5 Exclusive Mountain Railways To Experience In India
Since the British introduced trains to the country, India has become fond of this track journey. They have introduced many styles of trains since then, like the luxury trains, super-fast train, semi-luxury train, mountain trains and others.
The best way to experience the craggy terrain of any mountain region is by taking a slow mountain train along the loops and tunnels to spot extreme landscapes that are dipped with natural beauty and untouched serenity. While you are in India, here are the top five mountain range trains to enjoy.
Read more: History of Indian Railways
1. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Darjeeling is rich with meadows of lush grass, glorious tea gardens and the freezing beauty of Kanchenjunga in the background.
No wonder, it was considered as a romantic summer retreat spot for the past few centuries. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway runs for 78 km between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.
The train overs many hairpin bends, bridges, tunnels, switchbacks and others as it runs through the serpentine tracks. There are two types of trains running in this route based on the fuel it uses – diesel and steam.
Price of ticket: INR 800 – INR 1,300
Best time to visit: October to March
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2. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway
This railway track covers the Queen of Hill Stations, Ooty. This 46 km long route of train track runs between Mettupalayam and Ootacamund (Ooty). This is one of the few toy trains with heritage status in the country.
Do you know that the tracks of this route run up to 7,228 ft above sea level? This engineering masterpiece adds more beauty to a trip to the mountains, which already the queen of beauty. The train covers many landscapes like tea estates, deep ravines, rocky terrain, thick forest and others.
Price of the ticket: INR 15 – INR 205
Best time to visit: October to June
3. Kalka Shimla Railway
Unlike most of the other mountain trains, this is considered as the economic way to reach Shimla. This breathtaking train route covers many beauties along the ranges of the Himalayan route.
This narrow gauge runs for 97 km connecting the plains of Kalka with the gorgeous mountain kingdom of Shimla. This toy train runs through 103 tunnels and 800 bridges apart from other landscape beauties. The entire train route will be a journey through scenic spots.
Price of the ticket: INR 70- INR 500
Best time to visit: March to June
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4. Kangra Valley Railway
This is another toy train of the country and it connects Pathankot with Jodinder Nagar. The train overs 164 km and reaches the peak altitude at 4,000 ft above sea level covering more than 950 bridges.
The entire journey is a collection of mountainous vista. This is the last narrow gauge that was built in the country.
Price of the ticket: INR 27
Best time to visit: March to June
Read more: Heritage Trains of India
5. Matheran Hill Railway
Connecting Neral and Matheran, this is an incredible route with tunnels, sharp turns and switchbacks. The best of all is the thrill you get when the train moves through a tunnel named ‘One Kiss’.
This train is yet to get its heritage statue. The entire 21 km of this train journey is marked with awes and sighs.
Price of the ticket: INR 65 – INR 1325
Best time to visit: March to May
Read more: Complete Guide about Toy Trains in India
The prices changes from time to time and the departure time, too. It is best to check with IRCTC or other official sites for booking and other details. Unfortunately, many mountain trains do not have advanced booking option. You need to physically visit the station to get tickets and hope for the best seats.
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