Now tourists in Himachal can enjoy joyrides on Shimla UNESCO World Heritage Railway similar to a service in West Bengal’s Darjeeling region.
The joyride train service will ply between Shimla and Shoghi railway stations and the train will cover a distance of around 15 km in approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes.
As of now, the train service will continue on the route till 28 February and the one way fare of joyride amidst the scenic beauty of ‘Queen of Hills’ would cost around Rs 260.
The train service would have chair-car coaches and tourists would be able to book tickets online for the joyride.
The joyride train service will be different from toy train service which plies from Kalka to Shimla as it will ply within Shimla city limits.
The Member of Parliament (MP) from Lok Sabha Virender Kashyap on Thursday flagged off the trial joyride train service and said he has asked the Railway authorities to continue the service as Shimla has huge tourism potential.
“The trial run of Shivalik Delux Express has been started today to attract tourists and it would benefit tourism sector positively in the hill state,” Kashyap said.
Kashyap said though the service is being run on trial basis and the service would be continued on the heritage after 28 February.
Thousands of tourists visits Shimla and the train service would prove an additional attraction for them, he said.
Kashyap thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal for starting rail activities on 100 years old rail track.
The Shimla-Kalka Railway line is a 2-ft 6-in (762 mm) narrow-gauge railway and is built along a mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla. The track is known for views of the hills and surrounding villages.
The railway line was built in 1898 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the rest of the Indian rail system. At the time of construction 107 tunnels and 864 bridges, were built throughout the course of the track. However, 102 tunnels remain in use now.
On 8 July 2008, UNESCO had added the Kalka-Shimla Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Mountain Railways of India.
The route winds from the Himalayan Shivalik Hills foothills at Kalka to several important locations such as Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Taradevi, Barog, Salogra, Totu (Jutogh), Summerhill and Shimla at an altitude of 2,076 meters (6,811 ft).
The railway track has a ruling gradient of 1 in 33 or 3 percent and it has 919 curves, the sharpest being 48 degrees. Climbing from 656 meters (2,152 ft), the line terminates at an elevation of 2,076 meters (6,811 ft) at Shimla, a difference in height of 1,420 meters (4,660 ft).