Kalka Shimla Toy Train


Visiting mountains always fascinate me due to the reason that I reside in the plain areas of Punjab state whose weather remains mostly warm except for the four months of the winter season (November to February). To enjoy the cold weather, the mountains of the Himalayas are the best option.

A Still of Kalka Shimla Railway Toy Train

Out of the various hill stations nearby Himalayas, Shimla is the most famous one and is situated at a distance of only 100 KM from Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab. Although I had visited Shimla twice by car but this time I decided to travel through Kalka-Shimla Rail (KSR). The journey through the Kalka Shimla toy train is a wonderful experience.

Kalka shimla toy train
Kalka shimla toy train – Special train

In the first part of my blog, I will talk about the complete journey by Kalka Shimla toy train and the necessary information with some important tips. To make this article easily understandable I have designed this in FAQ format.

What is Kalka Shimla toy train (KSR)?

It is a narrow-gauge (2ft 6 inch) railway track train which runs from Kalka (a city in Haryana state) to Shimla (a Famous hill station and capital of Himachal Pradesh) and Shimla to Kalka also. It is a kind of luxury train with outstanding universal values, stations, long tunnels, multi-story viaducts, and an enchanting journey that rekindles the romance and nostalgia of the bygone era.

Kalka shimla toy train - Waiting for signal at station
Kalka Shimla toy train – Waiting for a signal at the station
Window view from kalka shimla toy train
Window view from Kalka Shimla toy train
Kalka Shimla Rail crossing the bridge
Kalka Shimla Rail crossing the bridge

What is the total distance covered by this train?

It covers 96 Km from Kalka to Shimla in 5 to 6 hours.

Is it on the UNESCO World Heritage list?

Yes, KSR has been included in UNESCO’s world heritage list on 10th July 2008. Inclusion of this line as World Heritage would promote sustainable development of heritage, community, Environment, tourism, and infrastructure.

When this train was built and started?

Construction of this train was started during the British era in 1898 and was completed by 1903. This train was started in the year 1903.

Why this train was started?

During the British Raj in India, Shimla was the summer capital of India and whole government work was shifted from Calcutta (now Kolkata), the winter capital of India at that time to Shimla during the summer season. Prior to this railway track, Britishers used horse and ox-drawn carts to arrange the shifting of Government from Calcutta to Shimla. To ease this journey, they built this railway track.

Station Master Room at Kanoh Railway station
Station Master Room at Kanoh Railway station

Why this train is so famous?

It is popular among tourists for its mesmerizing views and wonderful journey. It is a rare example of a marvelous engineering project.

  • This train has 20 picturesque stations, 103 tunnels, 912 curves, and 969 bridges.
  • The longest tunnel is at Barog which is approximately 1.1 Km in length.
  • Train runs at the average speed of 23 to 28 KMPH.
  • Equipped with vistadomes to enjoy beautiful outside scenic view.
  • Documentary has also been filmed on KSR by BBC Four television.
Inside view of Kalka Shimla Toy Train
Inside view of Kalka Shimla Toy Train
Kalka Shimla Toy Train Entering into the tunnel
Kalka Shimla Toy Train Entering into the tunnel
Kalka Shimla Toy Train Entering into the tunnel
Kalka Shimla Toy Train Entering into the tunnel
Barog Railway Station
Barog Railway Station

What are the timings and fares of the different Kalka Shimla toy trains?

