Historic toy train offers a dream journey

Shimla, May 1 (UNI) Traveling on the historic UNESCO World Heritage Kalka-Shimla toy train is like taking a trip back in time. In order to settle its summer capital in the hilly region, the British rule developed the Kalka-Shimla route in 1903 under the Governorship of Lord Curzon.

toy trainOperating on 762 mm narrow gauge railway on North-West India and providing an important transport link to various parts of the state’s hilly region and lower plains of Kalka, the Toy Train is still unmatched when it comes to absorbing magnificent beauty of the mountains. The locomotives used during the earlier period were manufactured by Sharp, Stewart and Company, and larger locomotives were introduced which were manufactured by Hunslet Engine Company. The diesel and diesel-hydraulic locomotives were started operation in 1955 and 1970 respectively. The railway was declared a heritage by the Himachal Pradesh government in 2007, and in 2008 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongwith the other Mountain Railways of India.

The 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge Delhi-Kalka line opened in 1891.[2] The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built on 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge tracks by the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company beginning in 1898.[1] The estimated cost was Rs 86,78,500 but the cost doubled during construction.[citation needed] The 96.54 km (59.99 mi) line opened for traffic on 9 November 1903.[1] It was inaugurated by Viceroy of India Lord Curzon.[3]Because of the high capital and maintenance costs and peculiar working conditions, the Kalka–Shimla Railway was allowed to charge higher fares than on other lines. However, the company was still not profitable and was purchased by the government on 1 January 1906 for Rs 1,71,07,748. In 1905 the line was regauged to 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) to conform to standards set by the Indian War Department.

This route passes through a city named Solan, which is also known as mini Shimla. A festival celebrating the goddess Shoolini Devi, after which the city is named, is held each summer in June.

The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the Indian rail system. Now, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana. The route is famous for its scenery and improbable construction.

Stations: The route winds from the Himalayan Shivalik Hills foothills at Kalka to several important points such as Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Taradevi, Barog, Salogra, Totu (Jutogh), Summerhill and Shimla at an altitude of 2,076 meters (6,811 ft),

Tunnels: Originally 107 tunnels were built on Kalka Shimla Railway Track and 102 remain in use. The longest tunnel is at Barog. Engineer Colonel Barog dug the tunnel from both ends and could not align them and was symbolically fined one rupee. He couldn’t live with the shame and committed suicide inside the incomplete tunnel. Chief Engineer H.S. Herlington later completed the tunnel with help from Bhalku, a local sadhu

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