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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The toy train on the Darjeeling Himalayan section is not merely a source of delight for the young and old, it also represents the engineering skills of the highest order. This 83 km. long section connecting Darjeeling with the railhead at Siliguri is of great importance and has been bestowed World Heritage Site status.

The railway line from Siliguri to the beautiful hill section of Darjeeling is considered an engineering feat and passes through very picturesque country.
The railway line is laid more or less on the same alignment as the Hill Cart road, which criss-crosses the line at several locations. The line between Sukna and Darjeeling is almost all along located on the road-bench wither skirting or on the far edge of the road except at a few locations where the road and rail formations are on different level and follow a different alignment. Out of a total of 87.48 km., 64 kms. Are on the same road bench. The actual climb starts from Sukna encountering steep gradients and curves all the way long. There are some peculiar features to be marked during the journey. The train passes through dense forest from Sukna and it chugs along the hill slopes and at places where a clear path is not available. The climb is through reverse and loops. There are 5 such reverses, 3 loops, the most famous being the BATASIA LOOP between Ghum and Darjeeling. Apart from this, the section has 5 major, 498 minor bridges and 177 unmanned level crossings. There are 14 stations including New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling with an average inter distance of 6 to 7 km. Except between Siliguri and Sukna where the distance is over 10 km., Ghum station is the second highest railway station in the world to be reached by steam locomotive.

The Darjeeling-Himalayan railway extends from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, which is a distance of 87.48 kms. The construction was started by Franklin Prestage in 1879 and completed up to Tindharia in March 1880. By the year end, it was constructed up tp Kurseong and the line reached Darjeeling in July 1881.

Darjeeling Railway Company managed the line up to 1948 before it was purchased outright and made to form a part of the Indian Railway. It became a part of the Assam Railway and was absorbed as a constituent of the newly grouped Northeastern Railway on 14 April 1950. Because of further regrouping, the DHR was transferred to the Northeast Frontier Railway in 1958.

The DHR attained peak operational capacity in 1947 with 45 loco, 139 passenger coaches and 606 goods wagons. Goods trains were operated up to 1992-93. Thereafter, keeping 12-15 unit of goods wagons, the rest were withdrawn and disposed.

10D 2D*     TRAINS NO.   1D* 9D
Passenger II Passenger II Kms Ex.
New Jalpaiguri
  Stations   Passenger II Passenger II
1630 1040 88 d Darjeeling 9012 ft a 1530 0910
1701 1106 82 a Ghum 7408 ft d 1502 0836
1706 1111   d   a 1457 0831
1744 1149 73 d Sonada 6552 ft d 1418 0747
1819 1224 65 d Tung 5656 ft d 1343 0712
1900 1302 57 a Kurseong d 1311 0640
  1317   d 4864 ft a 1256 ----
  1349 50 d Mahanadi W 4120 ft d 1218  
  1421 44 d Gayabari 3516 ft d 1146  
  1450 38 a Tindharia 2822 ft d 1118  
  1451   d   a 1117  
  1542 26 d Rangtong 1404 ft d 1020  
  1616 18 d Sukna 533 ft d 0946  
  1638 8 a Siliguri JN d 0925  
  1640   d   a 0923  
  1648 5 a Siliguri Town d 0915  
  1649   d   a 0914  
  1710   a New Jalpaiguri d 0900  
1D/2D New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling
9D/10D Kurseong to Darjeeling
A joy ride train runs between Ghum and Darjeeling with a stoppage at Batasia loop for enabling tourists to take photographs of Kanchenjunga.
New Jalpaiguri (-) 7.42 Kms. 480 ft.
Siliguri town (-) 4.99 Kms. 500 ft.
Siliguri Junction 0.00 Km. 500 ft.
Sukna 10.06 Kms. 533 ft.
Rongtong 17.70 Kms. 1404 ft.
Tindharia 29.77 Kms. 2822 ft.
Gayabari 36.20 Kms. 3616 ft.
Mahanadi 42.08 Kms. 4120 ft.
Kurseong 49.48 Kms. 4864 ft.
Tung 56.92 Kms. 5656 ft.
Sonada 64.97 Kms. 6552 ft.
Ghum 74.03 Kms. 7407 ft.
Darjeeling 80.06 Kms. 6812 ft