In 2008, the state government of Karnataka had started the services of an ultra-luxury tourist train. This train connected various destinations important from the point of view of tourism in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. However, due to mounting losses the service was stopped temporarily.
Recently, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has entered into an agreement with the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to market and operate the train on behalf of KSTDC. This is the second private train to be operated by IRCTC after the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express.
The Golden Chariot comprises 18 coaches with 44 cabins which can accommodate 84 passengers. Onboard the train has services at par with a five star hotel. The train has 11 accommodation cars with four sleeping chambers each, Two dining cars, one bar and lounge car, a business centre, a mini gym and an ayurvedic spa onboard. Of the 44 cabins, 26 offer twin beds, 17 offer double beds while one is designed for specially abled people. The cabins offer a wardrobe, vanity desk, LCD TV and a private attached toilet. The original train undertook two eight days and seven nights tours each . The “Pride of South” tour covered various places in Karnataka and Goa; while the “Southern Splendor” covered tourist spots in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.
The train is expected to re-commence its services from March 2020