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Thursday, 24 March 2022

Train routes in India where you can enjoy spectacular scenic rides in Vistadome coaches

Here's a list of Indian Railway routes where you can travel in the special Vistadome tourist coaches

A Vistadome AC tourist coach of Indian Railways
A Vistadome AC tourist coach in the Yeshwantpur-Mangalore-Karwar Express.

Below are details of all the trains in India going through scenic routes where you can enjoy travelling in the special Vistadome tourist coaches, as per recent update so far.

About Vistadome Coaches

Vistadome coaches are special tourist coaches in trains run by the Indian Railways, in trains of daytime journey. These special coaches are equipped with special features to provide a great experience to travellers and tourists who are travelling through scenic railway routes in India.

These Vistadome coaches have features such as large glass windows on the sides, glass windows on the top, fully rotatable seats, air conditioning, GPS-based information system, and even a large glass window at the back of the last coach. All these features will provide you with great views along with great comfort, while travelling through scenic routes.

All Indian Railways routes with Vistadome coaches in India

Without further ado, here are all the Indian Railway routes, along with the train numbers, in which you can currently enjoy a ride in the special Vistadome tourist coaches, in 2022.

The below list was last updated by the Ministry of Railways on 11 February 2022. I've added some very useful details about each of these spectacularly scenic railway routes.

In the Central Railway zone

  • 11007/08 Mumbai-Pune Express.
    These trains run in the scenic route through the Western Ghats between Mumbai and Pune, in Maharashtra.
  • 12051/52 Mumbai-Madgaon Express.
    These trains run between Mumbai in Maharashtra and Madgaon in Goa. This coastal route through the beautiful Konkan coast of Maharashtra and Goa, and also goes through the spectacular Western Ghats that runs along the Konkan coast.
  • 12123/24 Deccan Queen Express.
    These trains also run between Mumbai and Pune.

In the East Coast Railway zone

  • 18551/52 Visakhapatnam-Kirandul Express.
    This train runs between Vishakapatnam (also known as Vizag) in Andhra Pradesh and Kirandul in Chattisgarh, through the scenic Eastern Ghats and the Araku valley. Vistadome coaches are available only up to Araku in this route, running between Visakhapatnam and Araku Valley.

In the Northeast Frontier Railway zone

  • 15777/78 Alipurduar – New Jalpaiguri Express
    These trains run in the scenic route between Alipurduar and New Jalpaiguri junction in northern part of West Bengal.
  • 15887/88 Guwahati-Badarpur Express
    These trains run in the scenic route between Guwahati and Badarpur Junction in Assam.
  • 15907/08 Tinsukia-Naharlagun Express
    These trains run in the scenic route between Tinsukia in Assam and Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh. This train runs through the Bogibeel Bridge across the mighty River Brahmaputra, which is currently the longest rail-cum-road bridge of India.
  • 52593/95/98/44, 52541, 52540, 52556 : in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (NG).
    Yes, this is the famed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway route (DHR, in short), which is also known as the Toy Train. This famous route, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a heritage narrow gauge railway line between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the northern part of West Bengal. This scenic narrow-gauge railway line was constructed in the year 1879.

In the Western Railway zone

  • 20947/48 Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Express
    These trains run in the scenic route between Ahmedabad and Kevadia Junction in Gujarat. Kevadia is the nearest railway station to the great Statue of Unity, a colossal statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, standing tall between the Narmada river. This is currently the world's largest statue.
  • 20949/50 Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Express
    These are some more trains running between Ahmedabad and Kevadia.
  • 52965/66 Mhow-Patalpani-Kalakund(MG)
    This scenic metre-guage route between Mhow and Kalakund in Madhya Pradesh, runs close to the Choral river and the beautiful Patalpani waterfalls in Patal Pani.
  • 09501/02, 09071/72 Billimora-Waghai(NG)
    This scenic heritage narrow-gauge railway route runs between Billimora and Waghai in Gujarat, through the Western Ghats range here.

In the South Western Railway zone

  • 16539/40 Yeswantpur-Mangalore Express
    This scenic route between Mangaluru (formerly Mangalore) and Yeshwantpur in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) runs through the very scenic Western Ghats range in Karnataka. At some places the train goes along the tracks which are very high in altitude on the mountains, which provide a great view around.
  • 16515/16 Yeswantpur-Karwar Express
    These trains run between Karwar and Yeshwantpur (in Bangalore). From Karwar to Mangalore, this train travels through the beautiful Karavali or Coastal Karnataka. From Mangalore onwwards, the route is same as the above trains.
  • 16575/76 Yeswantpur-Mangalore Express
    These are more trains running in the aforementioned railway route between Mangaluru and Bengaluru, in Karnataka.
  • 16579/80 Yeswantpur-Shivamogga Express
    This train runs between Yeshwantpur (in Bengaluru) and Shivamogga (formerly Shimoga), in Karnataka.

In the Northern Railway zone

  • 52453/54, 52459/60 Kalka - Shimla Express
    Yes, this is the famous Narrow Gauge Mountain Hill Railways of India which is a recognised World Heritage Site. This spectacular narrow-gauge scenic route of the Himachal-Hill Railway, runs between Kalka in Haryana and the famed hill station Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. This Shimla-Kalka railway section was commissioned over 100 years ago, in the year 1903.

In the North Eastern Railway zone

  • 05319/20 Mailani-Bichia Special(MG)
    These trains run along the very scenic metre gauge route between Mailani junction and Bichia, in Uttar Pradesh. This metre-gauge railway route beginning at Mailani Junction, goes through the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhwa National Park which has the Sonaripur Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, and then crosses over the Kailashpuri Dam bridge and goes through the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary near the Nepal-India border, to reach Bichia in Uttar Pradesh.

In an earlier release in 2019, the Ministry of Railways had mentioned Vistadome coaches being run on the Kangra Valley Railway, Matheran Hill Railway, and Nilgiri Mountain Railway. However, these routes are not included in their updated list of 11 February 2022. So, keep an eye on the news for any further updates.

I hope the above list helps you enjoy some spectacular scenic routes in India via Vistadome train travel. You can book a ride on the official IRCTC website on a train with Vistadome coaches, that goes in the above routes. Tickets of Vistadome coaches will be priced higher than that of other types of coaches.

Aforementioned Vistadome coaches are LHB coaches, and broad gauge unless mentioned otherwise.

By the way, AC chair cars and coaches which are made of the newer LHB coaches also have quite large glass windows which give you a good view, but not as large as the windows on Vistadome coaches and they're without other features provided by the Vistadome coaches, such as fully rotatable chairs, for example. Such LHB AC coaches are now included in trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, etc., and sometimes in other routes as well.

Here's wishing you happy and splendid scenic journeys in India. Happy travelling!

[1] Status of Vistadome Trains - Ministry of Railways, on Press Information Bureau.
[2] Year End Review 2017 of Ministry of Railways - Ministry of Railways, on Press Information Bureau.
[3] Dedication of 2 Vistadome Coaches of Nilgiri Mountain Railway - Ministry of Railways, on Press Information Bureau.

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