Down Memory Tracks: Shimla’s Historical Toy Train
If you’ve always been fascinated by the toy train in Shimla, then here’s a little bit more about the iconic little machine.
What Makes It Awesome
The Toy Train that runs from Kalka to Shimla was added under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 2008. The construction started in the year 1898 under the British Government and the line was open to passengers in 1903.
It is a narrow gauge line that covers a distance of about 96km in about 5-6 hours and passes through 103 tunnels. It goes through Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Barog, Taradevi, Summer Hill and Shimla. If you are up for a spooky adventure, know that the Barog tunnel is considered to be haunted.
It’s a slow comfortable 6 hour journey that passes through scenic views of the mountains, forests, and cute little stations every now and then. There are different train options that you can choose from including The Himalayan Queen, The Shivalik Deluxe Express and The Rail Motor Car.
What Could Be Better
The trains do not have AC or fans, and the cooling system relies on the breeze of the mountains, so for the first 30-45 minutes, the journey can be humid and a tad bit uncomfortable.
One has to pre-book their tickets in advance because the trains are almost always running full (Unless you want to take a chance and go in the unreserved trains).