Vijay Rupani, the Chief Minister of Gujarat flagged off Astha Tourist Train, a special Gandhi Darshan train from Sabarmati railway station on 17 June 2017.
The train was launched on the occasion of centenary celebrations of the historic Sabarmati Ashram founded by Mahatma Gandhi. It was jointly planned by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the tourism department of Gujarat government.
• Following its departure from Sabarmati railway station in Ahmedabad, the train would be travelling for 10 days (to and fro trip) to Bihar’s Betitah and Motihari, formerly known as Champaran.
• Champaran was the first place where Mahatma Gandhi staged a satyagraha in 1917 in order to remove the misery of the indigo farmers.
• The 15-coach train has 13 sleeper coaches, a pantry car and two guard coaches with a total passengers capacity of 840 seats.
• The train would be visiting important tourist attractions related to Gandhiji’s freedom movement.
• These places include “Sevagram Ashram in Wardha and Chaparan Satyagraha Monument in Bettiah and Motihari.
• Those boarding the train would also get an opportunity to visit popular religious destinations like Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, Triveni Sangam in Allahabad and Mahabodhi temple and other religious places in Gaya.
• The total duration of the trip would be nine nights and ten days. It would return to Sabarmati on 26th June.
Besides this, like other Astha special trains, the coaches would have a public announcement system, a guide in each one and the facility of free of cost meal prepared in the pantry car.