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