Valley Queen Heritage Train to Operate in PPP Mode After Lack of Bookings

Valley Queen Heritage Train to Operate in PPP Mode After Lack of Bookings

Valley Queen Heritage Train to Operate in PPP Mode After Lack of Bookings

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After multiple cancellations due to zero bookings, the North Western Railways will now operate the Valley Queen heritage train through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

The North Western Railways (NWR) has decided to run the Valley Queen heritage train service in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode after experiencing low passenger bookings since its launch in October 2023.

The heritage train, which was launched with high expectations of offering passengers a memorable scenic journey from Marwar Junction in Pali district to Khamlighat in Rajsamand district, has not been able to live up to its promise. Despite receiving the green light from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, multiple trips had to be cancelled due to zero bookings.

Chief Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NWR, shareded that only 400 passengers have traveled on this route in the past nine months. The train, which was intended to boost local tourism, offers a picturesque journey through green pastures, two century-old tunnels, and 172 bridges over water streams. 

“We believe the decision to switch to a PPP model will help generate revenue by involving private players,” said Kiran. “This heritage train is a positive step to boost local tourism. We expect the footfall to rise during the monsoon, which is the best time to travel by this train.”

The Official, emphasized that a private contractor could enhance the onboard experience by offering better catering services and organizing attractive activities, which the government department struggles to provide. “We are doing our best, and people will soon realize the true potential of this train,” he added.

The Marwar-Khamlighat rail segment, constructed in the scenic Aravali hills before independence, has been preserved as a meter gauge track to maintain its historical value. The Valley Queen features an air-conditioned chair car coach and a diesel engine modified to resemble a steam engine.

During the journey, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of hills, lush green valleys, unusual plants, and local wildlife. Regular announcements are made via a TV screen, enhancing the overall travel experience. 

By transitioning to a PPP model, the NWR hopes to revitalize interest in the Valley Queen heritage train and unlock its true potential as a unique tourist attraction.