India’s first private train, aimed at promoting domestic tourism, under the Bharat Gaurav scheme has been flagged off from Coimbatore. The train will make stops at Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Yelahanka, Dharmavaram, Mantralayam Road, and Wadi before ending its journey in the holy town of Shirdi in Maharashtra.
B Guganesan, the Chief Public Relations Officer of Southern Railway, told ANI, “Railway has leased this train to a service provider for a period of 2 years. The service provider has refurbished the coach seats. At least three trips will be done per month. It has a total of 20 coaches including 1st, 2nd & 3rd class AC coaches and sleeper coaches.”
On Tuesday, as the first batch of passengers boarded the train, they were welcomed with a presentation of India’s traditional dances at the railway station.
The photographs and videos of the train’s inaugural run are going viral on social media.
While tweeting a video of the newly refurbished train, the Ministry of Tourism wrote, “First ever Bharat Gaurav Train has been flagged off on Coimbatore North to Sainagar Shirdi route today at 6:00 PM! The train will cover several historical destinations on the route while giving the passengers an insight into the cultural heritage of the country.”
While several people expressed their excitement over the newly-launched train, many people criticised the government’s move to collaborate with a private company for this endeavour.