Doubts raised over feasibility of Gwalior Heritage Train Project

GWALIOR: A negative feasibility report and dearth of expected tourist passengers coupled with high costs could land the Heritage Train Project into trouble.

A team comprising of senior officers of the Railway Division and the District Collector inspected the narrow gauge line to explore the viability of running a heritage train. Travelling in a special coach attached to the Gwalior-Sabalgarh train, Vipin Kumar Singh, the Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Jhansi Railway Division and the District Collector along with other officials surveyed the track from Gwalior Railway Station till Banmore Railway Station.

However, the team doesn’t seem to be too enthusiastic about the project due to high costs and disappointing number of expected passengers. The Railways are also planning to convert the narrow gauge line into broad gauge, and this too is a hindrance in the proposed project.

Talking to the media persons, Vipin Kumar Singh, the SDCM said that the feasibility report is not positive; hence the likelihood of running the Heritage Train is very less. He added that the cost of preparing new tracks, coaches and engine is too high to justify the train. He also said that work on the gauge conversion has already started. Meanwhile, the District Collector, Ashok Kumar Verma said that he is hopeful that something can be worked out in consultation with the railway authorities.

The DC said that a City Train can be planned if the Railway authorities have any reservations about the number of passengers. He also said that the matter of high costs will be discussed with experts to find out some solution. He added that the possibility of funding by the state and the central governments to meet the costs too will be explored besides reconnoitering the PPD Model.