Heritage rails are a little more than just tourist attractions. These trains and routes are integral parts of the history of the land. These heritage trains are preserved to create a nostalgic feel. The heritage railways have modified their trains and routes for safety purposes, technical advancements and requirements.
1. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
This rail is also called as the toy train. This railway travels between New Jalpaiguri station and Darjeeling station. Started in end of 19th century, this train covers six zigzag routes and five large loops to get to the higher altitude. This route was declared as a world heritage site in 1999. This is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the country.
This narrow gauge railway runs between Shimla and Kalka. This route is famous for the grand view of the hill regions and the villages. Built during the end of 19th century, this train was extensively used by the British rulers of India. In 2007, this railway was in line to be recognized as a heritage site. In 2008, it was introduced into the line of prestigious mountain railways heritage site. Babu Bhalku rail museum has displays and collections explaining the development and history of this rail line.
2. Kalka-Shimla Railway
This narrow gauge railway runs between Shimla and Kalka. This route is famous for the grand view of the hill regions and the villages. Built during the end of 19th century, this train was extensively used by the British rulers of India.
In 2007, this railway was in line to be recognized as a heritage site. In 2008, it was introduced into the line of prestigious mountain railways heritage site. Babu Bhalku rail museum has displays and collections explaining the development and history of this rail line.
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3. Matheran Hill Railway
This narrow gauge train runs in Maharashtra, between Neral and Matheran. It runs along the famous Western Ghats. This train is yet to be added to the heritage site list. The rail route is 21 km long and has been in operation since 1907.
In 2012, a few carriages with additional comforts like sofa, LCD screen showing passing sceneries and others were added to it. The train starts in Neral, closer to Mumbai. It ascends the Matheran hill by going through 2 large zig-zags and a big bend before completing its 140 hours journey.
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4. Nilgiri Mountain Railway
This is one of the common heritage trains of the country, right after the Darjeeling toy train. This route is operated since 1908. This is the only route with rack railway line in the country. Since 2005, this train has been added to the world heritage site list under mountain railways of India section.
The route runs from Mettupalayam to Udhagamandalam (Ooty). This route takes 4.8 hours. There is one train each way, every day. However, during the peak summer season of April and May, four trains run each way, every day. Read more about the Complete Guide On Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train to Ooty.
5. Calcutta Tramways Company
This is a local tram system running through the city of Kolkata in West Bengal. This is the oldest electrical tram system of the continent, which is still in use. It is serving its purpose since 1902.
In 19th century, this tram system was operated by horses. Later, steam locomotives were used for the purpose. By the beginning of 20th century, electrical engines were used.
Today, there are seven tram depots in Kolkata at Raja bazar, Belgachhia, Gariahat, Park Circus, Khidirpur, Tollygunge, Khidirpur and Kalighat. The Tollygunge and Raja bazar are the most famous and largest depots of all.
6. Palace on Wheels Train India
This is one of the earliest luxury trains of the country operating in and around Rajasthan. Launched in 2009, this train is the modified versions of the ancient train carriages used by the royals of India to travel. The train has many luxurious facilities like restaurants, bars, spa, lounge room, laundry services and so on. The train takes 7 nights and 8 days to complete its trip, stopping for excursion at each of the following destinations like Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra. The train journey starts and ends in Delhi. The excursions are also conducted by the train team.
Make sure to pre-book your train tickets, especially during the peak tourism season. Indian Railways is famous for being crowded and in high demand, throughout the year.
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