Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train Guide

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway also is known as the Darjeeling Toy Train is not a journey but a blend of myriad emotions. Every person who plans to visit North Bengal should experience the Darjeeling Toy Train or the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway journey once in his lifetime. This Darjeeling Himalayan railway journey is nothing like other train journeys you would have taken.
Its a romance with Darjeeling.

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Why Ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or the Darjeeling Toy Train

Darjeeling Toy Train or Darjeeling Himalayan Railway journey is a journey of a lifetime. The journey is like a romance of the early 19th Century. You get to hear the sweet sound "Chuk chuk" of the toy train while you play with the whiff of the cold air of Darjeeling.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway runs on the highest elevated tracks in the world and riding this Darjeeling Toy Train is an experience you will never forget. It gives you a glimpse of the life in Darjeeling while it weaves its way through the steep edges of the Himalayan range. It zooms past the houses and shops and you can see local people doing their daily chores. It is also possible to get down from the train and run and again get in the train due to the slow running of the train on the tracks.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is extremely cute looking and as we call it these days Instagrammable. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway hence is also commonly called the Darjeeling Toy Train as the train is extremely small and it runs on narrow gauge tracks.

History of Darjeeling Toy Train or Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the best example of the Himalayan railways in the world. It was opened in 1881 and it implemented an ingenious solution of engineering to build the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway track.
Kolkata was the capital of India and Darjeeling was become a favorite place of the Britishers. The Britishers wanted an easier and more luxurious way to travel to Darjeeling & during the same time, Rowland Macdonald Stephenson was trying to extend the railways network in India In 1849 he got the approval from the British Government and created East India Railway Company. You will be able to see the coaches of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or the Darjeeling Toy Train made by this company.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Old Image

The agent of east Bengal railway Franklin Prestage was mesmerized by the views of Kanchenjunga which he could see from Darjeeling. Franklin Prestage wanted to go for a 2ft. rail gauge which later was called as Narrow gauge and he later established the company called Darjeeling Steam Tramway Company. This Darjeeling Steam tramway company was changed to Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Company on September 15, 1881. This company was managed by Gillanders Arbuthnot & Company whose office still exists in Kolkata. You should go toe Gillander's house to see the office

Old Image of Darjeeling Toy Train

The official opening dates of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or the Darjeeling toy train are :
Siliguri to Kurseong - 23-08-1880
Kurseong to Sonada -  01-08-1881
Sonada to Jorebunglow - 05-04-1881
Jorebunglow to Darjeeling 04-07-1881
Darjeeling to Darjeeling Bazar - 16-06-1886. 

The Ghoom station is the second highest railway at the height of 7,407ft.

One of the interesting things about the Darjeeling Railway or the DarjeelingToy Trains is its loops.Loops help the train to gain height along the mountain keeping the curve as minimum as possible so that the Darjeeling Toy Train doesn't overturn. The most beautiful loop is the Batasia loop which is also the last loop.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway used to run on the steam engines hence these used to make a chuk chuk sound which you will mind in many toy trains. However, most of the steam engines have been replaced by diesel engines these days. 

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or the Darjeeling Toy Train has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site on 2nd December 1999.

What to Expect on a Ride of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or Darjeeling Toy Train

Don't reach Darjeeling Toy Train station on Time, however, reach at least 30 mins before the scheduled departure time. The way the steam engines and the train are prepared for your joy ride of Darjeeling Toy Train is worth watching. Don't forget to go to the loco shed where the engines of the Toy Trains are kept and maintained. It's extremely near to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway station. Its approximately 3 mins walking.  The steam engines were mostly manufactured by the North British Locomotive Company Limited in Glasgow.

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Your toy train will be waiting at the station while the employees of the railway will be working on the steam engines to make it ready for the joy toy train ride. Ensure you watch how the coal is loaded in the steam engine and how the same is burnt to create enough water vapor for the toy train engine to start.

coal addition Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Steam Engine Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Once the steam engine of the Darjeeling Toy Train is ready, the toy train will start with a hoot hoot sound. Within few minutes the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train will meader through the hills of Darjeeling.

Darjeeling Toy Train steam engine

On the way, while the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train runs on the narrow gauge you will get to see houses, the way people live, from where people shop and basically you will get a glimpse of how people live in Darjeeling.

At few places, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train will go slow, and here you can get down from the train walk along the train and again get on the train. Along with the travel, the train will stop at few places to refill water for the steam engine. The way the water is filled is worth watching.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Before reaching the world's second-highest station Ghum the train will halt for approximately 10 minutes at Batasia Loop. The view of the Darjeeling Himalayan toy train is mesmerizing. You have to get down and take a few photographs and selfies for the memories.

