The joyful Kalka to Shimla toy train ride offers a mesmerising and unique experience to travellers. Beginning from Kalka, a small town in Haryana (India), the train goes all the way to Shimla, the largest city of Himachal Pradesh. Moving at a snail pace of 22-25 kmph, the train offers picturesque views of mountains, villages and valleys on the way. The pace of the historic train is so slow that you can board and de-board it easily while moving, but I would not encourage our readers to try it! The historic train, which was awarded the title of UNESCO's world heritage site, covers a distance of 96.6 km in 5-6 hours. Travelling on this train is an utterly joyful experience and must be enjoyed with both little and grown-up travellers.
The train ride is so fascinating that it is sure to bring out your inner child, reminding you of fairy tale stories and simpler times. This railway line was set up by the Britishers in 1903 to provide easy accessibility to their summer capital Shimla. And, till today, it continues to enthral joy seekers with new travel memories. During its journey, the train covers 20 railway stations, 103 tunnels, 800 bridges and around 900 curves and bends. One of the most beautiful railway stations the train crosses is 'Barog', named after the British railway engineer Colonel S. Barog, who was responsible for constructing an unsuccessful tunnel on this line.
One sight of the Barog Railway Station and you will immediately fall head-over-heels in love with it. It is one of the most beautiful railway stations I have seen in my life. Interestingly, Barog Tunnel (no 33), the longest tunnel on this track, is also the longest straight tunnel in the world. Replete with white and blue hut-style administrative buildings and rooms for travellers, the railway station is quite a sight on its own.
I reached Barog Railway Station from Kasoli, which involved a thrilling downward trek amidst villages and forests. On the way, you will be greeted by village children playing, shepherds, and friendly dogs. Once at the Barog station, you will feel as if you have gone back in time when life was slower, and people had time for each other.
Without any train at the Barog station, you won't find anyone - not even the train staff. During that time, you can walk around the station, explore intricacies and even follow the track routes passing through tiny villages. But, the moment the train arrives, the station changes its face. Suddenly, hawkers pop out of nowhere - selling food, drinks, knickknacks to travellers. However, the moment the train leaves the station, everything disappears, leaving you in awe, as a silent spectator.
So, what are waiting for? Pack your bags and head to India to explore the joyful Kalka to Shimla toy train ride with your loved ones.
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