Deccan Odyssey,the luxury train of the Western Ghats is all set to traverse new tracks. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC),the governing body of the prestigious train is planning to add new destinations such as Tadoba,Chandrapur and Vardha to the existing routes.
Vijay Chavan,general manager,MTDC,said,”The existing route of the train includes beaches,caves and heritage destinations. With the construction of Nanded- Chandrapur railway track complete,we are now planning to go a step ahead and include Tadoba,the wildlife sanctuary in Chandrapur in the journey.”
The current track of Deccan Odyssey covers Mumbai,Pune,Ratnagiri,Sindhudurg,Goa,Aurangabad,Ajanta and Ellora caves. After the addition of Tadoba,the train will be returning to Mumbai via Vardha. The additional destination also means an increase in the duration of the journey,which currently extends over seven days starting on Wednesday of every week. We have not yet finalised the day when the train would reach Tadoba and Vardha,but that would be decided once the approval from the railway ministry is received,” added Chavan.
Referring to the Indian Express report published on December 5 about tourists canceling the reservations on the train post the Mumbai attacks,Chavan said,”Though the aftereffects of the attacks still continue to affect the number of tourists opting to travel by Deccan Odyssey,now there is a steady increase in the number of reservations. The train that departed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on December 24 was 50 percent occupied with travelers from countries like South Africa and UK.”
Taking into consideration the steady rise in the response,the authorities are planning to attract private sector as well,to this elite train. “We are very soon planning to start with tourist packages for corporates and private sectors. For instance,the route of the train will be tailor-made according to the needs of the customers. While the journey of the train is currently limited to Maharashtra and Goa,the tailor-made route can stretch outside Maharashtra state towards north or south India if desired so by the travelers,” he said. While the tourism department is all set with the plan,the changes can be brought to practice only after the approval of the railway ministry.