Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district in-charge minister Kota Srinivas Poojari and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel will inaugurate the maiden run of two Vistadome coaches attached to Mangaluru Junction-Yeshwantpur Weekly Express Special on July 11.
Vistadome coaches are European-style coaches which are equipped with advanced features such as large glass windows, glass roofs, observation lounges and seats which can rotate up to 180 degrees for passengers.
Sources said all the seats on the coaches are fully booked for the Sunday trip.
Bookings for these coaches for the maiden trip have run into a waiting list within two days. Railway patrons are unable to book advance tickets from Mangaluru Junction from July 12 onwards on the IRCTC portal. There were technical glitches which will soon be rectified, said Palakkad Division’s spokesperson MK Gopinath.
As the unique service in south India, Vistadome coaches are being introduced to promote tourism. The two tri-weekly and one weekly day train services between Bengaluru and Mangaluru traverse through the enchanting Western Ghats via Sakleshpur-Subrahmanya Road Ghat section.
The section offers glimpses of lofty mountains, valleys, gorges, lush greenery, streams, rivers and tunnels of the Western Ghats. The region blooms in monsoon.
Vistadome coaches are manufactured by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, on the LHB (Linke-Hoffman-Busch) platform/technology. These coaches have glass rooftops with anti-glare screens which offer clear views of the sky. The coaches are equipped with CCTV surveillance, fire safety systems, LED display, oven and refrigerator, mini pantry, multi-tiered steel luggage shelves, mobile charging socket on each seat and “content-on-demand” viewable by passengers.
The railway coaches were introduced in India last year. Indian Railways’ Integral Coach Factory in Chennai has also cleared the Vistadome tourist coaches.
They are equipped with automatic sliding doors and bio-toilets. The seats have foldable snack tables, similar to what is given in aircraft. The coaches are also equipped with GPS-based public address system and Braille signage to assist Divyang (physically challenged) passengers.