The Kalka Shimla Railway, also known as the Shimla Toy Train or the Himalayan Queen, is a narrow-gauge railway in Himachal Pradesh, India.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its scenic beauty and engineering marvel.
The railway line was built in 1903 to connect the town of Kalka in Haryana with the hill station of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
The Kalka Shimla Railway route is known for its steep gradients and sharp curves, requiring special engineering techniques.
The average gradient on the line is around 1 in 33, making it one of the steepest railway routes in the world.
The railway uses the ‘Abt System’ for braking and safety, which is a rack and pinion system.
The train journey on the Kalka Shimla Railway is a popular tourist attraction, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests.
The train passes through several picturesque stations, including Dharampur, Barog, Solan, and Kandaghat, providing glimpses of colonial-era buildings and quaint hillside villages.
The Kalka Shimla Toy Train offers different classes of accommodation, including both comfortable chair cars and cosy compartments with wooden interiors.
The slow pace of the train allows passengers to savour the beauty of the surroundings and enjoy the cool climate of the region.
Overall, the Kalka Shimla Railway is not only a means of transportation but also a unique experience that offers a glimpse into the history, engineering marvels, and natural beauty of the region.
One unique aspect of the Kalka Shimla Railway is that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was added to the list in 2008, recognising its outstanding universal value as a narrow-gauge mountain railway that has played a significant role in India’s transportation history.
Another unique feature of the Kalka Shimla Railway is its engineering marvel. The railway route passes through 102 tunnels, 864 bridges, and many beautiful curves. The engineers had to overcome challenging terrain, including steep slopes and deep gorges, while constructing the railway line.
Additionally, the railway has retained its old-world charm and heritage.
The trains running on this route are still pulled by vintage steam locomotives, which adds to the nostalgic appeal of the journey.
The stations along the route are also well-preserved, featuring traditional architecture and colonial-era designs.
It is a must-visit attraction for tourists and a nostalgic journey for those who have a penchant for heritage railways.