Victoria On Wheels - First Tram Restaurant In India

by Mohammed Burman | 21/12/2018
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In Kolkata, which is widely known as the “City of Joy”, a tramcar has been redesigned to become a 27-seater restaurant which offers culinary rides to customers.

A declining service

Trams used to be one of the most popular means of transport in Kolkata in the past and have served the residents in many decades. However, today, modern people have a tendency to prefer faster, more advanced vehicles like private buses, taxis or India's Metro service to this slow one. As a consequence, although the fares are still very low, between Rs 6 and Rs 7, the number of trams has considerably declined.  In the 1960s, tramcars had been operating over 52 routes stretching for 70km, now, the figures are only five routes spanning 17km.

A newly emerging service

Despite being not able to keep up with the fast speed of the city life, trams still refuse to retire and now they are still a favourite vehicle of Kolkata people but with a different function. Lately, one of them has been utilized as a means of entertainment, which also makes it a tourist attraction. And the first tramcar in the Kolkata, named “Victoria on Wheels”, has been refurbished to become a mobile restaurant which provides the customers with interesting culinary rides. It marks the beginning of a totally new special service in the City of Joy, the culinary rides.

Kolkata tramcar restaurant

Named "Victoria on Wheels", the first tramcar in Kolkata has been designed to become a mobile restaurant

The moving restaurant

A mobile restaurant in a tramcar was first introduced by Kolkata Tram Services on October 13th 2018. One day later, the culinary trip began from near Shahid Minar in Central Kolkata to Kidderpore. The tram moved around the Maidan, the most beautiful tourist attraction in Kolkata.

The culinary rides

The special moving restaurant will make four journeys each day: two during noon and the other two around sunset. Victoria Group Director and restaurant operator, Sanjiv Goswami, has been given the rights to drive this unique tram in the City of Joy. As revealed by Sanjiv Goswami, there would be a special extra fifth ride for the pujas in the city. He also added that the cabin of the tram has been designed to house up to 27 customers each trip.

tramcar restaurant

The tramcar offers the customers two culinary rides each day

The tramcar inauguration

The inauguration of the unique dining service was implemented by the Minister of Transport, Suvendu Adhikari. He was very happy to announce this mobile restaurant as a special gift for the people in Kolkata before Durga Puja, the biggest celebration of the city.

The special service

The tram is well-painted to look attractive with the city’s tourist spots on its body and to become a tourist attraction of the city itself. Moreover, the tram is equipped with a musical ambience, an air conditioning system and bio-toilets, which provide the customers with a unique dining experience.

restaurant tramcar cabin

The tramcar is equipped with some convenience features to optimize the customers' dining experience

Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are offered in the tram at INR 799 and 999, respectively in a 90-minute trip from Shahid Minar to Kidderpore and then back. The menus follow the authentic Bengali cuisine, consisting of a welcome drink, starters, main course and finally, a desert. This special dining service has been operating for more than two months and has received positive feedback from the customers.

meals in the tramcar

The menus follow the authentic Bengali cuisine, including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes 

The special mobile restaurant is an innovative method of the Victoria Group to preserve one of the most important heritage of the City of Joy, the tramcars, which once dominated the Kolkata roads, but now have given way to more modern and faster modes of transport. Moreover, many tramcar manufacturers have cooperated and provided well-known retail brands with renovated tramcars to exhibit and sell them as a means of further ensuring the vitality of this traditional but unique type of vehicles.

What do you think about this means of transport and its future prospects in Kolkata with a totally new function? Will it spread to other cities as well? Share with us in the comment section below.

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