Railway above the clouds
15.09.2015 - 15.09.2015 22 °C
Darjeeling has been full of highlights, but one of the funnest things I’ve done is to ride the Toy Train from Darjeeling to Ghum on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, up there with Angkor Wat and the Great Wall.
We were lucky enough to be booked on the 10:40am departure with a steam engine – a bit of a rarity in this day of diesel. So that we could spend some time watching the people and the shunting of carriages and engines, we arrived early.
Our departure was delayed slightly, but when you’re prepared to spend 40 minutes travelling 8km, what does a few more minutes matter?
Then we were underway!
Although it was loads of fun to be a passenger, I spared more than just the one thought for the locals who live along the railway. Four times each day this must be such a pain; blocking traffic, blocking driveways and having lunatic tourists waving manically at them…
Just over halfway the train stopped on Batasia Loop, a feature of the track designed to allow the train to gain height, much the same as a freeway loop. We were allowed off the train for about 10 minutes.
The journey ended at Ghum Station, which was like stepping back in time.