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Kalka-Shimla Toy Train: A Majestic Journey amidst Beautiful Landscape

8 mins. read

There is something about a train journey that fascinates everyone. Be it the long routes with a bunch of people who become friends by the end of the trip, a chance to traverse diverse landscapes, or the comfort of reaching the destination without the noise of traffic, it is truly a magical experience. In India, trains connect one end of the country to the other. It is like a vein that connects different states, cities, and towns. One such train journey that is considered a one-of-a-kind experience is the "Kalka-Shimla Toy Train" journey. This narrow-gauge railway in North India is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The toy train crosses around 102 tunnels and 864 bridges. It covers numerous curvy rail tracks to reach its destination, giving you a glimpse of tall mountains, lush pine trees, and gorgeous landscapes. When you take a trip from Kalka to Shimla on this toy train, you will be stunned to see the man-made engineering generous enough to carve a railway track amidst dense hills. This toy train journey in Shimla is a must on the bucket list of nature lovers. It is one of the most exciting parts of every Shimla tour package.

About Kalka-Shimla Toy Train Journey

The Kalka-Shimla toy train journey is about five and a half hours long. Throughout the journey, the passengers get to see the rugged mountains, numerous natural waterfalls, dense pine forests, and the changing landscape. Every twist and turn in the journey comes with a picture-perfect view that will leave you awestruck. This scenic train journey spans 60 miles and covers 20 stations. The train journey begins at Kalka at a height of 656 metres and progresses towards Shimla, covering Dharampur, Solan, Taradevi, and Barog. It is interesting to know that the height difference between Kalka and Shimla is 1419 metres. The speed of the train slows down as it traverses to greater heights in the mountains.

If you go on the Kalka-Shimla train journey, you will surely create an unforgettable travel memory. You can enjoy your time on the train by chit-chatting with your loved ones and fellow passengers, admiring nature’s beauty and relishing local food at various stations.

History of Kalka-Shimla Toy Train

The history of the Kalka-Shimla toy train is connected with the establishment of Shimla back in the British era. The hill station was established after the first Anglo-Gurkha war. Later, it became the summer capital of the British Empire, which meant a settled route was required to reach Shimla. This is when narrow-gauge train routes were started in 1903 to provide better connectivity. The railway was used as the primary mode of transportation by the British Empire as Shimla became the headquarters of the British army. It was also known as the "British Jewel of the Orient". Since the British Era, the Kalka-Shimla train has been operational and is a tourist attraction. It is equally loved and cherished by the locals and tourists who take the train journey to witness this iconic symbol of Himachal Pradesh. One of the highlights of this train journey is crossing the longest tunnel, which is near Barog station. The tunnel is 1143 metres long and is among the best parts of the toy train travel from Kalka to Shimla.

Kalka to Shimla Toy Train: Booking, Timing, and More

If you are keen on having this once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking a picturesque journey by train from Kalka to Shimla, here are the three trains that operate on this route:

Rail Motor Car

A journey by rail or motor car is equated with nostalgia that takes you back to your childhood. What fascinates the passengers of this train is that it looks like a bus running on a rail track. With a seating capacity of 18 passengers, this train is very popular among tourists. The single-coach train has a glass roof that allows you to get a better view of the scenic surroundings. Besides this, you can also get food during your train journey so you can enjoy your time on the train by having some lip-smacking snacks. The rail motorcar covers a distance of 36 kilometres and stops at two stations. The timing of this Kalka-Shimla toy train is that it departs at 5:45 AM and arrives in Shimla at 9:20 AM. The timing for the rail motor car from Shimla to Kalka is: it departs at 4:55 PM and arrives in Kalka at 9:25 PM.

Shivalik Deluxe Express

Shivalik Deluxe Express is one of the best trains from Kalka to Shimla, with on-board catering, comfortable seats, and even melodious music that plays throughout the journey. It takes five hours to reach Shimla. The train halts only at one station, which is Barog. It is a 15-minute halt where you can enjoy your breakfast provided by the railway catering. As the train proceeds from Barog, it crosses one of the longest tunnels, which is a very thrilling experience. You can take beautiful pictures and videos of the outside surroundings from the window, as it is made of thick glass that gives a clear view of the landscapes.

You need to make a prior booking for this Kalka-Shimla toy train to get a confirmed seat. As there are a limited number of seats available, make sure to book them in advance. The time of departure of this Kalka to Shimla toy train is 5:20 AM from Kalka and arrives at 10 AM in Shimla. Furthermore, the departure timing of the Shivalik Deluxe Express from Shimla is 5:50 PM and it arrives at Kalka at 10:35 PM.

Himalayan Queen

The Himalayan Queen is yet another toy train that runs from Kalka to Shimla. It travels on the curvy rail lines to reach its destination. There are cushioned car seats equipped in the train to give a comfortable seating position to the passengers. The train takes nine halts in between, where locals and tourists can get off to soak in nature’s beauty.

It takes around six hours to reach the destination. You are accompanied by a magical view all along that looks dreamy. The train coaches are well-maintained and clear, which makes the train journey a memory that never fades from your memory. The timing of this Kalka-Shimla toy train is:

Departure at 12:10 PM from Kalka and arrival at 5:30 PM at Shimla.

On the way back, it departs at 10:25 AM from Shimla and arrives at 4:10 PM at Kalka.

Other Trains on the Kalka-Shimla Route

The Shivalik Queen and Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach are the two heritage trains that run on the Kalka-Shimla rail lines. These trains offer luxury services to passengers and have contemporary facilities to enhance the travel experience. According to frequent travellers, a train journey in these heritage carriages is unparalleled. Passengers get numerous amenities on board, such as a kitchen, refrigerator, folding cushion beds, and more. It is important to note that these trains operate from March to September, and the frequency is once a week.

Furthermore, the railway department runs several special trains in the peak season, when there is a huge influx of tourists in the hilly area.

Though, there are many things to do in Shimla, a journey from the toy train is something that shouldn’t be missed at any cost. It is an experience that will be etched in your memory forever. You can book a package that covers a toy train journey from Kalka to Shimla to have a well-rounded experience.

June 07, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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