This Shimla-Kalka toy train, The Shivalik Express is one of the most defining and sought-after travel experiences. The Shimla-Kalka Toy Train stretch is a UNESCO World Heritage property. The 96 km long track goes through more than a hundred tunnels, 800 bridges and viaducts.  Built in 1903, this toy train ride is one of India’s most incredible feats of engineering covering a staggering 102 tunnels, 864 bridges and 919 stunning curves.

The track meanders through lush green mountains, scenic, misty views, while you admire the most scenic landscape, sitting by the window. The most awe-inspiring stretches are along the Kaushalya river, Koti, Barog, Kanoh, and Jabli. The Barog tunnel is the longest one that takes about three minutes to cross. The Barog railway station is very clean, less crowded and also very well-maintained.

 Location: Shimla station is 19 km from Sterling Kufri. Some interesting facts:

  • 9th November 1903: The line was first opened for the general public inaugurated by then viceroy of India – Lord Curzon.
  • H.S. Harington was the Chief Engineer of the project.
  • There are 864 bridges. 919 curves ( the sharpest being 48 degrees).
  • The distance the train covers is 96 km.
  • It takes more than six hours to reach Shimla from Kalka Station.
  • The train runs on the narrow gauge track (762mm), which is considered to be an engineering masterpiece.
  • The Barog tunnel is the longest tunnel on this route and is said to be the straightest tunnel in the world.
  • Shimla- Kalka railway became UNESCO world heritage site in 8th July, 2008.
  • The locomotive steam engine was used to carry seven coaches till 1971 when the Diesel Engine was introduced.
  • The age-old “Neals Token Instrument System” is still in use to establish communication between stations.

This orange transport is for Jude’s blog Life in colour –Orange

Here’s my entry for A photo a week challenge: Vibrant

Gulmohar tree in full bloom



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  • Clive Varley
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