After some time the toy train will leave the Batasia loop and head to the world's second-highest railway station Ghum. Here the toy train will halt for approximately 30 minutes. Head to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum near to Ghum station. This Darjeeling Himalayan Railway museum will give you a glimpse of how the Toy train was made and small snippets on the history of the railways. The museum houses few original photographs of the construction. Don't miss this Darjeeling Toy Train Museum.

Once the toy train is ready to leave the Ghum station it will make a hoot hoot sound again. While returning the train will again go to the Batasia loop but now it will not stop at the Batasia Loop.

Within a few minutes after leaving Ghum station you will suddenly see that the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train journey has got over. However, this Darjeeling toy train journey will remain etched in your memories forever.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway : A Beautiful Romance

How to Book Tickets for Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train

There are three types of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train on which you can book your journey.

Darjeeling Train from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling Station

This Darjeeling toy train journey starts from New Jalpaiguri Station and goes to Darjeeling station and takes approximately 7-hour to reach. My suggestion only book this Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train if you have lots of time in hand and you are in a mood to splurge. There are cheaper and easier options to reach Darjeeling in 3 hours and at a cost of Rs 200 ( approx $4).

This toy train is a diesel engine toy train and leaves New Jalpaiguri at 8:30am and reaches Darjeeling at 3:35pm. The Darjeeling toy train from New Jalpaiguri station to Darjeeling runs on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. The reverse journey i.e. from Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri station runs on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday and starts from Darjeeling at 8am and reaches New Jalpaiguri at 3pm.

The cost of the ticket is Rs 1400 for First Class and Rs 1700 for the AC class. You can check the detailed fare from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway website.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway at Batasia Loop

Darjeeling to Kurseong Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

One interesting Darjeeling toy train journey is between Darjeeling & Kurseong. Kurseong is known for its beautiful tea estate and also the producer of one of the costliest Darjeeling tea in the world. It is better if you buy a one-way ticket for this Darjeeling Toy tRain and return back to Darjeeling by a jeep which is readily available.

This Darjeeling toy train departs Darjeeling at 10:15am and reaches Kurseong at 13:10 hrs. The train runs daily. The cost of the first-class ticket is Rs 750 and for the second class its Rs 280.

Darjeeling Toy Train Joy Ride

This is the most famous Toy train ride. This Darjeeling Himalayan Railway joy ride takes approximately 2 hours and for 16 km. It's one of the most interesting Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train journey. To know what to expect during this journey of Darjeeling Toy Train reading the above section of what to expect on the joy ride of the Darjeeling Toy Train journey.

The best train which you can book for this toy train joy ride is the steam engine train. The cost of the ticket is approximately Rs 1600 for the first class. Diesel engine ticket is much cheaper at Rs 1000 however it won't give you the same romanticism as the steam engine toy train.

When to go to Darjeeling for Best Experience of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

If you really want to enjoy the romantic weather and take a ride on the toy train then you should visit between the months of February  March when the weather is beautiful and foggy. The Ghum station will look mesmerizing with the fog and the Darjeeling Toy Train around and when you will be traveling by the toy train fog might enter from the window adding to the romanticism of the place.

Darjeeling Toy Train Journey is a journey of lifetime. If you are planning to go to Darjeeling then taking the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway of Darjeeling Toy Train is a must. #Darjeeling #ToyTrain #DarjeelingTrain #India Darjeeling Toy Train Journey is a journey of lifetime. If you are planning to go to Darjeeling then taking the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway of Darjeeling Toy Train is a must. #Darjeeling #ToyTrain #DarjeelingTrain #India

Have you taken a joy ride on the Darjeeling Toy Train yet? Let us know in the comments what you liked about the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Also if you want me to include any else in this blog post kindly let me know in the comment section below.

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Darjeeling Toy Train Journey is a journey of lifetime. If you are planning to go to Darjeeling then taking the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway of Darjeeling Toy Train is a must. #Darjeeling #ToyTrain #DarjeelingTrain #India

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  1. Loved reading the article, some real good info out here for reference

  2. Wow. To us Bengalis a toy train ride us love. But we never actually looked back at the history associated. I personally came to know a lot. And really I find all the posts so informative and full of deep insights. Next destination, Murshidaabad 😊😊😊😊 and it's silk.

  3. This is such an enthralling experience,
    Loved reading the post and looking forward to this amazing experience soon.



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