Kalka - Shimla Railway
Adventure / Trekking | Historical | Nature
At a distance of 84 km from Shimla, Kalka is a town located in Haryana State. Kalka Railway Station is the northern terminus of the Delhi-Kalka line and the starting point of the legendary Kalka-Shimla Railway. This railway was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in July, 2008. A ride in the toy train is one of the top things to do in Shimla and it is extensively used in promotion of Himachal tourism.
The Kalka-Shimla Railway was built by the British in 1903 to provide access to their summer capital of Shimla. The distance of 96 km between Shimla and Kalka passes through 102 tunnels, 864 bridges and an incredible 900 curves. There are more than 20 stations in this route. It connects Kalka at an altitude of 656 m to Shimla at 2076 m. The five hour journey is one of the best train journeys operated by Indian Railway. It is popular for the picturesque views of hills and the surrounding villages.
The longest tunnel, which stretches for more than a kilometer, is near the main railway station at Barog. Total 864 bridges were constructed on this line. Most of the bridges have multi arched galleries like the ancient Roman aqueducts. Bridge No. 493; historically known as the ''Arch Gallery'', situated between Kandaghat and Kanoh stations, is an arch bridge in three stages constructed with stone masonry that stands good even today. Bridge No. 226 between Sonwara and Dharampur is an arch gallery bridge having 5 tier galleries of multiple spans, constructed with stone masonry and bridging a deep valley surrounded by high peaks. Most of the time during the journey from Kalka to Shimla the valley falls in right side of the train.
Main train services available on this route are the Shivalik Deluxe Express, Himalayan Queen and Rail Motor Car. Each train has its own quality. A number of extra train services are available during the holiday season.
If you can't afford full day to experience wonderful toy train journey between Shimla and Kalka, you can take short train trip between Shimla and Taradevi (45 min) or Shoghi (1 hr 5 min). On return, you can take bus or auto from Taradevi (7.7 km, 20 min by road), Shoghi (13 km, 35 min by road).
Toy Train Timings (5 trains per day):
Kalka to Shimla - 4 AM, 5.10 AM, 5.30 AM, 6 AM & 12.10 PM (travel time - around 5 hrs 10 mins)
Shimla to Kalka - 10:35 AM, 2.25 PM, 4.25 PM, 5.40 PM & 6.15 PM (travel time - around 5 hrs 30 mins)