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Home   »   Luxury Trains in India   »   Shimla Toy Train
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Shimla Toy Train
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Shimla Kalka toy train locomotive Himachal PradeshThink of a land where snow clad mountains melt down to serpentine rivulets and the sun languidly penetrates the misty mornings to warm verdant valleys plaited in lush vegetation, multi-colored populace of birds and flowers and equally warm-hearted people! More than a name will come to mind and one of them has to be - Himachal Pradesh - if you are a connoisseur of natural beauty, that is. A mini train has hissed through this paradisiacal land for a century ferrying curious travelers who come to 'feel the mountains'. The Indian Railway and Himachal Tourism intervened to formalize the sojourn of the toy train, as it is fondly called, sketching a track from Kalka to Shimla through 20 stations, 103 tunnels, 969 bridges and+919 curves in its entire journey. This 'small wonder' also appears in the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest narrow gauge engineering achievement in India.

Services and Amenities
The Kalka-Shimla Railways, with a 96km track that is covered in six hours, has four premium services for travellers:

» The Deluxe Rail Motor Car - This is a Second World War vintage bus look-a-like. With a capacity for 14 passengers, it reaches its destination in 4.25 hrs. The car has a transparent fibre-glass roof for a luxuriant view of the sapphire-sky. Digital time-cum-temperature display unit, altimeter and route indication board are its invaluable add-ons.
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» The Shivalik Deluxe Express - It is the Howrah-Kalka Mail for Shimla. Ferrying 120 passengers, it reaches its destination in 4.45 hrs. The coaches are equipped with wide glass windows, ergonomically designed reversible cushioned chairs, fancy electrical fittings, wall-to-wall carpeting, modern toilet amenities, exclusive cabins for couples, a music system, communication facilities with the guard and customised on-board catering services. Special coaches can be attached to the Express for those with a panache for elite traveling.

» The Shivalik Palace (Tourist Coach) -It can accommodate 6 persons and is equipped with exclusive kitchenware, on board catering, music system, indoor games, magazine/ books, modern bathroom, folding beds and dining table with cushioned chair. In addition, there are two complimentary retiring rooms at Shimla for one day.

Famous Shimla Kalka Toy Train, Himachal Pradesh, India» The Shivalik Queen Tourist Coach - A comparatively late entrant on the Kalka-Shimla section is the Shivalik Queen, which is a luxury coach. It is divided into two portions consisting of two coupes each. The coach is equipped with ultramodern facilities and fittings like wall-to-wall carpets, altimeter, fancy lights and chrome plated luggage rack.

Tour Map
Kalka - Barog - Dharampore - Taksai - Gamma - Solan - Shimla

Tour Itinerary
From Kalka, (2,100 ft), the trail chugs up the foothills hissing through the Koti Tunnel to reach Dharampur (4,900 ft), 20 miles from Kalka. From here the railway gains on the road by taking short cuts and tunnels up to Taradevi, where the rail winds gracefully round the summer hill Jatogh and burrows under Inverarm Hill to emerge below the road on the south side of Inverarm at its 59th mile. After Dagshai (5,200 ft) it descends to Solan (4,900 ft) and further to Kandaghat (4,667 feet) where the final ascent towards Shimla begins.

Throughout its length of 60 miles, the line runs in a continuous succession of reverse curves up to 120 feet radius along the valleys and steep ridges, flanking mountains and rising to an elevation of 6,800 feet at Shimla Railway.
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