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admin 28.09.2014

Riding the Toy Train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) has always remained a coveted experience to the tourists. Where else can you find a small steam engine pulling mini coaches up the steep mountains through breathtaking landscapes and overcoming almost impossible curves and gradients using sheer engineering ingenuity and creative skills. Although the diesel engines used these days are faster and more powerful, the original steam engines still operate in some sections of DHR and also for joyrides.
Won't you like to experience a ride on such heritage transport that once provided the first and the most important mountain transportation link in the country? TIP: Note that during high season, there is a lot of rush for this ride and you should try to book well in advance. 2) No concession in Darjeeling Toy Train Joy Rides to Children of age 5 or above, neither to senior citizens.
3) The first train in the morning at 8am is the diesel engine hauled train while the rest are steam engine trains.
This round trip toy train safari (3 hours) operates between Siliguri Junction and Rangtong Station. The Jungle Safari takes you through the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary located around Sukna and Rangtong station, and offers breathtaking view of the valley from Tindharia. There are daily diesel engine hauled toy train services that provide regular transport connections within Darjeeling district. Update December 2015: After a long gap of more than five years, Toy Train service has resumed between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Darjeeling on 2nd December 2015. 3) A steam engine hauled toy train known as Red Panda has been introduced on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday between Darjeeling and Kurseong. NOTE: First Class toy train coaches have individual reclining seats like standard chair cars.
How about chartering a DHR Toy Train with the steam engine hooting it's way through the mountains and lovely landscape as you enjoy the ride with your family and friends in complete exclusivity!! Hi Raj, If I take the Darjeeling Mail 12343 from Kolkata to NJP which arrives at New Jalpaiguri by 8:00 am, is it practically possible to catch the Darjeeling Toy Train #52541 that leaves NJP to Darjeeling by 8:30am ?
Usually a luggage van is attached to the toy train between NJP and Darjeeling, so luggage won't be an issue.
During Jungle Safari, get off at Sukna on your return instead of going all the way back to Siliguri Junction.
Good day, while booking toy train tickets across the counter, a valid photo Id (photocopy of passport for foreigners) is required.
Hi, I personally prefer the station Siliguri Junction to board the toy train for Darjeeling. Hi, NJP-Darjeeling toy train re-started in June but had to be suspended again due to further damages to the track in monsoon. Hi, you can not go beyond Gayabari towards Kurseong by road as the road is damaged since 2010. Hi Raj, I was to travel by the 52547 Joyride at 4:05pm on 12th May, but the steep increase in fare has made me change my mind. Hi, while all your questions should be directed to Indian Railway Inquiry, I'll try to answer some of them. Hi Raj, Me and my wife are coming Darjeeling on 9th of Nov'14, and will stay there till 14th Nov'14. Hi, Darjeeling Kurseong toy train is a regular commuters' train and diesel engine hauled, while the joy ride is original steam engine hauled train mainly targeted for tourists who want to experience the old heritage and ride. A great viewing area is Batasia Loop where you get sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range and Darjeeling town.
Just before Tung you can see the lovely landscape of Margaret Hope Tea Estate and after Tung the Singell tea estate. Hi, First class coaches in toy trains have lesser seats (about 15) compared to Second class coaches (about 30 seats), and for obvious reasons they are more comfortable. Hi Mr Raj, I'll be travelling in the toy train when returning from Darjeeling upto Kurseong.
Hi, Darjeeling Kurseong toy train is a commuters train and you should not carry big luggage. Hi Ranjan, There is no food in DHR (other than the Safari ride which takes place from NJP). Hi, There is no general class in the toy train that runs from Darjeeling for Ghum joy ride.
1) Come up to Kurseong by road (not the Hill Cart Road that runs side by side the toy train track.
Hello Raj, we (2 Persons) are travelling with an Indrail pass trough India and we want to visit Darjeeling at Christmas 2012.
Hi Raj, Do you think there will be any problem getting a steam train journey from Kuresong to Darjeeling if we go to the station at Kurseong on the day of travel? A section of the toy train track between NJP and Kurseong was damaged in 2010 due to landslide.
