Way before Indian royalty fell in love with the motor car; they were enthralled by Sir James Watt’s creation. An object of perennial fascination and amusement – the steam engine has been a part of the lives of kings and queens in various avatars. Over here, we list a few that tell the tale of a more genteel era that has gone by.
history With the passage of time, all the princes vied with each other to display their ostentatious carriages. Maharaja Gaekwad of Vadodara not content with gifting his son a toy train, went on to install a royal throne in his personal coach. As a matter of fact, the Nizam of Hyderabad’s private railway car was covered with thin strips of ivory and had solid gold hardware. As a child, yuvraj or prince Madhav Rao Scindia was fascinated by the railway train. Seeing this, his father the royal Maharaja built a two mile rail track on his palace grounds. One would often see the little prince taking his friends on a joy ride on the palace grounds on his special loco-
-motive that ran on a two feet gauge track. the palace grounds on his special locomotive that ran on a two feet gauge track.
It was around 1880, that the princely states in India took the initiative to lay their own railway lines with contributions from their own exchequers. But Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur had his own little railway, a year in advance. The Raika Bagh Palace was probably the first railway station in India! Even when it came to the state of Vadodara, the passion for the railway was intense. As a birthday gift, Maharaja Pratapsinh Gaekwad gifted his five year old son, Ranjit Singh Gaekwad (the present Maharaja of Vadodara), a fully functional toy train that ran on ten inch gauge rails !
Current salons of the Maharajahs Express are designed to recreate the same old panache of the personal carriages of Indian Maharajahs. Each of the cabins including the dining coupes is suffused with nostalgia of past grandeur. Quaint décor fused together with the contemporary amenities create an aura of sheer opulence and 5 Star pampering inside the cabins of Maharaja Express. Maharajas’ Express train consists of 23 coaches and has a total passenger capacity of 88. Plush facilities such as 2 restaurants, spa salon, bar, lounge, fitness center and business center redefine the art of luxury train travel on board Maharajas’ Express.