There are 6 trains between Kalka and Shimla

Train NameTypeFacilitiesFareTimings
Shivalik Deluxe ExpressPremium>Premium Train with carpet, >wide glass windows, >cushioned seats, and toilets.
>Fits 120 Passengers.
>Only One stop at Barog
510 INR/ Adult, 255 INR / ChildThe timings of most of these trains from Kalka is from 4.00 am to 7.00 am in the morning. To know about the latest timings please refer to the official website of Indian Railways.
Himalayan QueenStandard>Simple train.
>Stops at 9 stations along the way.
>Cheaper compared to other trains
470 INR/ Adult 235 INR / Child
Rail Motor CarPremium>Resembles a bus from the time of the Second World War.
>Transparent roof.
>Fits only 14 Passengers. >Only one stop at Barog. >Difficult to get tickets due to less seat availability.  
320 INR /Adult 160 INR / Child
Vistadome Him Darshan ExpressPremium>New train with 7 coaches featuring glass and windows to provide wide panorama views. >Fitted with AC also.800 INR/ Person
Kalka Shimla PassangerPassenger>Simple train.
>Stops at 16 Stations >Basic old-style coaches with First class and unreserved seating.
300 INR / Adult & 150 INR / Child in AC Class. 65 INR/ Person in general class.
Kalka Shimla Festival SpecialPremiumRuns on special occasions or festivals.Changes from time to time.
TIme table and fare details of Kalka Shimla Toy Train
TIme table and fare details of Kalka Shimla Toy Train

*For the latest updates, please check the Indian Railway website. The above figures are subject to change moderately and are approximate.

Which train is the best for the Kalka Shimla journey?

To enjoy this journey, I would like to suggest you travel via Shivalik Deluxe Express or Rail Motor car, or Vistadome Him darshan.

Rail Motor car is the fastest one and it takes only 4 and half an hour to cover the distance between Kalka and Shimla.

Is food served in these trains?

After covid, food is not provided in these trains. But you can take snacks and drinks from Kalka railway station and Barog Railway station. If possible, bring your own food with you.

Food Rate List at Kalka Railway Station
Food Rate List at Kalka Railway Station

How to reach Kalka Railway station?

Kalka Railway station is situated in the Panchkula district of Haryana state in Northern India. It is well connected with Rails and roads. You can reach here by your private car or cabs/taxis and by bus.

Kalka Railway station sign board
Kalka Railway station signboard

It is just at the distance of 35 KM from Chandigarh International Airport.

It is at a distance of Approximate 250 KM from Delhi, National Capital of India and can be easily accessed by 6- Lane National Highways.

Trains come directly here from Chandigarh and Delhi.

NB: Parking for private vehicles is also available in the railway station itself however parking is at the owner’s risk and cost.

How was my journey?

I traveled through Shivalik Delux Express in the month of November 2021 and the timing for my train was 7.10 am. I reached Shimla at 12.55 pm. The journey was beautiful.

Starting from Kalka Railway station where I reached around 6.00 am in the morning from Patiala. It took around one and a half an hour to reach Kalka from Patiala. As you will enter the Kalka Railway station, you would feel that you are in a foreign country. The station is well maintained and cleaned. Proper seating arrangements are there.

Sitting arrangements at Kalka Railway Station
Sitting arrangements at Kalka Railway Station

The train was on time. My seat was on the window side and I enjoyed the beautiful scenic views on the way to Shimla. The train stops first at Barog station which came approximately 1 hour after the start of the journey. The veg cutlets and Maggi with tea were being taken by me at this station. Train halts here for 10 minutes. The views were amazing and I clicked some beautiful photos on the way. Each tunnel was marked with numbers and other technical details. Trains stopped at other 2 or 3 railway stations for crossing purposes of other trains.  

Train Crossing for Kalka Shimla Toy Train
Train Crossing for Kalka Shimla Toy Train

I reached Shimla exactly at 12.55 pm and took a taxi from the railway station taxi stand for my hotel.

It was overall a wonderful experience and one must travel through this heritage train once in his lifetime.

Where to stay in Kalka?

There are a number of hotels available in Kalka for a stay. You can also stay at Chandigarh or in Panchkula which is in the 20 KM range from Kalka railway station.

ਇਸ ਲੇਖ ਨੂੰ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੜ੍ਹਨ ਲਈ, ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਇਸ ਲਿੰਕ ‘ਤੇ ਕਲਿੱਕ ਕਰੋ।



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