After freight and passenger segments, the railways is set to begin a third segment dedicated to the tourism sector and launch a set of around 190 theme-based trains called Bharat Gaurav trains, minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference, the railways minister said these trains could be run both by the private sector as well as the IRCTC.
"These are not regular trains that will be run on timetables.
"We have identified 3,033 coaches or 190 trains for these theme-based trains.
"After passenger and goods segments, we will start the tourism segment to run Bharat Gaurav trains.
"These trains will showcase India's culture and heritage.
"We have invited applications for them from today," he said.
The minister further said that the idea originated from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who suggested theme-based trains so that people in the country can understand, appreciate and take forward India's heritage.
He also said the fare of these trains would be practically decided by tour operators but the railways will ensure that there is no abnormality in the prices.
The minister said that state governments like Odisha, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have shown interest in these trains.
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Photograph: Courtesy Indian Railways/Twitter