One of the most scenic train rides of North India, the Shimla toy train is loved by all. This is a narrow gauge train line which was built in 1903 to connect Shimla with Kalka. The popularity of the rail route led UNESCO to include it in India World Heritage Site.
From the plains of Kalka to Hills of Shimla
The Shimla Toy Train begins from a height of 2152 feet in Shiwalik Hill foothills and goes up to height of 6808 feet in Shimla. In total, this 96 Km rail route covers a gradient of 1419 meters. 998 big and small bridges, and viaducts also add to the architectural beauty of this rail line which has amazed one and all who travelled by Shimla Toy Train ever.
At the time of its initiation, 107 tunnels were built but today 102 of these remain operational.
Story of Barog Tunnel
As exciting is the shimla toy train story, equally amazing is the story of Barog Tunnel, the longest tunnel on the route which was named by Col Barog. The Col was assigned the task of digging the tunnel. However, the guidance he gave to the people engaged in tunneling process led them away and the tunnel could not meet at both ends.
Not only did the British Government put a fine of Rs 1 on him but the Col was admonished by all. He felt bad and committed suicide by shooting himself. The other tunnel was built later but it was named as Barog after him. The little hamlet of Barog is named after this Col and lies 10 Km before Solan.
Different trains on this route
Shiwalik Deluxe Express- This train has ten coaches with chair car and also includes the meal service.
Kalka Shimla Express– This train has first and second class. Unreserved seating is also available.
Himalayan Queen– Another popular train on this route
Kalka Shimla Passenger– Similar to Kalka Shimla Express
Rail motor- Rail bus with glass roof
Shiwalik Queen- Luxury fleet with ten carriages. Each carriage can accommodate eight passengers. Wall to wall carpeting has been done.
How to book Shimla Toy Train
You can easily book the Shimla toy train online. For this, you will have to visit the official site of IRCTC which is irctc.co.in. Register yourself on this website. Thereafter, you will have to click on the link “ plan my travel’.
In the next step, you will have to select th railway station which can be Kalka or Shimla as the requirement might be. You will have to fill in all the required details as date of travel and type of ticket.
Click on book ticket icon and the detailed reservation page will appear. If all the details are as per your specifications, you can make the payment.
A message or email will all details will come and a printout has to be taken unless you have opted for e-ticket.