The IRCTC Kashi Mahakal Express train service will begin commercial services on February 20 and is expected to be flagged off on February 16.
IRCTC Kashi Mahakal Express: Good news for Shiva devotees! The third private train of the country, Kashi Mahakal Express is all set to be launched by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of Indian Railways soon. The upcoming private train service will run between Indore and Varanasi and connect three Jyotirlinga shrines – Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, and Kashi Vishwanath. According to details shared by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the new train will run for three days a week and will provide modern facilities and comfort to travelling passengers. The IRCTC Kashi Mahakal Express train service will begin commercial services on February 20 and is expected to be flagged off on February 16.
IRCTC Kashi Mahakal Express: Stations & other details
En route both ways between Indore and Varanasi, the train will cover many iconic destinations. During the journey, the train will halt at Ujjain, Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow/Prayagraj stations. The upcoming private train service would be fully AC and will comprise of similar rakes as those of Humsafar Express trains.
The train will also connect the industrial and educational hub of Indore and Bhopal. The train will operate thrice a week between Varanasi and Indore through Ujjain, Bina, Sant Hiradnagar (Bhopal), Kanpur, Jhansi, Lucknow/Prayagraj and Sultanpur.
The Humsafar Express trains of Indian Railways are best suitable for overnight journeys. Also, various on board features are available for passengers’ ease and convenience such as tea/coffee vending machines, comfortable berths, LED lights, GPS-based passenger information system, mobile charging points, bio-toilets, toilet occupancy indicators, CCTVs, etc.
IRCTC is coming up with tour packages of cities and religious sites such as Kashi, Omkareshwar, Bhopal, Mahakaleshwar, Sanchi, Ujjain, Bhimbetka, Ayodhya as well as Prayag. The Kashi Mahakal Express will be the first passenger train which promises to be a full service overnight journey train with high levels of on-board services complemented with the exclusive optional tour packages covering the religious, business and tourism areas of the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Currently, IRCTC runs two private trains- Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express and Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express. Recently, it was reported that in the coming years, a total of 150 trains will be operated by private companies across 100 routes. According to Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav, the plan of Railway Ministry to allow private companies to run passenger trains on the Indian Railways network has attracted more than two dozen private entities, including Alstom Transport, Siemens AG, Macquarie, Bombardier, etc. Besides, Tata has also shown interest in this proposal. A report was also issued by Railway Ministry and NITI Aayog, which forecasted around Rs 22,500 crore investment to operate the 150 private trains on the Indian Railways network.