Technically I am still a ‘Kid’ at heart. So I felt like enjoying the kiddie likes of fun today. I am told that the Darjeeling Toy Train is the largest attraction in the city. For one who loves to travel, even the Toy Train sounds highly exciting. Let me take you on this delightful ride today.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a 2 feet narrow gauge running between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling at an elevation varying between 100 meters and 2,200 meters. The UNESCO in 1999 has declared the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways a World Heritage Site, which is one of the only two Railways to receive such an honor.
Running for about 78 kilometers, The Darjeeling Toy Train is made of four modern diesel locomotives, handling most of the scheduled services, while a Vintage British Built B Class Steam Locomotive handles the Daily Kurseong- Darjeeling return service as well as the tourist service from Darjeeling to Ghum. The landslide that occurred in 2010 has brought the effective operations of the service between Siliguri and Kurseong to suspension on a temporary basis.
The Toy Train and its Schedules
The Toy Train Joyride operates from the Darjeeling Railway Station to Ghum and back. This is a 2 hour round trip, covering a total distance of 14 kilometers. Four such trips are organized everyday, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
I notice how the train makes a 10-minute stop at The Batasia Loop and takes a turn around the Wonderful Manicured Garden. Sitting inside the Train, the view of the Little Darjeeling Town with the backdrop of the Kanchenjunga is a description unparalleled.
The Toy Train stops at the Ghum station for about 30 minutes, which is located at the highest altitude on the Darjeeling Himalayan Rail Track of 2225.7 meters, to visit the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum. The Toy Train Schedules for your Joyride are:
Train No. Departure Return Engine
52546 8 AM 10 AM Diesel
52548 10:40 AM 12:40 PM Steam
52549 13:20 PM 15:20 PM Steam
52547 16:05 PM 18:05 PM Steam
Remember to purchase your Toy Train Joyride Tickets earlier as they might not be available just before the ride. Purchase your tickets through the Indian Railways website irctc.co.in.