Even after the luxury train Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (RROW) was reinvented as Palace on Wheels (POW), the POW has been kept in operation, although covering a much smaller route, but an unexplored route now.
Palace on Wheels, which has now been renamed Heritage Palace on Wheels (HPOW), will travel through the remote Shekhawati region, the land of dilapidated havelis, for the remaining three years of its lifetime. This route promises to be both unique and beneficial for the entire Shekhawati region, as no royal train has ventured into this region before.
According to the latest proposal has been floated, two itineraries for the POW rake will be discontinued from this season. They will be replaced by the HPOW rake, which will be used to run the POW itinerary. It is believed that the new itinerary of the HPOW will lead to a significant growth in the Shekhawati region, Bikaner, Keoladeo National Park and Talchapar. Further, HPOW will be far more economical compared to the original POW.
A proposal has been made to run a three and a four day tourist itinerary from the coming tourist season. The first itinerary, which will be called, “Shekhawati Desert & Wildlife Tour,” will span for a period of four days and cover a distance of 1,536km, and depart from Delhi every Sunday. The other itinerary, which will be called “The Golden Triangle with Bird Sanctuary,” will cover a distance of 744km, and depart every Thursday from Delhi.
“On account of corrosion-related problems and codal life basis, the rake needs to be replaced on the completion of 25 years. Operating since 1982, the third version of the POW that was launched in 1995 and has three more years of life left. The 3/4 day itinerary is being crafted to effectively put to use the POW rake on shorter routes and far economical tariff,” stated Pradeep Bohra, general manager of the two luxury trains, RROW & POW.
The tariff for the new itineraries is expected to be 200 and 225 USD per day/person, replacing the original 650 USD per day/person for the original itinerary, with the aim of attracting more tourists.
“As for haulage, the Railways would decide on the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation RTDC and Railways revenue sharing model as these itineraries covers far shorter distance that what it used to on the itinerary before (i.e. 3000 km),” said Bohra.