The heritage train service was started by the Gaekwad dynasty of the princely state of Baroda in the year 1913.
Indian Railways’ 107-year-old Billimora-Vaghai narrow gauge heritage train service recently made its first trial run with an attached AC vista dome coach. In December 2020, the train which runs between Billimora in Navsari and Vaghai in Dangs, South Gujarat was scrapped by the Western Railway zone (later, the decision was revoked), according to an IE report. Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry, on 10 December 2020, approved the proposal to scrap services of Western Railways’ 11 “uneconomic branch lines” as well as narrow gauge sections, including three from the state of Gujarat, including the Billimora-Vaghai train. The heritage train service was started by the Gaekwad dynasty of the princely state of Baroda in the year 1913.
On Wednesday, the trial ride was taken by a team comprising Western Railway Additional Divisional Railway Manager Sanjay Sharma, Senior Divisional Engineer Kailash Meena, Senior Divisional Operating Manager Sanjay Neelam as well as Divisional Mechanical Engineer PU Upadhyay along with other railway officials of Valsad and Vaghai.
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According to sources quoted in the report, the train would resume its service once the Covid situation gets better. They further said that the tourist coach will be added to the train only on Saturdays and Sundays. More such coaches would be added after seeing the footfall and revenue, they added. The heritage train will offer two services on the 65-km route between Billimora and Vaghai daily with 10 stations. One train journey would take a duration of three hours and 35 minutes.
Station Master of Vaghai railway station, Sachin Davli was quoted in the report saying that the trial run of the diesel-engine-run heritage train with the new tourist vista dome coach was successful. As the Covid situation has to improve, it is presently difficult to say when the service will start, he said.
The tourist coach fare is yet to be decided, he said further mentioning that the fare for the general coach was Rs 20. The AC vista dome coach has a total of 22 seats and it will also boast cafeteria services. The tourist coach also has western toilets and washrooms.