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IRCTC welcomes ‘Maharajas’ to explore south attractions

Luxury and heritage train lovers in south India don’t have to travel all the way up to north to realise their dream. The flagship “Maharajas’ Express” variant, which has won IRCTC the Leading Luxury Train of the World Award since 2012, has added a southern heritage route.

IRCTC welcomes ‘Maharajas’ to explore south attractions
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The journey on board the Maharajas? Express would cost nothing less than a few lakhs of rupees

Chennai

The new luxury train circuit titled “Southern Jewels” covering prominent destinations in west and south India, mainly Chettinad, Mahabalipuram, Mysore, Hampi and Goa in a week would be launched by IRCTC from Kochuveli near Thiruvananthapuram on July 1, IRCTC General Manager S S Jeganathan informed media persons on Thursday. 

Aimed at wooing mostly overseas travellers who would pay their bills in dollars for eight days and seven nights, the 23-coach Maharaja Express would terminate in Mumbai. The luxury train, which would be a fusion of tradition and modernity, could leave onlookers drooling, for it consists of two in-house restaurants with a unique theme décor and capacity to seat 42 guests each and a unique safari bar which serves complimentary house wines, spirits and beer. 

However, it has a catch. For an Indian, a journey on board Maharajas’ Express would cost Rs 17.33 lakh for a presidential suite. Even the deluxe cabin, lowest on the service, would cost a little over Rs 5 lakh. To give a feel of luxury to domestic travellers, IRCTC has also proposed a “buy one, get one free” plus break journey special offers. Travellers would be allowed to avail of a part of the total journey at a fixed price of $ 500 (Rs 33,250) per day per person on a twin sharing basis or single occupancy basis at $ 800 (Rs 53,200 – exclusive of taxes) with the offer limited to a maximum of two nights and three days.

Executive lounges in 5 railway stations soon 

People, who visit the city on a one-day business trip, need not book an expensive room in a hotel anymore. From bathing to refreshment, everything would now be available for a few hundred bucks in five railway stations soon. The work order would be issued to open state-of-art executive lounges at Chennai Central, Madurai, Ernakulam, Trivandrum and Bengaluru stations in less than a month. IRCTC, would finalise tenders for starting June 10. The lounges would have facilities like shower, locker rooms and a business centre. “Travellers can get the same facility for 10% of the sum, and that too in the railway station,” said a senior IRCTC official. IRCTC plans to price the executive lounger at Rs 200 for the first couple of hours. One of the attractions is also a free buffet. 

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