Railways to raise revenue by renting out defunct rail coaches for running restaurants
An old train coach after proper refurbishments and interior decoration has been aesthetically converted into a rail coach restaurant at New Jalpaiguri railway station.
NEW DELHI: Indian Railways working on a 'well-thought-out plan' to generate additional revenue from non-operating sources and additional resources is promoting a 'unique concept' of setting up the Rail Coach Restaurants (RCR) across outer circulating areas of its almost all-important stations in the country.
If the plan goes well, as it is reliably learned, the "railway will generate additional revenue of more than Rs 1000 crore per annum by promoting the Rail Coach Restaurant concept across the country in the next few years."
“The RCR concept will not only give us revenue but also generate employment for local people through private players, who will chip in for running such restaurants”, said a senior railway official.
So far, the railway has allowed private players to set up the Rail Coach Restaurants at nearly 9 places in several states with the recent one at New Jalpaiguri railway station.
An old train coach after giving it proper refurbishments and interior decoration have been aesthetically converted into a rail coach restaurant at New Jalpaiguri railway station.
The railway has provided space and other support on a contract of five years to the party for setting up this restaurant, which instantly started attracting passengers and other customers.
The North East Frontier Railway is also planning to set up such restaurants in Sukna, Tindhara, Kurseong and Darjeeling stations.
Officials claim that the Rail Coach Restaurants opened up so far at various railway stations, serve all multi-cuisine delicacies to people at an affordable cost with a high level of sanitation and services. At Jalpaiguri railway station, the RCR has been opened on last Thursday with a capacity of accommodating 32 guests at a time and serving them different cuisines – right from North Indian and South Indian and Chinese foods.
A senior railway official said that the railway provides licensees to run such restaurants after the party meets all the set criteria of the railways.
Earlier, such beautifully decorated Rail Coach Restaurants have been set up at some stations of MP, Rajasthan, Asansol in West Bengal, New Delhi and other places. In February in 2020, the 'first of-its-kind' restaurant was set up in the circulating areas of Asansol railway station and christened ‘Restaurant on wheels”. Two decrepit MEMU coaches were refurbished and converted into a rail coach restaurant.
Another such rail coach restaurant has been opened at Baramer railway station in Rajasthan under the North Western Railway named VIP express with an accommodating capacity of 70 passengers as part of the railway plan to increase revenue and employment.
Railway sources said that similar rail coach restaurants are planned for various parts of the country in the major railway station circulating areas.
Jaisalarmar, Jodhpur, Bhawat ki Kothi, Mahamandir in Rajasthan, Satana, Jabalpur and other stations in MP and others places across the country. Under the Central Railway, 11 such ‘Rail Coach restaurants’ have also been planed for other stations apart from the already opened 2 restaurants at Mumbai and Nagpur.
Other stations identified for such restaurants under Central Railway are Akurdi, Chinchwad, Baramati, Miraj, the Lokmanaya Tilak Terminus, Dadar, Kalyan, Lonavala, Igatpuri, Neral and Matheran.