The Darjeeling Toy Train India offers numerous rides from Siliguri to Darjeeling as per the interests of the travelers. Darjeeling Himalayan Train the UNESCO World Heritage Site proposed in the year 1878 by Franklin Prestage of the then Eastern Bengal Railway was completed in the year 1881 as hill tramway or far famed as Darjeeling Toy Train.
The two feet narrow gauge Darjeeling Toy Train route connects the plains of West Bengal at New Jalpaiguri with the hill station of Darjeeling.
The Joy Ride operates between Darjeeling-Ghum-Darjeeling, The Round trip takes about 2 Hours. The Sukna Special is between Siliguri-Sukna-Siliguri and the Round Trip takes about 2 hours.
The Jungle Safari is between Siliguri-Tindharia-Siliguri every weekend and the Round Trip is about 5 and half hours. Sukna Escapades:- The train after travelling 6 miles stops at Sukna station to take water.
Rangtang Station & Chunbhati Escapade: - Rangtang Station at a height of 1404 feet is surrounded by wooded mountains, tea gardens, tea factories, & forests. Tindharia & Giddapahar Escapade: - Travelers can get amazing view of mountains, forests, jagged rock faced mountains up ahead called Giddapahar. Kurseong Escapade: - Kurseong the mini Darjeeling trip is all about hill town, hill natives, Kurseong Bazar, en-route travelers can also spot Tibetan Prayer flags over Hussel Khola (Whistle Stream). Tung Escapade: - Tung gives a magnificent view of the Kurseong Ridge also the travelers must have noticed 100 road crossings and running parallel to car as well as vehicles.
Sonada Escapade: - As the train arrives Sonada the effervescent scenery & bazaar ambiance of Sonada is all about fun and frolic. Jorebunglow Escapade: - Leaving Sonada the train arrives at a small town named Jorebunglow.
Darjeeling via Ghoom Arrival: - The train leaves from Ghoom towards Darjeeling the final destination. Restaurants: - "Peshwa I" & "Peshwa II" the two illustrious restaurants are skillfully decorated with royal textures, regal fixtures, majestic theme, & serves delicious Indian cuisines. Conference Car: - The conference car is excellent from business point of view & provides excellent chance to business travelers to arrange business meets on board the royal motorcade amid all hi-tech amenities. Recreational Facilities: - The train also provides recreation facilities like Body Massage, facials, gymnasium and Steam bath to relax, rejuvenate with pampering of soul, mind, & body. Business Center: - The business center provides all modern facilities for business conduct on board equipped with computers, secretarial services, photocopying, telecommunication, internet, etc.
Miscellaneous Services: - The train is also decked with numerous miscellaneous services including library, music system, DVD player, special suite for physically challenged, television, telephone, assistance for luggage, complimentary bottle of wine in every cabin, arrival kit, medical aid, mail box, separated cab for smoking, toiletries, newspapers, magazines, & packaged water.
The departure schedule with appropriate operation dates, months, day of departure, with time is an essential fact that travelers need to know before embarking on Deccan Odyssey train tour. Any cost arising due to natural calamities like, landslides, road blockage, political disturbances (strikes), etc (to be borne by the client, which is directly payable on the spot). Any increase in taxes or fuel price, leading to increase in cost on surface transportation & land arrangements, which may come into effect prior to departure.
If the desired hotel is not available due to any reason whatsoever, we reserve the right to shift our customer to similar hotel. Explore Travels “ ExploreYourTrip.in ” will not be responsible for any loss or damage to person (life body) or Any kind of issue faced during tour, its compulsory to intimate us during that time of tour only, so that it can be rectified. The above package is not valid during national holidays, festivals, long weekends and New Year.
Due to any inclement weather condition at any place, we are not liable for any kind of refund.
Located adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo is a unique Zoo.

It's a 2-hour round trip from Darjeeling up to Ghum and back covering a total distance of 14kms.
Don't plan to buy the joyride tickets after you reach Darjeeling because you may not get them. The fares of Steam Engine puled trains are higher because they represent the original heritage trains and their maintenance cost is also higher.
You can book the joyride either online though the Indian Railway's website or at any computerized reservation counters. One of the most popular ones for tourists is the service between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station to Darjeeling which passes through picturesque mountain landscapes and villages. While booking online, first log into your account (if you don't have one, then sign up, it's free). Also do we get enough luggage space in the Toy Train for a comfortable journey that lasts 7.5 hours.
