Refurbished luxury train ‘Deccan Odyssey’ relaunched after pandemic break

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has re-launched luxury train Deccan Odyssey after a gap of nearly four years.

Its inaugural run between CSMT in south Mumbai and Panvel was flagged off on Thursday by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar in the presence of state tourism minister Girish Mahajan, principal secretary (tourism) Radhika Rastogi and MTDC managing director Shraddha Joshi.

Joshi said the train will embark on its journey from Mumbai to Delhi for a seven-night-eight-day trip with stops at Vadodara, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Agra, and Sawai Madhopur.

She said 20 seats have already been booked for this commercial run.

Six itineraries are planned for the train, namely ‘Maharashtra Splendor’ ‘Indian Sojourn’, ‘Indian Odyssey’, ‘Maharashtra Wild Trail’, ‘Heritage Odyssey’, and ‘Cultural Odyssey’, the MTDC said.

The cost for this experience is fixed at Rs 6.5 lakh per person, while the same for a couple (two seats) will be around Rs 9 lakh, officials said.

In a release issued after the function, MTDC claimed the train, which is “very popular globally”, has undergone major refurbishment and it is now “rejuvenated” and ready to run in its new form.

“In the renovated luxury train, a fire extinguisher has been installed in each coach of the train, while induction has replaced LPG gas in pantry cars. The gangway of all the coaches had been changed for making moving from one coach to another more convenient, besides the replacement of flooring of all coaches,” the release informed.

“Old conventional trollies of the train have been replaced with new air suspension trollies for more comfortable ride and the toilets of all the coaches have been installed with bio tanks, which was not the case in earlier version of the train,” the release added.

Deccan Odyssey is equipped with intercom and Wi-Fi facilities, music system, furniture, bed, air conditioning system to give the tourist a “royal experience”, MTDC said, adding that it has 21 coaches with four deluxe cabins each in 10 coaches and two presidential suites each in other two coaches.

The other coaches include two coaches each for the dining room, staff quarters and for generator cars and storage houses, while one coach each houses a conference house, a health spa, and a bar.

It is a five-star hotel on wheels, Mahajan told reporters.

The train was built in 2003 at the Integral Coach Factory and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee flagged it off in 2004.

As per MTDC, the train received a huge response from tourists between 2004 and 2020, but it was stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21.

“An operator has been appointed for Deccan Odyssey on a turnkey basis. It will be mandatory for the operator to run 40 tours in Maharashtra and then cover other premium tourist destinations across India,” MTDC officials said.

The train has won several prestigious awards since 2010-12, including World Travel Awards-Asia’s Leading Luxury Train Award.  

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