After a gap of almost five years, the Deccan Odyssey train will be rolled out on September 23 from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with some new features and routes added.
Passengers will have to fork out Rs 6 lakh if they wish for the luxurious train journey for seven nights, said Shraddha Joshi Sharma, Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
After the Covid-19 pandemic, the train has undergone refurbishment. It has now intercom and Wi-Fi facilities, music system, furniture, beds, air conditioning in its total 21 coaches with four deluxe cabins each in 10 coaches, and two presidential suites each in other two coaches.
Giving the “feel of a five-star hotel” on wheels, coaches also house a conference house, dining room, health spa, bar, staff quarters and storage.
The train can carry up to 90 passengers and 34 crew members.
Sharma told News18 the new features on the train include fire resistant curtains and paints along fire-fighting system. “We have installed the bio tanks so that toilet waste should not flow on the tracks. We have added new kitchens with induction systems instead of old gas system.”
The Deccan Odyssey is one of the five royal trains in the country – Golden Chariot, Maharajas’ Express, Palace on Wheels and Mahaparinirvan Express.
Sharma stressed her department has sought permission for replacing the current diesel engines with the electric ones in order to promote “responsible tourism”. “We have also added two more destinations on the list — Delhi and Varanasi. Several tourists come from Delhi, and recently, the demand for Varanasi has also gone up. Hence, we have added that too. We are full booked till March.”
MTDC has carefully appointed an operator to look after this enter project on turnkey basis. 40 % tours in Maharashtra mandatorily and then covers other premium tourist destinations PAN India.
It was built in 2003 at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, after being approved by the Central and state governments.
In 2004, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee flagged off the Deccan Odyssey train. The main objective of the Deccan Odyssey luxury train was to introduce the tourist destinations of Maharashtra to domestic and international tourists, and promote the culture and art of the state.