One of Darjeeling’s most important attractions is a train: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also lovingly called the “Toy Train” is a 2 feet narrow gauge train and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It leads on a 86km track from New Jalpaiguri in the plains of West Bengal to the hill station of Darjeeling. From 100m elevation it climbs to about 2,200m altitude. The train ride offers stunning views of waterfalls, green valleys, dense forests, tea gardens and a panorama of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga range.
To complete this journey the train takes six hours. For everyone with limited time, there is also a shorter route available, which leads from Darjeeling to Ghoom, India’s highest rail station, and back, on the way passing the famous Batasia loop.
The rail follows the road and in many places looks more like a tram line than an overland train. As it shares the road with plenty of cars and people the locomotive is equipped with loud horns – and makes good use of them. Along the tracks you can see market stalls standing just an inch from where the train passes, every little space around the tracks is used. Our Product Manager Rajan tells, his jeep had once nearly been run over by the oncoming train!
The train was built between 1879 and 1881, and the steam locomotives originally came from Glasgow.
Talk to an expert and arrange a fantastic trip to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.