Cartoons to greet children on Kalka-Shimla toy train

Doraemon, Jerry, Donald Duck and Bambi along with a host of other popular cartoon characters are all set to attract children travelling on the popular toy train on the Kalka-Shimla heritage track.

After a proposal by a senior official, who visited the Kalka railway station a few months ago, workers in Kalka are giving the coaches of the toy trains a colourful makeover.

The coaches will be painted in red or light-brown shades and officials are working fast to transform these coaches into colourful works by pasting pictures of famous and popular cartoon characters. Additional Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Kalka, Jitendra Singh says, “The trains are popularly called toy trains. One of our senior officials suggested that these could be made more attractive for children. It was decided that trains would be repainted and the colour scheme of the coaches would be changed. Stickers of cartoon characters will also be put on all the coaches. All 92 rakes will be revamped.”

The selection of cartoon characters were done by Railway officials who are now planning to look at other cartoons that are popular among children. Apart from the stickers of cartoon characters, those of the Railways as well as UNESCO have been pasted on the coaches.

The track between Kalka and Shimla was given World Heritage Status in 2008 and usually runs packed during the summer season.

Work Manager at Kalka Rattan Lal Khullar says that the primary concern is security of the passengers. “Keeping the security aspect in mind, upgradation is done at regular intervals. The track is among the oldest and heritage is being preserved,” he said. The toy trains were recently installed with solar panels to cater to the needs of the travellers: mobile charging, laptops etc.,

The Kalka-Shimla track was opened to public in 1903. During the journey, the train passes through more than 100 tunnels and 864 bridges.

Published in: on December 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Himalayan Queen now fully solar powered

The coaches of Kalka-Shimla toy train — the Himalayan Queen — have been converted to solar- based power system with the aim of harnessing green energy and reducing carbon emission. It is the first train in the country to have all its coaches solar powered. The experiment will earn carbon credit for the track that is on the heritage list of UNESCO.

Each coach has been built at a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh and is provided with a 100-watt solar panel. The florescent tube has been replaced with the much brighter LED lights. The coach can function two days without the sun and can make two trips. The coaches have also been provided with solar power charging sockets.

Trial runs were earlier done on trains running on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar track. For the past one year, one coach each on two trains were being run on solar energy.

Officials state that the conventional generation system had become obsolete and required frequent maintenance. With the new system and removal of many of the mechanisms required under the old generation system, the coaches have become lighter.

Divisional electrical engineer R K Gupta said that the new system will require little maintenance and reduce energy saving by Rs 4.35 lakh per annum.

“This is one of the green initiatives taken by the Indian Railway authorities for the ecologically fragile hill state,” said P K Sanghi, divisional railway manager, Ambala.

“All seven coaches of the train are lit by solar energy. A major advantage on this track is that the coaches do not require air conditioners or fans. If the system works successfully we will extend solar lighting to regular tracks on this UNSECO heritage route having more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels,” Sanghi added.