Heritage train to Shimla back on track

The grand old queen of the hills is back. The northern railways has restored the heritage train to Shimla, dating back to 1927. The train, which had to be discontinued in the wake of wear and tear of the wheels, is back on track. It resumed daily runs from Shimla on Tuesday and the seats are full.

The train wears a new look after modification. As of now, its most interesting feature is the transparent roof. The motor car departs from Kalka to Shimla at 5.10am and reaches Shimla at 9.50am. It leaves from Shimla at 4.25 pm and reaches Kalka station at 9pm. There are 12 seats in the motor car and the fare for each seat is Rs 275. A ticket in an ordinary train costs Rs 40.

The train was introduced by the British in 1927. But it had to be taken off the tracks because its wheels, which had not been replaced ever since its introduction, had worn off. It was also difficult to find a manufacturer who could supply the key parts for maintenance.

The rail car was constructed to reduce travel time to the British summer capital from several days by elephant, horseback and hand-pulled rickshaw to a humane four-and-a-half hours. It traverses 96 km from Kalka to Shimla at a speed of 30 kms per hour, passing through 864 bridges, 102 tunnels and about 900 sharp curves and turns.

P K Sanghi, DRM at the Ambala division, said the response over the last three days has been overwhelming.



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