Guwahati: To promote tourism and cultural heritage in the northeastern region and north Bengal, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) on Saturday launched two Vistadome tourist special train services in the area.
The Vistadome tourist special trains with transparent glass windows and roofs providing 360-degree view were introduced in two popular broad gauge routes having tourism potential — the Guwahati-New Haflong (269 km) route in Assam and the New Jalpaiguri-Alipurduar Junction (169 km) route in West Bengal.
NFR General Manager Anshul Gupta said that the Vistadome tourist special trains have been launched to facilitate tourists to witness the scenic beauty and to display the cultural heritage of the region.
The Vistadome coaches also have observation lounges for the purpose of sightseeing, while the revolving seats are designed to provide added comfort to the passengers, along with digital entertainment system and Wi-Fi connection.
For the safety of the passengers, CCTV cameras and fire alarm systems have been installed, Gupta told the media.
He said the Vistadome trains would help generate additional revenue for the Railways, tourism departments of the two states and also for the local people of these areas.
The NFR, which operates in six of the eight northeastern states, excluding Meghalaya and Sikkim, and in seven districts of West Bengal, already operates a Vistadome tourist special train in the New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling narrow gauge route.
The special Vistadome train service between Guwahati and New Haflong was flagged off in Guwahati by Assam Tourism Minister Bimal Bora.
Bora hoped that with the introduction of the Vistadome tourist special train service, both international and domestic tourists would now be able to enjoy the abundant natural beauty of the northeast.
The Vistadome special train service between New Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar Junction was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla.
Barla thanked the Railways for the initiative, which will develop the tourism sector of the Dooars area of North Bengal.
He hoped that a vast segment of people belonging to various sectors, apart from tour operators, would be able to benefit economically with more and more tourists coming into the region.