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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

 

History of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is also popularly known as the Toy Train or the DHR. It runs on a 2 feet / 610 millimeter gauge also known as the narrow gauge.  This popular railway line connects New Jalpaiguri Station from Siliguri to Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. This railway line is in the section of North East Frontier Railways under the Indian Railways.

Siliguri located in the plains at the base of the Himalayas is connected with Kolkata by standard gauge railway in 1878. The road from the hills of Darjeeling to Siliguri had cart services in ancient times. Hence the road is known as the Hill Cart Road. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways use to be part of the Hill Cart Road.

Franklin Prestage an agent of Bengal Railway Company approached with a proposal of laying a steam tramway from Siliguri to Darjeeling. Sir Ashley Eden, the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal formed a committee to assess the feasibility of the project and the proposal was accepted in 1879 and construction started the same year.

In the year 1880 eight steam locomotives arrive from the works of Messrs Sharp Stewart, Manchester, England. In the month of March Lord Lytton, the Viceroy of India inaugurated the railway line for the people between Siliguri and Kurseong.

The purpose of the railway was to reduce the haulage rates of commodities to Darjeeling and to improve the viability of local industries such as tea production.

In the year 1881, July 3rd the line was officially opened to Darjeeling. It is 51 miles / 82 kilometers in length.  The elevation was from 400 feet / 120 meters at Siliguri to the highest point at Ghoom / Ghum is 7407 feet / 2257 meters and finally descending to Darjeeling at 6812 feet / 2075 meters. The Company is renamed the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Co.

In the year 1999 - The DHR is awarded World Heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This was the second railway in the world to get such status. 41 kilometers Semmering Railway in Austria was the first. UNESCO states that DHR is an outstanding example of the influence of an innovative transportation system on the social and economic development of a multi-cultural region which was to serve as a model for similar developments in many parts of the world.

Booking Tickets and Trains - How to book Darjeeling Himalayan Railways? How do I book a ticket?  One can book ticket by simply visiting the nearest Computerized Reservation Counter in India OR can log in www.irctc.co.in for online booking.

Steam Charter Trains or Diesel Charter Train is simple. All you have to do send an e-mail to us to confirm the availability of dates. Please get in touch with our officials for payment and further details. The current rate of Steam Charter or Diesel Charter Train is for full day. The composition is 1 or 2 First Class / 1 or 2 Second Class hauled by a century old B class steam locomotive or Diesel Locomotive.  For further details please contact us at www.dreamwaydestinations.com.

For booking in weekdays or group bookings it is necessary to inform in advance and find out the availability. Individuals may approach us by mail, phone or visit us for bookings. For block booking on Sundays and Holidays please approach well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tickets for Joy Train are available at Passenger Reservation System (PRS) Network of Indian Railways, and at Darjeeling Railway Station (For Joy Rides). For booking in weekdays or for group booking an advance notice along with payment is required.  Individuals or for block booking on Sundays and Holidays please approach us at Siliguri 

Darjeeling Himalayan Heritage / Batasia Loop - Toy Train Ride - The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is also popularly known as the Toy Train or the DHR. It runs on a 2 feet / 610 millimeter gauge also known as the narrow gauge.  This popular railway line connects New Jalpaiguri Station from Siliguri to Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. In the year 1999 - The DHR is awarded World Heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This was the second railway in the world to get such status. 41 kilometers Semmering Railway in Austria was the first. UNESCO states that DHR is an outstanding example of the influence of an innovative transportation system on the social and economic development of a multi-cultural region which was to serve as a model for similar developments in many parts of the world. This is an interesting engineering marvel that helps in build the railway loop and at this loop the toy train takes a very unique turn forming an eight.

The Batasia Loop was erected in the gradient of ascent of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. At this point, the tracks spiral around over itself through a tunnel and over a hilltop. It was commissioned in 1919. It is nearly 5 kilometers from Darjeeling and is just below Ghoom. In the center of the loop is a memorial to the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives after the Indian Independence in 1947. From the Batasia Loop one can get a panoramic view of Darjeeling town with the Kanchenjunga and other snowy mountains in the back - drop. A beautiful garden has been laid for the guest to spend time in the area. For booking tickets - One can book ticket by simply visiting the nearest Computerized Reservation Counter in India or can log in www.irctc.co.in for online booking. To Book the train for group or for excursion one can write to us or ring us. We do arrange picnic, excursion or simple joy ride customized for our guest with tea, picnic and lunch break. Steam Engine train, Diesel engine, First class compartment or any other customization are arranged by us. 

Tags: World Heritage, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, DHR, Batasia Loop