The first train to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi by a private operator, under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme of the Indian Railways, was flagged off on June 14.
Bharat Gaurav trains
• Indian Railways had launched the operation of theme-based Bharat Gaurav train in November 2021.
• The objective is to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world, through Bharat Gaurav Trains.
• This scheme also aims to leverage the core strengths of the professionals of the tourism sector to run theme-based trains to tap the vast tourist potential of India.
• At present, IRCTC is already running several tourist circuit trains in Railways.
• Bharat Gaurav scheme will help in roping in more tour operators with professional experience and will give a boost to the tourism sector.
• As per the scheme, private players can lease trains for two years from the Indian Railways for a theme-based tourism circuit and the routes of the trains can be decided by the operators.
Bharat Gaurav train from Coimbatore to Shirdi
• South Star Rail is the registered service provider that operates Bharat Gaurav train from Coimbatore to Shirdi and back. This Coimbatore based company is part of the conglomerate group — Future Gaming & Hotel Services Pvt Ltd.
• The train will leave Coimbatore North on Tuesdays at 6 pm and reach Sai Nagar in Shirdi at 7.25 am on Thursday. After a one-day halt, the train will resume its journey from Sai Nagar on Friday and reach Coimbatore North on Saturday 12 pm.
• The train will have stoppages at Tirupur, Erode, Salem Jolarpet, Bengaluru Yelahanka, Dharmavara, Mantralayam Road (5 hours halt) and Wadi before reaching Shirdi.
• The rates are on par with regular train ticket rates charged by Indian Railways and provide exclusive VIP darshan at Shirdi Sai Baba Temple.
• The train will be maintained by housekeeping service providers, who will clean the utility areas during frequent intervals and the caterers are experienced in preparing traditional vegetarian menu.
• There will be a Train Captain, a doctor, private security personnel, along with the Railway Police Force on board.