For the first time in its 34-year history, the queen of India’s heritage trains will skip a trip for want of passengers. Palace on Wheels, which was not even cancelled during the global recession of 2007-09, will not leave on the journey scheduled to start on Wednesday as no bookings were made. Palace on Wheels general manager Pradeep Bohra said high haulage charges make it unviable to run the train with a low occupancy.
As these luxury trains can accommodate only a small number of people, the per capita haulage charges are very high. Already, inbound tourist bookings have declined, and the train will need to re-in vent itself to remain attractive. Only eight tourists travelled to Jaipur on Palace on Wheels on its previous trip, on Holi. The train, which can accommodate 104 passengers, needs 25 to be profitable. A one way ticket can cost upwards of Rs 2,50,000 per person.