The 96.54 km long Kalka Shimla Railway opened for traffic on November 9, 1903. (Express archive)
The Kalka Shimla Railway was built in 1898 to connect the then British Raj ‘Summer Capital’ Shimla with the rest of the Indian railway system. Crossing through striking mountains, 107 tunnels and 864 bridges were built along the route of this railway. The 96.54 km long Kalka Shimla Railway opened for traffic on November 9, 1903. Before the line was built, communication with the outside world from Simla (Shimla) was by cart. Also Read | Nilgiri Mountain Railway: Check schedule and other details here
In 2008, the Kalka Shimla Railway was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and added to the mountain railways of India. Shimla is a favoured spot for vacationers, irrespective of the season. The Kalka Shimla Railway offers four premium toy train services for travellers- the Deluxe Rail Motor Car, the Shivalik Deluxe Express, the Shivalik Palace (Tourist Coach) and the Shivalik Queen Tourist Coach.
Carrying 14 passengers at a time, the Deluxe Rail Motor Car resembles a bus from the Second World War. The train is fitted with a fibreglass roof, which gives passengers full sky view. The train provides necessary travel information onboard with its digital time-cum-temperature display unit, altimeter and route indication board. It takes 4.25 hours to reach its destination.
The Shivalik Deluxe Express accommodating 120 passengers is a connecting service to Howrah-Kalka Mail for Shimla. It reaches its destination in 4.45 hrs. The train is carpeted wall-to-wall, with wide glass windows and reversible cushion chairs.
Fares for both Deluxe Rail Motor Car and Shivalik Deluxe Express is Rs. 340/- with a complimentary meal at the beautiful Railway Station Barog.
The Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach is the mode of conveyance for a dream holiday. It is furnished with foldable cushion bed, refrigerator, on-board kitchen and a comfortable dining table. The coach carries a group of six people. It costs Rs 4,790 in the up trip and Rs 3,495 in the downward ride, including complimentary accommodation in two luxurious retiring rooms at Shimla for the day and free meals en route.
The latest addition to the Kalka Shimla Railway is the luxurious coach Shivalik Queen. The coach is equipped with modern facilities and fittings like wall-to-wall carpets, altimeter, fancy lights, chrome plated luggage rack. It is divided into two portions with two couples room each. These coaches are attached to other trains as per requirements.
The toy train has six scheduled journey from both Kalka and Shimla.