Operation of additional Vistadome coaches to Araku likely soon

By B. Madhu Gopal
Tourists are in favour of the Vistadome coaches being run as an independent tourist train from Visakhapatnam to Araku, instead of attaching them to Kirandul passenger. (Source: File photo K.R. Deepak)

The operation of additional Vistadome coaches to Araku is likely to become a reality soon with the railways conducting a trial run of the LHB rake from Visakhapatnam to Araku on Tuesday, according to reliable sources.

One new Vistadome coach with large glass windows arrived early this month and three more arrived subsequently in Visakhapatnam. They are parked in the coaching depot.

The lone Vistadome coach, introduced in 2017, has a ‘self-generating battery’ and its coupling is ‘screw type’. It is being attached to the Visakhapatnam – Kirandul passenger, up to Araku ever since. It has been in great demand ever since.

The new Vistadome coaches have CBC (Centre Buffer Coupler) and do not have a battery. These new LHB type Vistadome coaches requires an EOG (End On Generator). It is learnt that the railway officials are planning to conduct another trial run from Araku to Koraput in the next few days, and once that was completed the train can be operated with LHB coaches.

Divisional Railway Manager Anup Kumar Satpathy told The Hindu, earlier this month, that there were plans to run the Araku train with LHB coaches before the commencement of the tourist season.

Meanwhile, tourists are in favour of the Vistadome coaches being run as an independent tourist train from Visakhapatnam to Araku, instead of attaching them to the Kirandul passenger. A HOG (Head On Generator) can be attached to this train to do away with the need of an EOG. The HOG can draw power from the overhead lines and supply it to the coaches, say sources familiar with the functioning of the railways. “The dedicated train can leave early in the mornings from Visakhapatam and start from Araku around 4 p.m., on its return journey, so that it covers the tunnels and breathtaking valleys before dusk. This is important to ensure full patronage to the Vistadome coaches on the return journey. The regular delay in the arrival of the return train at Araku from Kirandul had been deterring tourists from opting to pay high fare on the Vistadome as they cannot enjoy the beautiful views of nature after dark,” say tourists. “A mini pantry service should also be introduced on the tourist train to enable tourists enjoy the sylvan surroundings, as they munch snacks,” they add.

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