Travel News

Buddhist Tourism Circuit Special train begins its first journey of the 2015-16 season

Indian Railways is operating Buddhist Tourism Circuit Special Train through its PSU Indian Railways Tourism & Catering Corporation (IRCTC). This train has six trips in the season 2015-16, which started on October 31, 2015 from Delhi Safdarjung Station. During its 7 nights / 8 days journey from Delhi, it would cover important sites such as Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Lumbini, Shravasti and at the end The Taj Mahal (Agra). A senior official at India's Ministry of Railways said the train would offer "a safe, comfortable and reliable package for international as well as domestic travellers". Operated by Indian Railways Tourism & Catering Corporation (IRCTC), the train will offer 274 seats in a choice of three air-conditioned carriage classes.

Air India to connect Delhi with San Francisco

Air India will launch a new direct service connecting New Delhi with San Francisco before the end of this year. Flights will commence on December 2, operating thrice a week in both directions, that is, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, using Boeing 777-200LR (long range) aircraft. The Boeing 777-200LR aircraft has a seating capacity of 238 passengers, made up of eight first class, 35 business class and 195 economy class seats. The plan was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Silicon Valley. The route will mark the first direct flights between the two cities and Air India's fourth U.S. route with existing services to New York (JFK and Newark) and Chicago.

Sikkim's first airport in Pakyong to be operational from December 2016

Sikkim's first airport is expected to be operational from December 2016, with provision for direct connectivity to the land-locked state thereby boosting tourism. "Preparations are afoot and we are hopeful that the state will have its first airport operational from December 2016," said Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma at the 4th International Tourism Mart. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling announced that the airport will come up at Pakyong, 35 km from Gangtok. Currently, the nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal from where one has to drive down to Sikkim. The state is also going to be declared as an 'organic state', first in the country, by next year. This green initiative had been formulated to make the entire farming activities environment friendly. There will be no use of pesticide, chemical fertiliser or any non-biodegradable material. Crops will be grown with organic manure.

Gatimaan Express to become operational by March 2016

By the end of this financial year that is March 2016, India's fastest train Gatimaan Express will start operating between New Delhi- Agra cantt stations, claimed Arun Saxena, general manager of North Central Railway.

Saxena who came to Agra on a biannual meeting with Members of Parliaments to discuss the strategy of upgrading small stations with better amenities for passenger, said, "We have received assent note for the operations of Gatimaan Express from commissioner of railway safety 15 days back, but before that, some minor technical issues need to be taken care of which have been pointed out by CRS."

"In its all trial runs, semi high speed Gatimaan has successfully achieved the set parameters and we can now start the operations by the end of financial year," he said. Till now the railway has done six trail runs, recent one was on June 2 in which train was late by 10 minutes from its proposed time of completing the 195 km long journey in 105 minutes (one hour 25 minutes). Currently, with two minutes of halt at Mathura station, Bhopal Habibganj Shatabdi Express takes two hours six minutes to reach Agra from New Delhi.

The running schedule of the train as well as the fares have already been decided by the railway authorities. According to railway, one side fare of air-conditioned chair car between the two destinations has been fixed at Rs 690, while a passenger will be required to spend Rs 1,365 for the executive class. For Shatabadi, a passenger is required to Rs 540 for chair car, and Rs 1,040 for executive class.

The train will cover its journey from Agra at 5.30 pm and reach Delhi at 7.15 pm. On the opposite side, it will start from Delhi at 8 am and reach Agra by 9.45 am.