Indian Railways operate a handful of royal tourist trains like the Maharaja Express and Palace on Wheels, and to further extend the luxurious and exotic experience, the Safdarjung Railway Station will soon be refurbished. Indian Railways has confirmed that the station will receive a grand makeover to operate such trains, at a cost of Rs 350 crore. The station will be spruced up in a way to make it a memorable experience for tourists from the country and abroad. Though several passenger trains also pass daily from Safdarjung station located on the Ring Rail route, this station is known for operating tourist trains. Special tourist trains run frequently from here by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
This draws a large number of foreign tourists. Since, there are not enough facilities available at the railway station, it has been decided to develop this station. At present, the redevelopment work is taking shape at an approved cost of Rs 384.70 crore. After reconstruction, the station will have a built-up area of 41,350 square metres and is expected to be converted into a state-of-the-art station with modern amenities.
Releasing information on the current progress of this railway station a few days back, the Ministry of Railways had said that the foundation work of the station is in progress. RCC footing, retaining wall, column and slab etc. are being added.
The redeveloped station will reportedly have a state-of-the-art building, a connecting concourse, modernised platform infrastructure besides an office complex along with a retail facility. The number of platforms at the station will also be increased.
To facilitate the movement of pedestrians, arrival and departure will be separated through elevators and escalators. Separate passenger drop-off and pedestrian plazas and passenger pick-up and pedestrian plazas have been proposed for private cars, taxis and auto rickshaws, with dedicated slots for buses.
The ground floor of the railway station will include an arrival hall, waiting lounge areas along with ticketing, shopping and passenger amenities. On the other hand, the first floor of this station will have an executive lounge, waiting area, food court and other facilities including a medical room. Solar-powered energy efficient lamps will also be used for lighting here.
However, along with the royal trains such as Palace on Wheels and Maharaja Express, Heritage Express and trains connecting various pilgrimage sites, special theme-based trains are also run from here in collaboration with different departments.
These trains are not operated regularly like other passenger trains and announcements are made from time to time to operate these trains by the IRCTC and Railways administration.