We wanted to come to Shimla in a toy train. Toy trains are slower and expensive than a bus ride to the hilly town. But we wanted to experience the train service (and route) that’s listed as UNESCO world heritage site. I also wanted to compare it with that of Darjeeling. On this route, tunnels that go through hills and some bridges are impressive. 22 March 2013
At the Shimla train station we were surprised by the sight of a train motor- it was just a single train car. Total passengers traveling: 11 including us (me and Gokul), the ‘train’ driver and a kid. At the Barog station from where the longest tunnel of the Kalka-Shimla route ends (or starts, depending upon where you are coming from) we chatted with the driver. Hari Singh from Uttar Pradesh state of India has been driving trains on this route for the past 30 years. He said BBC has made a film over him which is available in YouTube. 24 March 2013
Past entries on Indian trains:
1. The Great Indian Railway Bazaar
2. Indian Level Crossing
3. A Trip to Taj Mahal (Part I- Indian Railways)
4. Rajdhani Express 4
5. Toy Train 3 Continue reading
Now we have entered to the plains, still inside Daejeeling district. I can see ‘Gorkhaland is our birthright’ slogans painted on the walls. Again the Darjeeling chill is nowhere to be experienced here. It’s 16:21 and it might take another 45 mins to reach New Jalpaiguri. I have an 8:30 train from there to Delhi. The train-rajdhani express- is one of the most sophisticated and fastest Indian trains. And here I am in probably the slowest. Looking forward to experience the contrast!
Ok, so Mr. Rakesh Sood look-alike returns my book (sorry Lak, though u wrote the book, this paeticular copy lawfullly belongs to me!)
So the train is moving, slowly, tirelessly and contineously.
Some ppl have sneaked into the first class apartment! Shall I press the alarm switch? Hell with that. A while ago, even the the TT sneaked into here and stayed for a while even though he didn’t have anything to do.
I am starting to feel heat. We must have descended a lot. The Dazling chill will only remain in memory.
Talking abt the chill, I must say I defied that this morning. I continued with shower when the hot water in Alice Villa’s bathroom stopped flowing. It was cold but not that cold.
Heitteri, I again lost another post because of iPhone’s hide n seek with the Airtel network. So I was writing two girls ( perhaps sisters or mom-daughter) are seared next to my seat on da left. They r sleeping. Their parents (or father n kaki-chachi) are behind them.
I was reading Daniel Lak’s India Experss. But wanted to see India by my own eye then reading Lak’s description and experience it. As I was photographing myself and the train this man asks for the book.
This this man is a Bengali, I guess, who is traveling with his family: wife, I am pretty sure and their daughter or son, I am finding it very hard to conclude. The bespectacled man with French cut beards looks like our Indian ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood.
The train is still moving.
To be contd…
A peek into da train compartment. I am traveling in da first class dibba! (well, k garne, at least toy train ma ta 1st class mai hidnu paryo ni). But it seems there is not much difference between 1st n 2nd class compartments (there are two each of them and in total four) except that seats are good here.
So I changed the original seat and now I have come to the one that is near to the door and kind of standalone (on my left are two seats where two Bengali girls- sisters or could be mother/daughter) are seated. Their father/husband and kaki/chachi are seated at the back, just before where two Goras are seated.
When I was writing my blog-that-disappeared, the Bengali family was eating puri tarkari.
Getting interesting? Check out next entry!
Hmm it works but I mourn da diapearance of my first detailed entry. Here I try to recall dat:
We’ll I can’t recall. Mind became blank 😦 anyway as train is moving slowly negotiating it’s narrow trail with great care (so as not to slide over da hills).
Pooouuuuuhh! That’s the sound the rail produces frequently along with the famed chuk-chuk and tssssyaaa noise.
Funny thing is this train has to struggle with da road traffic at times as da rail track goes along side da highway and at several places crosses it. Sometime the train has to be backed (reverse gear perhaps) for reasons like it has to be taken to the Station (as in Kharsang) or the train cimpng from opposite direction has to be given space! After all, this is a toy train.
To be contd..
Ok, this is sott of retweeting/reblogging. Trying to see if blogging from iphone that is playing hide and seek with da cellular network as it’s owner is traveling in a slow moving toy train on da hills of Darjeeling actually works!
Blogged by an executive order of Karhmandu 🙂