Indian Puffing Billy. Kalka-Shimla Train –

Updated on August 28, 2022

Passing through 103 tunnels and 969 bridges and 919 breathtaking curves, the Kalka Shimla Railway is one of the unique and scenic railways in the world. With a total distance of 96 km from Kalka to Shimla, this route has 18 railway stations and 5 level crossings. The railway climbs from Kalka at an altitude of 640m to the cool peaks of Shimla at an altitude of 2060m. Compared to Australia’s oldest railway, I referred to this article as Kalka-Shimla Railway as India’s Puffing Billy.

Kalka Shimla Train
The Himalayan Queen passes through the tunnel on the Kalka-Shimla railway

Both railway lines were built almost simultaneously in the early twentieth century. Although the Kalka Shimla train route was completed on November 2, 1903, they opened it to the public only on January 1, 1906. This railway line is said to have been first laid out in November 1847, almost 50 years before it was actually built. Lord Curzon, the then British Viceroy of India, inaugurated this magnificent train in 1903. in November. The Kalka-Shimla Railway was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during British rule, to the Indian railway system. The five-hour journey is one of the best trains for tourists operated by Indian Railways.

The train track passes through beautiful landscapes

Natural beauty and pleasant weather greet you along the way. A cold wind passes over all the faces as the train passes one station after another like Taksal, Gumman, Dharampur till it reaches Barog which is almost half of the Journey. This journey includes a vast display of awe-inspiring landscapes. The barogue is a colonial showpiece with clusters of bougainvillea cascading down its walls. This station is one of the most beautiful and well maintained on this track. From here you can see the high mountains. In Barog we go through the biggest tunnel.

Kalka Shimla Train
The train crosses the Arch Gallery Bridge
The tragic story of Engineer Barog

There is a tragic story related to the construction of this railway. The longest Barog tunnel is named after engineer Barog, who sacrificed his life when he tried to build the tunnel but failed, resulting in a waste of public funds. Barog made the mistake of digging the tunnel from both ends of the hill. The ends of the tunnels could not meet due to a layout error.

It is said that the British authorities imposed a fine of 1 ruble on him for wasting public money in the tunnel. The British engineer could not digest this humiliation and shot himself in utter desperation while walking his pet dog. He killed himself outside the now state government-run Barog Pine Wood Hotel. After his death, the tunnel work done by Barog was abandoned and a new tunnel was built a little distance from the old tunnel. After Barog come other beautiful destinations like Solan, Shogai and Koti, all of these have great scenery with green and deep forested high mountains. During the whole trip you feel in nature.

must read. Dalhousie, Khajjiar & Chamba, a mystical land of pines and deodars.

UNESCO included it in the World Heritage List in 2008

It is a heritage train, a journey with breathtaking scenery and stunning views throughout the journey. The path through the beautiful surroundings brings you close to nature and is a wonderful experience. His speed slows down as the train climbs through steep mountains and curves. This journey follows a narrow route, taking passengers through stunning views of the rugged mountains. There are lush pine forests and waterfalls along the way. And perfect hill stations on the way that will surely tempt you to come down and enjoy their beauty. The entire trip takes about five and a half hours.

Previously, the train was powered by a steam engine, but now a diesel engine is used. It runs at a speed of 40 to 45 km per hour, against the previous speed of 22 km per hour. To preserve the railway’s heritage roots, steam engines like Australia’s Puffing Bill train are suggested.

in July 2008 UNESCO World Heritage the committee added the Kalka Shimla Railway to the World Heritage List. On November 9, 2008, UNESCO officially declared this railway line a world heritage site. Additionally, the Guinness Book of Railway Facts has listed this track as India’s greatest narrow gauge engineering achievement.

Special trains on specific days

They have equipped this train service with standard car seats and have nine stops. Passengers can alight at stations along the way and feed their eyes and soul with beautiful views. Two heritage carriages also operate on this route. Queen Shivalik and: Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach. Both are luxurious services with state-of-the-art amenities including kitchens, refrigerators, dining tables and rollaway pillowtop beds. These trains usually run once a week from March to September. During the high season (May-July, September-October and December-January), a few special holiday trains also run on this route due to the high flow of tourists.

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