Courtesy: IANS, New Delhi
IRCTC’s new semi-luxury train Tiger Express embarked on a “Roaring Journey” on World Environment Day, June 5 to experience the best of wildlife in Madhya Pradesh with some 24 nature loving passengers.
By the time the train completed its first and last “tiger trail” of this season, a trial run, on June 10, (parks close from June 15), passengers had experienced among others – a magnificent tiger and its other subjects in the beautiful jungles of Kanha and Bandhavgarh, a mesmerising boat ride in Narmada through marble rocks of Bedhagaht near Jabalpur and a huge waterfall where fishes were trying to jump up-stream and succeeding!
“I enjoyed from platform to platform. There’s a need to create the culture of love for the wildlife and this train is a step towards that,” Raman Kant Garg, who travelled with his son Shaurya, told IANS.
He said he will suggest the train journey to his friends and looking at the facilities and the guided tours it was overall cost effective.
“Watching the tiger looking you in the eye is beyond words. As we are getting older and softer, we start thinking where our meat is coming from. More sensitisation is required towards the environment. This train is for a good cause,” Steven Phipps, a retired Combat Engineer from the US who visited India for the first time to experience wildlife, said. “I believe that we must enjoy the jungle and keep the tiger as a bonus,” said Raghvendra and his wife Divya, a couple from Maharashtra who had chosen Tiger Express for their honeymoon.
The train will return with its five day-six night package in October, while the officials are at work on its costing which may drop in the second journey. “We are working on the costing, it may go down in the next journey. It was a quick decision and we had to manage the entire train within two months,” an IRCTC official told IANS.
“An abandoned coach was turned into this dining car at Jagadhari workshop in Haryana.
This was done in one month’s time,” said a railway engineer.
“I had been to places but never seen a combination like this. It ended on a very good note at the waterfalls. However, It was not publicised and I too received an email because I was registered with IRCTC,” said Virpal Singh, who had also been on the Buddha Circuit.
“The trip was good but it needs more publicity. Wildlife protection must be sensitized and in that step, I feel that this train is also serving a noble cause,” S.K Singh, a Delhi based retired Professor said.
The train would begin its regular monthly trips from October
onwards after the National Parks reopen following the monsoon. So, start working on your watch list, learn the names of your birds, pack well and please don’t use perfume while on tiger circuit.