Heritage rails are more than just tourist attractions. Not only they helps create a romantic feel, but also give us a glimpse of the history of the land. Although heritage railways have renovated most of their trains for technical advancements and safety purposes, they still carry the old-school charm. The views on these routes are just unparalleled. Here’s a list of heritage trains that you need to definitely enjoy a ride on.
This narrow gauge railway chugs between Kalka and Shimla, and is famous for offering beautiful views of forests and hill regions. It was built in 1898 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India, with the rest of the Indian rail system. It is 2 ft 6 inch (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in North-West India, and was built by HS Harington. It is now operated by the Northern Railway. UNESCO added the Kalka-Shimla railway to mountain railways of India World Heritage Site in 2008.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The toy train, this train travels between New Jalpaiguri station and Darjeeling station. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway started in the end of the 19th century, and covers six zigzag routes and five large loops to reach higher altitudes. In 1999, this route was declared as a World Heritage Site; it has also been one of the country’s most famous tourist attractions. The setting of the train journey also has a vintage charm to it, a ride on this train will definitely change your outlook toward train travel.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is in Tamil Nadu, and was built in 1908 by the British. The route runs from Mettupalayam to Udhagamandalam (Ooty), and takes around 4.8 hours to complete. Most times, just one train travels on this route each way; however, during the peak summer season, four trains run each way, everyday. In July 2005, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site, and is now operated by the Salem railway division.
Matheran Hill Railway
This train is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, yet a ride on this train will be one of the best rides ever!. This narrow gauge train runs between Neral and Matheran in Maharashtra. Interesting thing to note here is that it chugs along the well-known Western Ghats, so in terms of views, you are in for a ride. Further, this 21 km long route has been in operation since 1907. The train starts its journey in Neral, and then ascends the Matheran hill by going through two large zig-zags before completing its 140 hours’ journey.