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Valley Queen Heritage Train Transitions To PPP Mode, But Why?

The Valley Queen heritage train service launched by the North Western Railways (NWR) in October 2023 aimed to offer passengers a scenic and memorable journey through Marwar. However, the initiative did not meet expectations, leading to multiple trip cancellations due to lack of bookings. Consequently, NWR has decided to operate the train under a Public […]

The Valley Queen heritage train service launched by the North Western Railways (NWR) in October 2023 aimed to offer passengers a scenic and memorable journey through Marwar. However, the initiative did not meet expectations, leading to multiple trip cancellations due to lack of bookings. Consequently, NWR has decided to operate the train under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Starting its route from Marwar Junction in Pali district to Khamlighat in Rajsamand district, the Valley Queen was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the sixth heritage train in the country. Priced at Rs 1,800 per person, the train was designed to showcase the natural beauty of Marwar.

According to NWR, only 400 passengers have taken the journey in the past nine months. Shashi Kiran, NWR’s chief PRO, emphasized the scenic richness of the train route, featuring green pastures, historic tunnels, and 172 water stream bridges. Kiran expressed optimism about increased footfall during the monsoon, highlighting it as the optimal time for travel.

To enhance service and revenue generation, NWR opted for private sector involvement, citing the ability of private contractors to offer superior catering and additional onboard activities compared to governmental capabilities. The decision aims to unlock the full potential of the Valley Queen heritage train.

The Marwar-Khamlighat rail section, established before Independence in the picturesque Aravali hills, maintains its meter gauge to preserve its heritage value. The train itself features an air-conditioned chair car coach and a diesel engine stylized to resemble a steam engine.

During the journey, passengers enjoy breathtaking vistas of lush valleys, hills, rare flora, and local fauna, with regular announcements provided via onboard TV screens. Operating five days a week (excluding Tuesdays and Fridays), the train offers group booking options on weekends, departing from Marwar Junction at 9:45 am and returning from Khamlighat at 2:30 pm, completing the round trip by late afternoon.

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North Western RailwaysPPP ModeTDGThe Daily GuardianValley Queen heritage train