India is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are many places in India that attract tourists and are an outstanding example of architecture. The mountain railways are one such example of engineering that was built between the 19th and 20th century in India. These toy train journeys offer amazing and breathtaking experiences. The routes have been carved through many beautiful valleys and mountains. These trains are small in size as compared to normal trains and are called toy trains. Let us take you to some of the most beautiful and amazing toy train journeys that will provide you a memorable experience.
1. Kangra Valley Railway, Himachal Pradesh
The Kangra Valley Railway is the longest mountain railway route, as well as the last mountain railway to be built in India. It is 2 feet 6 inches (762 mm) gauge railway and runs from Pathankot, Punjab to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh. It is called Kangra Valley Railway because it runs through the sub-Himalayan region of Kangra Valley and crosses the majestic Dhauladhar mountain ranges. The Kangra Valley Railway is 164 km (101.9 mi) long. The railway is part of the Firozpur division of Northern Railway. This route of a toy train is different from other toy train routes of India. The route has two tunnels and gives you the scenic beauty of nature. The construction of this rail route was completed in 1929. It was the last mountain railways that were built during the British Raj.
2. Matheran Hill Railway, Maharashtra
Matheran in Maharashtra is one of those places in India where all vehicles including bicycles are banned. It is a place where you can enjoy a pollution-free journey. The toy train first started running on the tracks in the year 1907. The route is carved through the lush green valleys of Western Ghats. The train starts from Neral and takes two and a half-hour time to reach Matheran. The train route is the zigzag route and it makes it a slow-moving journey. However, it gives you ample time to enjoy the fresh air and gives an amazing experience of travel.
3. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, West Bengal
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is one of the oldest train routes in India and has been in operation since 1881. This train journey will offer you an unforgettable experience. The entire route is a total of 88 km and passes through 505 bridges. It is one of the few marvels of the world that still operates on a steam engine. The train runs from Darjeeling and takes you to scenic valleys and rolling hills and its final destination station is New Jalpaiguri.
4. Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu
Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the major attractions in Ooty. The toy train route starts from Mettupalayam in Coimbatore and takes you up to Ooty via Coonoor. It started in the year 1905 and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. The train runs through 16 tunnels and 250 bridges and covers a distance of 46 km. It is India’s only toy train to run on a meter gauge. Recently it is replaced by an oil-fired steam engine.
5. Kalka-Shimla Railway, Himachal Pradesh
This is probably one of the most beautiful and breathtaking scenic routes in Indian railways. A 96 km route from Kalka to Shimla takes you to 103 tunnels, 800 bridges, and 900 curves and passes through 20 railway stations before reaching Shimla. The toy train covers a distance of 96 km in around 5 hours. However, these 5 hours will be surely the most memorable in one’s life.
These are the most beautiful and scenic toy train routes in India. Have you experienced any one of those? How was it? Share your experiences in the comments below.