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Vistadome inauguration delayed till situation improves

By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

Srinagar, Jun 03: The much-hyped, all-weather, air-conditioned Vistadome train will not hit the Kashmir rail line till there is a “sizable improvement” in the law and order situation.

To boost tourism in the valley, the railway authorities of India, in association with the tourism department, had conceived the plan to introduce the Vistadome.

Northern Railways Chief Area Manager, Srinagar, Hari Mohan Tiwari, told The Kashmir Monitor said that they have communicated to its headquarters that the Vistadome can’t be started in the valley.

“We have put on hold the inauguration for indefinite period of time because of the uncertainty. We were supposed to start it on May 21, but the situation didn’t allow us to go for the inauguration. Now, we have decided that we will not run the train till the situation improves,” he said.

“We had made all arrangements for its inauguration. All the coaches of Vistadome have arrived in the valley.”

Pertinently, the Vistadome train can run in all weather conditions.

In winters, the rail services stop at times, but Vistadome will enable operations throughout the year.

“Once started, the train will be a good attraction for the tourists. We want to boost the valley’s tourism with this train. People’s support is important to make the train a successful venture,” said an official at northern railways.

Anyone, who can afford the fare, can use the train service.

For the handicapped and children, the commercial manual would be followed.

Vistadome coaches have a glass roof with electrically controlled opalescence, making it transparent.

They also have rotatable-pushback seats, GPS, LED lights and automatic sliding compartment doors.

The features will give passengers a panoramic of the surroundings, while the passengers can go to the special observation lounges for a better view.