Mountain Railways of India

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The Mountain Railways of India pass on to the railway lines that were built during the British Raj, in the mountain range of Himalaya. These lines are even operational today by the Indian Railways.

These railway lines were brought in operation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, India. All from these railways, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Kalka-Shimla Railway, the Kangra Valley Railway, are located in hill regions of the Himalayas. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway along with the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway has been collectively chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled as “Mountain Railways of India”.

All of these railway lines connect to important mount resorts, foothills, and scenic hilly terrains. Built during the British colonial period, all are considered exceptional examples of the value interchange on development in technology. The construction of 46-km long metre-gauge Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu State was first proposed in 1854, and work on that started in 1891 proceed by completion in 1908. A 96-km long, single track, the Kalka Shimla Railway was built in the mid-19th century to make highland town of Shimla more accessible.

Opened in 1881, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is still the most outstanding, example of a hill passenger railway. This railway is closely linked with the development of Darjeeling as one of the main tea-growing areas in India, in the early 19th century. On a detailed proposal for a steam railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling by Bangal railway pushed the approval and construction on the same rail link. An 88.48 km long, this 2 ft gauge track connects New Jalpaiguri with Darjeeling, with eleven stations, one of these, Ghoom, is the second highest railway station in the world, at an altitude of 2258m. Known as The Toy Train, trains on this track capture breathtaking views of high waterfalls, green valley, and snow-capped mountain range.

Map of Mountain Railways of India