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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling, India
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About Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
A spectacular narrow gauge steam railway is still operational.
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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
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Swathi S wrote a review Dec 2020
Chennai, India2 contributions
One of the best hill train service though they cover very shorter distance for Rs.1000 but I am sure it will be a different experience.
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Date of experience: December 2020
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Aritra L wrote a review Jul 2020
16 contributions5 helpful votes
On our way up to Darjeeling from NJP, we stopped by a small shop, and helped ourselves with a platter of momo and coffee. The monsoon clouds floating around marked our way as we continued to move up. Soon we reached the Ghum station on our way, at 7400 ft making it the railway station at the highest altitude. This is where we stumbled upon a steam engine toy train, an icon of Darjeeling. Built in the 19th century, it is still a prime attraction for the tourists. Later in 1999, UNESCO declared DHR a World Heritage site. It was in our plan too, and on the second day we boarded the train from Darjeeling for Ghum – Batasia Loop corridor. The train made it’s way through the hills, overlooking the picturesque valleys and the verdant slopes and we indulged ourselves to the breath-taking view around.
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Date of experience: August 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Ray Niblock wrote a review May 2020
Rogers, Arkansas67 contributions14 helpful votes
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We took the toy train all the way down to Siliguri, and the trip was spell-binding. It is a slow trip, but the train takes one through the landscape at times clinging to cliff sides. Provision yourself for the trip, however. There are no services on board. What it lacks for “service” is made up by the views as it chugs down the mountainside.
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Date of experience: May 2020
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EkMusafir wrote a review Apr 2020
Pune, India2,206 contributions400 helpful votes
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is one of the iconic attractions which draws many tourists to the hill town of Darjeeling in West Bengal. This 2 ft narrow gauge train hauls passengers and goods from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, a winding and uphill track covering a distance of 88 km. It is one of the three railways designated by the UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name of ‘Mountain Railways of India’. If you are a lover of trains and locomotives then a ride on the DHR is a must do. However, if like us, you want to get to the top in a hurry then it is better to do the journey from Siliguri or Bagdogra by car or van. A road journey takes only 3 hours whereas the rail trip will take all of 7 hours or more if there are any delays. The train, pulled by a diesel locomotive, travels at a much slower pace and you have ample time to enjoy the views of the tea gardens and the mountain-scape along the way, taking photos from your carriage window. The sights, sounds and smells from a toy train, sitting with your kids is an experience in itself. The train also does some amazing loops and reversals of tracks to negotiate the bends. There is another option too, if you want to enjoy a shorter ride. You can book a two hour joy ride from Darjeeling to Ghum, which is the highest railway station in India at 7407 feet. This train includes the to-and-fro fare and a 30 minute halt at Ghum where you can visit the DHR Museum. The joy ride has the option to select the steam locomotive or the diesel, which is cheaper. However, most of this two hour trip is through the congested hill town itself, passing very close to the houses and the town traffic. There is also one steam train which has only ordinary compartments, travelling from Kurseong to Darjeeling. Another, but not so romantic way, is to just visit the train stations, or the loco sheds and see the DHR heritage trains from close quarters, taking snaps and waving out to the passing passengers.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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drsavio wrote a review Apr 2020
Bengaluru, India7 contributions
We booked the tickets on line through IRCTC website, which was easy and convenient. We booked in First Class (there is no other option) which costed Rs. 1000 per ticket. There were two coaches in the train and the condition of the coaches was extremely poor. The seats were dirty and the windows were grimy and dirty. There is not much to be said about the trip itself. It goes by the side of the road and intersects with it at many places. The view is nothing great. One can get the same view while travelling in a shared taxi that costs Rs.20 from Darjeeling to Ghoom. The famed Battasia Loop is good but highly over-rated. The train reaches Ghoom in about 40 minutes. Ghoom Railway Station is incidentally the highest railway station in India (about 7400 feet above sea level). The station is nice and quaint. We saw the Seam Engine being filled with water and the furnace being filled with coal. There is a 20 to 30 minute lay-off at Ghoom Station in order to visit the Railway Museum at Ghoom. The museum is very well maintained and highly informative. It is really worth a visit. After that the train returns to Darjeeling Railway Station taking the same route back. There is an attendant on each coach. He was very polite and helpful. All in all, the trip was not at all worth the money spent. It ranks way down compared to the other mountain trains, namely, Kalka-Shimla and the Nilgiri Rly. One way of improving the services would be to make the trip longer, for example, make the Toy train run from Darjeeling to Kurseong. The view in this sector is enchanting and exciting.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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