Home > Cochrane Place FAM, FAM (Familiarization) Tour, FAM Trip, General, Travelogue, Weekend Tour from Kolkata (Calcutta) > Chasing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Chasing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Chasing Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Kurseong – Mahanadi

See also: FAM (Familiarization) Tour of Cochrane Place, Kurseong

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train is a narrow gauge railway running between New Jalpaiguri (100 mts) and Darjeeling (2200 mts). The train attends the highest altitude at Ghum Railway Station (2258 mts).

DHR Toy Train at Kurseong Station

DHR Toy Train at Kurseong Station

Ghum, once had the distinction of being the highest railway station in the world.Although the records have long tumbled, Ghum still remains the highest narrow gauge station in the world.

Completed in 1881, the DHR toy train covers the 72 km distance between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling on a 2 feet wide gague.

The DHR was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1999 and was only the second railway to receive the prestigious status. The first one being the Semmering Railway in Austria, which got the UNESCO status in 1998.

Steam Locomotive of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR)

Steam Locomotive of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR)

UNESCO Heritage committee declares the DHR as an outstanding example of the influence of an innovative transportation system on the social and economic development of a multi-cultural region, which serves as a model for similar developments in many parts of the world.

It also says that the development of railways in the 19th century had a profound influence on social and economic developments in many parts of the world. This process is illustrated in an exceptional and seminal fashion by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

Inside DHR first class coach

Inside DHR first class coach

Over the period of 130 years, the DHR has undergone only minor changes. Two of the five loops of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, have been removed and the line has been extended from Siliguri to New Jalpaiguri, for better connectivity for rail passengers coming from the south.

Sadly, the age old steam engine has been largely replaced by the diesel engine. But the steam engine still runs on special occasions and the tourist train running between Darjeeling and Ghum (via Batasia Loop) still runs on steam.

The fuming smoke and the shrill whistles of the steam engine, not only makes the ride memorable, but also nostalgic.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

In most of the occasions, the DHR toy train consists of a tiny diesel engine which pulls two coaches (one first class and one second class) along the two feet narrow railway track.

Darjeeling Himalayan (DHR) Toy Train

Darjeeling Himalayan (DHR) Toy Train

A ride in the Darjeelig Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train is a memorable experience, even if its pulled by a diesel engine, but chasing and photographing the running train is no less an experience.

This is exactly what I did during my Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Cochrane Place, Kurseong.

I preffered to chase the south bound train from Kurseong. During my stay in Kurseong (June 2014), the train was only operating till Mahanadi, due to a huge landslide in Tindharia.

I preferred the south bound train over the north bound train, as the roads are more empty on the south section. Also the Kurseong – Darjeeling section is more famous and has been extensively photographed and documented.

Faces of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Faces of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

My photo documentation started with the toy train moving out of the Kurseong Station, and soon I was in my Toyota Innova, following the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train.

DHR Toy Train

DHR Toy Train

I initially instructed my driver, Sabin Gurung, to drive along the Toy Train and the passengers soon realized that they were being photographed and started waiving at me.

Sometimes I instructed Sabin to drive ahead, providing me ample time to climb up vantage points, to shoot top views of the Toy Train.

The chase continued, but it was soon over, as the distance between Kurseong and Mahanadi was only 7 km.

I returned exhausted to Cochrane Place only to be refreshed by a cup of cold blended tea.

This trip was part of a FAM (Familiarization) Tour of Cochrane Place, Kurseong

Contact details of Cochrane Place, Kurseong:

M: +91 99320 35660, Ph: +91 354 2330703, Email: host@imperialchai.com, Website: www.imperialchai.com andย  www.cochraneplacehotel.com

  1. June 13, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Informative writeup…. The low angle shot of the train is the best…

  2. June 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    I travelled by this train from Darjeeling to Kurseong a few years back. It was a memorable journey though I found the train was not properly maintained.

    • August 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Thank you for the comment, yes the DHR is a memorable experience but you are right it is not well maintained and not marketed either.

  3. June 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Lovely pics……

  4. yogi saraswat
    June 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    informative and interesting writeup

  5. June 22, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    I missed out on taking a ride on the heritage train. I have a reason to return to Darjeeling. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the lovely pics.

    • August 8, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Only a few visiting ever take a ride in the Darjeeling Toy Train, it is also not marketed properly.

  6. June 22, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    I had traveled on this train years ago and your post bought back memories.

    • August 8, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Thanks for the comment, a ride in the Darjeeling Toy Train is a memory to be cherished for a life time.

  7. January 30, 2015 at 11:59 AM
    • February 7, 2015 at 11:47 AM

      Thanks Sridhar for sharing the time table of DHR

  8. September 2, 2015 at 11:01 PM

    This is again one of my most memorable experience. Your post just made it come alive.

    • September 11, 2015 at 10:02 PM

      Thanks Travelling Wing, keep blogging

  9. June 4, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    My Trip to Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – West Bengal โ€“ India

    • June 4, 2016 at 5:38 PM

      Thanks Girish for the comment. Went through your link. Great post and amazing photos, you are lucky to get a stem engine, they hardly operate now.

  10. August 19, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Just loved it!!

  11. January 4, 2018 at 9:53 PM

    Great pictures and the writeup too, is brilliant! Cheers & Keep blogging ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. April 15, 2019 at 1:27 PM

    Thanks for sharing information. I love you presentation skills

  1. February 8, 2015 at 11:19 PM
  2. August 3, 2015 at 4:06 PM
  3. January 17, 2016 at 9:36 PM
  4. September 6, 2019 at 12:46 PM
  5. September 6, 2019 at 12:47 PM

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