A dedicated regular train between Visakhapatnam and Araku Valley is being planned as the first tourism project under the aegis of South Coastal Railway (SCoR) which is slated to begin operations from the upcoming financial year.
The possibility of this project depends on two factors. First, if Visakhapatnam becomes the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh and second, if Visakhapatnam becomes the zonal headquarters of SCoR. Currently, tourists are dependent on the 58501/58502 Visakhapatnam to Kirandul passenger train to go to Araku from the city. During the peak season, the railways run special trains from Visakhapatnam to Araku to meet the rush.
However, railway sources have indicated that authorities have in-principle decided to run a regular train from Visakhapatnam to Araku soon, the train will feature all Vistadome coaches. DVM Reddy, the Visakhapatnam divisional manager of Andhra Pradesh tourism development corporation (APTDC) said that a regular train from Visakhapatnam to Araku will be a welcome step.
“Once the train is operational, we will ask the railways to allocate one or more coaches to APTDC which we will include in our tourism packages. We will pay the passenger fee directly to the railways,” Reddy said, while adding that APTDC has been asking for a regular train along this route since 2002.