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The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, nicknamed the “Toy Train”, is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, run by the Indian Railways. It was built between 1879 and 1881 and is about 86 kilometres (53 mi) long.
The elevation level is from about 100 m (328 ft) at New Jalpaiguri to about 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) at Darjeeling.
Four modern diesel locomotives handle most of the scheduled services: however the daily Kurseong-Darjeeling return service and the daily tourist trains from Darjeeling to Ghum (India’s highest railway station) are handled by vintage British-built B Class steam locomotives.
Since 1999 the train has been a World Heritage Site as listed by UNESCO. The most famous of the little trains, is the one linking the town of New Jalpaiguri in the plains to the lovely hill station of Darjeeling.
With a 2 ft gauge, the Darjeeling Hill Railway is indeed a ‘toy train’, being the narrowest of the regular narrow gauges.
The tiny century-old engine is a connoisseur’s delight. The 86-km long Darjeeling line has no tunnels, thus allowing the traveler an uninterrupted view of the breathtaking scenery of the Himalayas. The seven-and-a-half hour ride up, is a journey especially for rail buffs.
Arrive Kolkata. On arrival transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Transfer to the airport to connect the flight to Dibrugarh. On arrival drive to Tipong Colliery. En route visit Ledo brick factory (now defunct) to take photo. Continue driving to Tipong.
Full day photo shooting at Tipong Factory. Visit various Steam Locomotives dating back to late 19th and early 20th century engins at work.
Drive to Tinsukia to board overnight train to Guwahati.
Arrive Guwahati and fly to Patna. From Patna drive to Riga Sugar Mills via Samastipur.
Full-day photo shooting at Riga Factory. Visit various Steam Locomotives at work.
Drive back to Patna and board fligh to Delhi. On arrival transfer to hotel.
Morning excursion to Rewari Loco Shed. The last functional loco shade for servicing Steam Locomotives. Also visit SL Museum. Later drive back to Delhi and transfer to airport for flight to onward destination.
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