Official sources said that huge footfall during this peak season of tourist flow in the section and growth in the passenger traffic led rise in the earning.
The journey on the Kalka-Shimla heritage train is all set to become more interesting. In a first, the Northern Railway is all set to introduce a restaurant coach to the iconic train for tourists.
The restaurant coach is part of the initiatives being taken by the Northern Railway to make journey on the Kalka-Shimla heritage track more luxurious for tourists.
The coach has been prepared at the Kalka workshop and is all set to add a dash of mystic charm to those travelling through the mountain trail on the heritage track between the Kalka and Shimla narrow gauge section.
Besides a good view of the picturesque mountain trail, passengers can now enjoy good freshly cooked food on their train journey through from Kalka to Shimla and back.
Ambala Railway Divisional Railway Manager Dinesh Chand Sharma told The Statesman that the idea of a restaurant coach was inspired by the premier Palace on Wheels train. Taking a cue from the Rajasthan train, it was decided to add same luxury for the passengers on the heritage track.
Sharma said there had been a demand for such a coach, and that keeping in view the response NR might introduce more such coaches.
“The fully fit running coach has been prepared at our Kalka workshop and it is stationed at the workshop. We have utilized our expertise as to make the coach. The modalities and the tariff still needs to be worked out which includes the services to run the restaurant,” he said.
He added that if any established chain of hotels, restaurants, or even the Himachal government, wanted to run the restaurant, the Northern railway would be open to it.
The air-conditioned coach is fully open with wider glass windows for a better view. Other features of the coach include seating arrangement just like any restaurant with an attached kitchen and toilet.
The Kalka-Shimla railway line, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, was built in 1930 during the British rule.
The heritage rail line, an engineering marvel, is 96 km long narrow gauge track and the train ride from Shimla to Kalka takes five to six hours as it transverses through the hills at a pace of 25 km per hour. The route has a total of 102 tunnels, left out of the 107 that had once been constructed.