Thursday, July 17, 2008

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway :: The World Heritage Pride

Darjeeling or Dorjee-Ling means the land of thunder. Darjeeling, the world famous himalayan hill station is considered as the queen of the hills. The place once developed as the resting place for the British Soldiers, is also famous for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), a narrow gauge rail that connects Darjeeling from Siliguri (New Jalpaiguri).

The journey on this track starts from New Jaipaiguri. After that the train travels through the plain till Sukna. Then suddenly it started riding uphill and after crossing some mystic station like Rongtong, Tindharia, Gayabari it reaches Kurseong, the calm town. Then after some time it takes you to Ghoom (The third Highest Railway Station in this World, altitude: 7408 Mts) and then decends almost 1000 ft to reach Darjeeling. Ghoom is the highest railway station in the world to be reached by a steam locomotive. There is nothing in the world more exiting then riding on a small toy train across a mountaineous terrain of great beauty.

The World Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway perhaps the first and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway. Opened for public in 1881, the structure and construction of this line is believed a engineering feat because of the steep gradient, sharp curves, Z-crossings and loops incorporated in the line.

In the year 1879, Franklin Prestage, then the agent of Eastern Bengal Railway submitted a detailed scheme to the Bengal Government to replace the bullock cart transport system from Siliguri to Darjeeling by Railway Line. The construction of the narrow gauge line begun in 1879 and it was opened in four phases up to Kurseong on 23rd August 1880, up to Sonada 1st February 1881, up to Ghoom 4th April 1881 and the last part or up to Darjeeling on 4th July 1881.

There are:

6 Z-reverses.
At 177 points Hill Cart Road cries-crosses the railway track.
There are 3 loops in the line (most famous is Batasia Loop).
There are 5 major bridges.
There are 498 minor bridges.

If you are interested to know more about DHR or Want to take a ride on it, you can send your request to

No comments: