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Kalka-Shimla toy train offers a grand view of ‘Queen of Hills’
ABHIJIT KHATANIAR

 
 SHIMLA, Sept 14 - Kalka to Shimla by toy train offers a grand view of pine covered hill tops, flora and fauna, and the typical picture which makes the hills, ‘Queen of Hills’. Toy train is the best mode of transport to explore the treasures of the great Himalayan range. Toy train has now come under the World Heritage List of UNESCO and stands at fourth rank.

The scenic beauty, which starts from Kalka to Shimla, is thrilling and wonderful throughout the route. Time taken by toy train to reach Shimla is around 5 to 6 hours. The Kalka-Shimla route is 96-km-long, including 103 tunnels. The Kalka Shimla train track is narrow-gauge. Every tunnel has its own story. The longest tunnel of Barog takes around three minutes to reach the other end. Visitors will also come across the artful humped bridges. The toy train ride covers main passenger points such as Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Barog, Taradevi, Summer hill and Shimla.

The railway was built under the direction of Herbert Septimus Harington between 1898 and 1903 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British rule with the rest of the Indian rail system. At present, it is operated by the Northern Railway. There are 19 stations in this stretch of railway.

The team of 18 rural media personnel and two DIPR officials from Assam, who are on a Goodwill Mission tour to Himachal Pradesh, reached the Summer Hill station to have a practical experience of this historic railway of the country. The team had interactions with the railway employees and gathered information about its operational system. The journalists from Assam highly appreciated the authority concerned for taking all necessary initiatives for preservation this historic railway track as a heritage site.

Significantly, in Assam the historic Dibru-Sadiya Railway Line, the first railway track established by the AR&T Company in 1881 from Dibrugarh to Saikhowa (at present to Dangari) is yet to get any importance from the government.

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