Home > FAM (Familiarization) Tour, FAM Trip, General, Hill Stations, Margaret's Deck FAM, Travelogue > A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train, Kurseong

A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train, Kurseong

A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Kurseong

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

500 miles

We heard the whistle blow, but it was not hundred miles away, in fact it was less than hundred yards away. It was a foggy winter afternoon and we were at the Margaret’s Deck digging into a exotic lunch spread.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret's Deck

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret’s Deck

Off went your lunch and we rushed out of the Margaret’s Deck, with our cameras, to photography the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train (Also read: Chasing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Kurseong – Mahanadi), an UNESCO Heritage site.

Steam Locomotives of DHR Toy Train at Kurseong Car Shed

Steam Locomotives of DHR Toy Train at Kurseong Car Shed

As we made our way out we heard the whistle of the approaching train several times. Also with it came the rhythmic sound of the Darjeeling Toy Train.

Soon the train came in view, sadly it was not a steam engine. But even the diesel engine, with its head light on, gliding through the dense fog of the eastern Himalaya was a sight to behold.

I have reached Kurseong a day before on an invitation from Goodricke, with MSL Group as the public relation partner.

I was accompanied by a host of fellow bloggers, for a food and tea tasting session at the Margaret’s Deck (Also see: Tea Tasting session at Margaret’s Deck), an initiative of Goodricke Tea Pot at the Margaret Hope tea garden in Kurseong.

A Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train Steam Engine, Kurseong

A Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train Steam Engine, Kurseong

My date with the Darjeeling Himalaya Railway (DHR) Toy Train have already started in the morning, when I took a morning stroll to the Kurseong railway station and the car shed.

Inside the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Archive (Museum), Kurseong Station

Inside the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Archive (Museum), Kurseong Station

The car shed had two vintage steam engines parked inside but the surprise was in front of the car shed. A steam engine was in operation, there were no coaches but the small smoke emitting vintage was a real beauty.

Exhibts (lanterns) at DHR Archive (Museum), Kurseong

Exhibts (lanterns) at DHR Archive (Museum), Kurseong

With the steam engine, hardly in operation in the Kurseong stretch of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) route, it was a great bonus for me.

The morning date with the DHR steam engine was followed by a exotic breakfast at Margaret’s Deck followed by a tour of the Margaret’s Hope tea garden and factory.

It was followed by lunch at the Margaret’s Deck, which was interrupted by the shooting session of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train.

My date with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) continued in the evening with a visit to the DHR archive at the Kurseong Station. Sadly the archive was closed. On request the friendly station maaster called of the attendant over the phone. He was at the station, within half an hour, with the keys of the archive.

Map of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) at the DHR Archive (Museum), Kurseong

Map of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) at the DHR Archive (Museum), Kurseong

The DHR archive or Museum is housed in a large room full of exhibits & artifacts, all are properly labeled, so you won’t have any problems in understanding. On the walls hang vintage photographs from the past along with a map showing every minute details of the DHR’s journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling.

DHR Signage. L: Church gate (old Kurseong Station). R: History of Margaret's Hope Tea Garden

DHR Signage. L: Church gate (old Kurseong Station). R: History of Margaret’s Hope Tea Garden

At the middle part of the large room are glass covered cabinets on stands that depict the story of the toy train. There are several news paper articles of those days describing the train and its journey and many write ups on the history & other details. The exhibits also contains wooden palanquins, printing press, porcelain crockery, clocks and many more.

Elysia Place, DHR Head Quarters, Kurseong

Elysia Place, DHR Head Quarters, Kurseong

My date with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) continued next morning. When a signage just outside the West Bengal Tourist Lodge, Kurseong attracted my attention.

It said “Church Gate was once the halt for the DHR officials whose houses were built up this road, with Elysia Place at the top. From 1880 – 1896 Kurseong Station was located here, outside St. Alphonsus School.”

This was enough to charge my batteries and I took the meandering road up the hill past the St. Paul’s Church towards the Elysia Place, DHR Head Quarters. There was signage all the way and I was soon the magnificent colonial building of Elysia Place.

It was early morning the office was closed, so I had to return from outside, but not before clicking a couple of photos of the charming  colonial mansion.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train, at Church Gate, old Kurseong Station

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train, at Church Gate, old Kurseong Station

As I descended to the main road I heard the whistle blow again. I made it to the road at the right moment to click a photo of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train passing past the old Kurseong Railway Station.

Note: This article is part of a FAM Trip organised by Goodricke with MSL Group as the PR agency.

Special Thanks:

  • To the entire Goodricke team at Margaret’s Hope, Goodricke Teapot, Kurseong for the endless cups of teas, the wwouth watering food and the warm hospitality
  • To Anushka of MSL Group for all the coordination
  • To all my fellow bloggers Poorna, Dolon, Indrani, Manjulika abd Aditi
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  1. February 24, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Thanks to you we could see the little museum there. Indeed it was exciting how like small kids we left the lunch half way to run and have a glimpse of the train. 😀

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:12 PM

      No wonder the DHR Toy Train unleashes the kid in you. Regarding the museum it is something common with me. I have opened museums, cemeteries and even private residences. At least in this case I spoke the truth, but it is not always the case.

  2. February 25, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    So beautiful! I didn’t know Darjeeling Railways had such a lovely museum as well…

    • February 25, 2017 at 2:39 PM

      Its true many people don’t know about it and it is normally shut. The station master is friendly enough to get it opened, but very few people approaches him.

      For your info there is a similar museum in Ghum station too.

  3. Nisha
    February 27, 2017 at 8:51 PM

    These chuk chuk toy trains always fascinate me. 🙂 Museum is also looking very good. Didn’t have an inkling about that. Would love to go there and enjoy what you did… tea and toy train. 🙂

    • May 13, 2017 at 12:49 PM

      Thanks Nisha, Toy Train are always a source of fascination for kids and adults alike. Darjeeling and Kurseong provides a unique combination of Tea and Toy Train, please don’t miss it.

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