Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, October 21
The Shimla-Kalka toy train suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic was back on the heritage track after seven months bringing cheers to passengers eagerly waiting for train services to resume.
The special train with seven coaches (182 seats), including two first class coaches, three chair cars and two general coaches, has been started in view of the ongoing tourist and festival season and the fare for first class is Rs 470, chair car Rs 370 and general class is Rs 75 said Station Superintendent Prince Sethi.
The passengers would have to make advance booking for travel at our portal or ISBT. The train started at 10:40 am from Shimla and reached Kalka at 4:10 pm while the other train started at 12:10 from Kalka and reached Shimla around 5:20 pm.
The hoteliers are upbeat as 96 km long Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge toy train is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects the Indian plains to the ‘Queen of Hills’, Shimla. The special train would run till November 30.
We are expecting rush in coming days and bookings have started pouring, all standard operating procedures are in place, coaches are sanitised and thermal scanning would be ensured at the gate after which the passengers would be allowed, Sethi added.
Built in 1903, this toy train ride is one of India’s most incredible feats of engineering covering a staggering 102 tunnels, 864 bridges and 919 stunning curves.
Spanning some 60 miles, the Kalka-Shimla toy train is said to be one of the most scenic railway journeys in India. And, with a route that encompasses a vast display of awe-inspiring landscapes, it’s easy to see why.
This journey runs on a narrow gauge from Kalka to Shimla, treating passengers with breathtaking views of rugged mountains, lush pine forests, waterfalls, valleys and picture-perfect hill stations along the way that will definitely tempt you to disembark and bask in their beauty. The whole journey takes about five and a half hours.
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