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May 12, 2016

What's wrong with Toy Train that runs between Kalka-Shimla in India

There is something definitely wrong with kalka-shimla toy train. Not long ago the rubble derailed kalka-shimla toy train, and while that was something that could be avoided, what is happening this time is something of a concern.

Yes, after a long long time the summer travelers might be deprived of captivating views of snowy mountain hills of himalaya's. This is because the toy train might not run at all this summer. This is heart breaking news for those who are in a process of planning the travel to snow laden mountains by the train.

toy train solan kalka-shimla route
Tourists enjoying sunshine at Solan railway station as toy train about to leave for Shimla


Railways has decided to cut the length of toy train this summer. As per recent information the train would run with one bogie less. This means lesser number of seats available for reservation to people. Also there is a confusion about whether or not the Indian railways will run the additional summer special holiday trains on kalka-shimla route in coming summer holidays. The reason behind such situation is lack of wheels required for the operation of world heritage train.

If indeed a train won't run this summer, it will be the first time since the route was opened on November 9, 1903 that this will happen. The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built on 2 ft (610 mm)narrow gauge tracks by the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company beginning in 1898. It was inaugurated by Viceroy of India Lord Curzon.

Due to high heat in plains this season large number of tourists are seen moving towards the beautiful cool valleys of himalaya's. Lot's of traffic is being seen on Chandigarh Kalka highway. On an average 10-15 thousand cars are observed to have been crossing from panchkula toll of chandigarh tri city. Distance of kalka from chandigarh is 20 km. And after that the first preference of tourists is to travel by the toy train towards shimla.

In order to manage the access crowd, Indian railways runs couple of special holiday trains each summer. But this time railway is facing problem on technical front, Due to lack of wheels for he real toy train the number of trips are being reduced. This also means that the large number of people are booking tickets in special holiday trains. As a result both the special trains - the mount shivalik deluxe and himlayan queen are seeing souring waiting lists close to 50 in each train.

It is interesting to note that the toy train gets into trouble each year for one reason or another. In last few years the incidents of engine failure happened quite regularly. Foreign tourists had to wait for long time in jungle to see their train chugging along the tracks.

Here is some additional useful information about toy train:

  • The fare is between 20 to 30 INR per passenger.
  • Distance between kalka-shimla by train is 96 km.
  • Train has special class/ seats for passengers, namely: honeymoon, deluxe, chair car, rail car etc.
  • British Govt. started this railway line in year 1903.
  • Toy train passes through 120 tunnels and 900 hills.
  • In total there are 18 station on this railway route. These are Kalka, Taksal, Gumman, Koti, Sonwara, Dharampur, Kumarhatti, Barog, Solan, Salogra, Kandaghat, Kanoh, Kathleeghat, Shoghi, Taradevi, Jutogh, Summer Hill, and Shimla.
Let's all pray that Railway get the wheels and bogies required so that we all can enjoy much sought for summer ride in toy train.

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