort. These luxury tourist trains, which offer every indulgence imaginable right down to customized cutlery, inject glamor and romance into seeing some of India's best tourist attractions.

All meals, tours, and entrance fees to monuments and cultural sites are included in the price. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the regal experience. Travel at night and explore new destinations during the day!

Palace On Wheels 

Palace On Wheels
This is a tourist train operated by IR. It covers the route Delhi - Jaipur - Chittorgarh/Udaipur - Sawai Madhopur - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bharatpur/Agra - Delhi, including visits to historical sites, palaces, wildlife sanctuaries, etc. along the way, taking about 8 days in all. Fares range per person per day for single occupancy, going down with double or triple occupancy 

The Palace On Wheels initially ran on MG, with coaches dating back to 1917. After the original rake was deemed unsuitable for passenger service, a new MG rake was brought into use, with an unusual all-white (or ivory) livery. When the Palace on Wheels was converted to a broad-gauge train in 1992, this rake was repainted blue and used for the Royal Orient .

Royal Orient
Royal Orient 
The Royal Orient was started as a joint effort between the state of Gujarat and WR some time in 1994-95. The itinerary is Chittorgarh - Udaipur - Palitana - Somnath - Diu - Ahmedpur - Mandvi - Sasangir National Park - Junagarh - Ahmedabad - Jaipur - Delhi, taking 7 days.

The rake used was the replacement rake for the ageing Palace on Wheels rolling stock (which ran the POW service from 1992 to about 1994, when the BG rake for POW was introduced). This new ICF-built replacement rake was rendered useless until Gujarat Tourism and WR decided to run it as the Royal Orient. The livery was changed to a blue scheme. It originates from Delhi Cantt MG station and traverses a fair part of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The Royal Orient rake is maintained at the WR workshops at Ajmer.

Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen 

One of the oldest working steam locomotives in the world (possibly the oldest still working regularly), and certainly the oldest working loco in India, the Fairy Queen is a 2-2-2WT BG loco built in 1855 by Kitson, Thompson, & Hewitson, (Leeds, UK) formerly loco No. 22 of the East Indian Railway. It used to work on the Howrah-Raniganj line and later in Bihar. IR now uses it to haul a two-car tourist train which has a two-day itinerary from Delhi to Alwar (Rajasthan) and back, including a trip to a tiger sanctuary. (See the section on steam locos for more information on old locos.)

The Kangra Queen
Kangra Queen
The Kangra Queen is a tourist train that goes through the scenic Kangra Valley route, from Pathankot to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. It covers 128km in 4.5 hours (one train each way everyday).

The Desert Queen

The Desert Queen is a tourist train announced in August 2000, which is supposed to cover the Nawalgarh - Fatehpur - Pidawa - Mukungarh - Shekhawat route in Rajasthan, in 3 days and 3 nights.

The Great Indian Rover

The Great Indian Rover was a tourist train introduced on Feb. 10, 1983, and aimed at tourists who wished to visit places of Buddhist interest. It had various itineraries of 3 to 7 days from Calcutta, including stops at Gorakhpur (for Lumbini), Gaya, Patna, Sarnath, etc., and going to Puri, Varanasi, and (for the 7-day one-way itinerary) ending at New Delhi. Individual saloon cars could be booked for the journey. It stopped running some time in the late 1980s, and was the forerunner to the present-day Buddhist special 'Buddha Parikrama' launched in 1998 (1999?).

Other tourist trains

Recently [2002-2003] various new luxury tourist trains have been proposed or announced by IR or various state governments and their tourism departments. Most of them are modelled on the Palace on Wheels and Royal Orient, and generally aimed at the luxury tourism market.

One of these is the Deccan Odyssey. Beginning the journey from Mumbai, the train will travel to Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Goa, Pune, Aurangabad , Ajanta-Ellora, Nashik and then back to Mumbai, and is a venture of the Maharashtra Government and the Taj Group. In addition to being a train that touches tourist spots, this really aims to be a complete 5-star hotel on wheels, with two restaurants and a bar, a sauna, business centre and other such amenities on board. It has recently completed trials and is expected to begin running on Jan. 15, 2004.

The Karnataka government is also considering introducing a luxury tourist train. This train, to run year-round, is expected to have a dedicated 18-coach rake with 11 air-conditioned salon cars, one air-conditioned bar car, a conference car, an air-conditioned restaurant car, a staff car, and two power cars (all to be built by the ICF).

2008- IRCTC and the tourism operator Cox and Kings India have formed a company, The Royal Indian Rail Tours, to run some luxury and economy tourist trains. Proposed are: The Princely India Tour (Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Jaipur-Delhi), and the Classical India Tour (Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuraho-Varanasi-Patna), the Buddhist Circuit, Bharat Darshan and others. Four luxury trains run on different routes under the name 'Maharaja Express'.

2009- Several new luxury tourist trains have been introduced recently, such as the 'Royal Rajasthan on Wheels', 'Indian Maharaja', and 'Splendour of the South'