Vistadome Coaches – A New Craze or a New Innovation?

Indian Railways contain some very beautiful and scenic train routes in the countryside. Exploring the countryside by train is one of the best and cheapest means of travel in India. To enhance the experience of a memorable journey, Indian Railways are looking forward to revolutionizing passenger comfort and making them at par with the ones in foreign countries.

Vistadome coach is a new concept emerging from tourist trains in Europe, which provides a greater outside view than the normal coaches. Vistadome coaches contain very large glass windows for a clear view outside. Additionally, the roof of the train also contains glass slabs that offer views of the sky and above the head. Diffused lighting and rotatable chairs are unique features of this train. The executive chair car of trains going through scenic routes is slowly being replaced by these ultra-modern coaches.

Vizag-Araku valley train route is the first train route to get a Vistadome coach way back in 2017. The second route to get a Vistadome coach is the Konkan route between Mumbai and Goa. The third Vistadome coach was launched in the narrow gauge Shimla-Kalka heritage route in 2019. Then after the second wave of Covid-19 in India, 5 more Vistadome coaches were introduced in the Mumbai-Pune route, Mangalore-Bangalore route, Darjeeling-New Jalpaiguri heritage route, Siliguri-New Jalpaiguri route, and Guwahati-New Haflong route.

Passenger amenities have been kept in mind while designing the coaches. Every passenger will now get a charging socket, a food tray, a personal reading lamp, apart from wider leg space, larger windows, and an open verandah at the back. At present, no food is given to the passengers due to Covid-19 scenarios. However, as the train stops briefly in many stops along the route, ample time has been given to the passengers to hop off and buy food from the platform stalls. Overall, despite higher costs, Vistadome coaches have been welcomed well by tourists, rail-fans, as well as common travellers who prefer cleanliness, hygienic and ambience over the slightly higher cost.

Written by – Himadri Paul

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