Famed for 103 tunnels,864 bridges and more than 900 curves with angles as sharp a 48 degrees, the train to Shimla still pricks one’s imagination and leaves us awed with the technical an material effort put to construct the most expensive tracks of the time.
The most spectacular aspects of this railway track are the bridges that resemble Roman Aqueducts showcasing engineering brillance,with the longest of them extending for 2.8 Kilometers. Its beautiful arched galleries, tunnels, and the numerous mellifluous station en route Shimla, lend much character to the railway line.
Historically,the strategic and political importance of importance of Shimla wouldn’t have been seized if not for the establishment of this narrow gauge railway line. The train locomotive would primarily provide quick and efficient transportation to the dignitaries visiting the British Summer Capital,Shimla
Engineers cut through the harsh mountainous topography by laying a 96 km long track from Kalka at sultry height of approx. 640 meters to a far more salubrious Shimla at a height of approx. 2060 meters – giving the Shimla Railway track an emblematic stature.
As a result of the difficult terrain,the course of the line was altered a number of times. In fact,it is believed that the course of the track was determine by a common laborer, named Balkhu. He would march for long tracks with the engineers and give directions as was communicated to him by the devtas (local deities) through lice in his head.
The planning and proposing of the line had begun as early as 1847. The British in Delhi wanted to escape the excessive summer heat, and found Shimla equivalent to the European temperatures.
And so the first regional survey was conducted in 1884 and another one in 1885. The Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company commenced work in 1889 and 9th November,1903 made history, for it opened traffic on the kalka Shimla Railway line.
The broad gauge line wound up at Kalka to let small train carriages take a thirty inch narrow gauge. The experience of the little train whistling and perforating through the picturesque countryside stimulated immense excitement,then and now.
Of the 103 tunnels, initially constructed,the longest tunnel,measuring one Kilometer was built at Barog, a significant stop over and the station midway between Shimla and Kalka. The station was named after engineer Barog,who met a tragic end.
He built a tunnel,the two ends of which could not meet . His failure lead to the imposition of a fine Rs. 1,which became so unbearable that Barog shot himself while on a walk with his dog.
Interestingly when the train began operations, passengers went through “plague inspection”, just short of Shimla,to prevent pestilence from reaching the Capital. At Tara Devi,they would register all their details. Authorities were so vigilant that each passenger also underrwent fumigation
Even today,journey abroad the train is delightful and reminiscent of the old-world charm and magnificence.it does take few hours longer than road (6-7 hours) to cover a distance of 97km,but watching the magnificent mountain ranges as you pass keeps you asking for more.
|Type of Seat||Remarks|
|72451||Rail Motor||5.10am||9.50am||FC – First Class||Temporary Train|
|52457||KLK SML Pass||4.00am||9.20am||FC – First Class||Regular Train|
|52451||Shivalk Dlx Exp||5.30am||10.15am||CC – Chair Car||Regular Train|
|52453||KLKA SIMLA Exp||6.00am||11.05am||FC – First Class
|52455||HIMALAYAN QUEEN||12.10am||17.20pm||CC – Chair Car||Regular Train|
I had been to countries and have taken up pilgrimage trips to many places in Himalayas. I can say for sure the tour you have arranged for me is the best one in all aspects.
Start from day one you contacted me, your were transparent and frank in fact.
Your charges are so reasonable but the experience we as a whole family had was rich. The hospitality was wonderful. We feel at home at sunpark hotel. The first day u were with us. The trek was marvelous and thrilling too. Mr. Prem, the guide for the next day made the day blissful. My kids, particularly my daughter enjoyed to the core.
Mr.Rishi, driver did a good job.
As a whole we had a delighted stay there and left Manali with heavy heart.
Hats off to your service and dedication in the profession. No need to tell, my first option for me and others will be you for any trip to Himalayas.
One thing I got disturbed is, the stay at Delhi. The hotel was not good in ambience as well the services. Hope u understand. Better hotels may be suggested.
The rest, it was pleasure to be at Manali.
Thank you once again Mr.Sanjeev.
Wish you all the best and may the Almighty be with you!
Rohtang Pass the gateway to the tribal Lahaul-Spiti valley has opened up on Friday. The BRO has done a tremendous work as they have achieved the target before the deadline. BRO was under pressure of opening up the pass before the General Election Voting, which is on 7th May 2014 for Himachal Pradesh. On Saturday the HRTC buses plied on the Road between Manali- Keylong on trial basis. However tourist won’t be allowed to move up till Rohtang pass, as the road Clearance has to widen.