While registering for a user account, it will however ask for an Indian mobile phone number where confirmation and other SMSs would be sent. The information you provide is not only helpful in regard to my initial question but also explains why I have been unable to set up an irctc account (I have been providing a USA, rather than an Indian, cell phone number), which led to my seeking assistance from a tour operator. I want to know whether I need to carry food while travelling in the Toy Train from NJP to Darjeeling?
If everybody starts thinking the same way, I imagine DHR would seriously start thinking of reverting their joyride fare.
Raj, During the last week I have read your website with great interest and resultant appreciation.
Although there is a commuter train between Kurseong and Darjeeling which makes two round trips in a day, the best option for tourists is to take a 2-hour round trip joyride from Darjeeling.
Thanks for replying to my first query about hotel booking for our group of 20 senior citizens in Darjeeling and Gangtok.
The joy ride also includes entry fee to Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum at Ghum where the train stops for sometime.
Joyride covers only from Darjeeling to Ghum, whether other two trains (DJ KGN NG TRAIN) goes (one way though) going upto KURSEONG.
You pass by forests of maple and chestnuts and then see the lovely views of Kurseong hills. Please let us know the difference between cabin and coupe in the toy train from Kurseong to Darjeeling? A part of the track is lying damaged just before Kurseong and there is no service up to this point. We are very much excited for the ride ( 7 member age 20 - 43yrs including 2 two-year old children). While we have booked tickets for the joy ride to Ghum we are unable to find any information on the railtourism or the irctc sites for the Safari rides or the timings. A section of the track just before Kurseong is still lying damaged since June 2010 due to landslides. Wanted to know if we could take our luggage along as we are planning for a stay in maikabari tea estate, and then take our train back from Silliguri. If the train has a luggage van (which is usually a part of the second class coach), then carrying luggage won't be a problem. Is it necessary to reserve the train rides for the 24th from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling and for the 25th the train rides to Ghoom and Kurseong in advance? A section of the track between NJP to Kurseong is damaged and has remained this way for the last couple of years. Also do you just turn up on the day to take the joy ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back or should we try to book in advance? The plains are much more warmer than the hills and as the train climbs up the mountains the climate gets much colder. During the monsoon this small stream swells up and is big enough to wash away the road and railway line. As the train passes along the road, one may notice by now that through the journey from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling there are over 100 road crossings and most of the time the train runs along parallel with the cars and other vehicles.
The road here is very narrow and often there are traffic jams since all the traffic in and out of Darjeeling pass this point. The Darjeeling Toy Train Schedule & special services are also restricted to peak seasons only. It exhibits the implausible natural beauty with rippling mad torrents & River Mahanadi), emerald forest backdrop, serene wildness, & heritage of colonial age while it chugs along to arrive at height of 7400 feet at Ghum (the highest station in India and the second highest in the world). After a short stopover the train leaves for further bon – voyage crossing the Mahanadi Bridge over Mahanadi River further the toy train entering at the foothills of Himalaya. The real ascent begins from Sukna where the climate starts to change with cold breeze, fragrance of flower valleys, & sharp Mongolic featured natives can be witness by the travelers. Giddapahar also know as Eagle’s Craig is zig – zag reverses that the train crosses through leaving for Gayabari Station.
One also gets the glimpse of Tibetan Chorten with the train navigating through Senchel Reserve forest with oaks, chestnuts, walnuts, magnolias, rhododendrons, etc.
The Darjeeling toy train adventure gives its final thrill with attractions of Batasia Loop the memorial of Gorkha soldiers, snowy backdrop of Kanchenjunga arriving finally at Darjeeling the hill station of romance, charm, & beauty. The Journey is conducted by Indian Railways, Government of India, & Maharashtra Tourism Corporation Department. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few hill railways which are still operational in the country.
Located at a height of 7,407 feet above sea level, the hilly trails through the mountains lead to the hill top. If you have the courage, the stamina and you want to try something different, you must check out the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) at Darjeeling.
Located at the heart of the hilly town, this is the main shopping area and a main centre of commercial activities. You will pass by villages and local shops on the way with children on the street waving at you as you take this relaxed and charming journey through the hills.
There are four such round trips in a day, two in the morning half and two in the afternoon.
Here the toy train stops for 30 minutes for a visit to Darjeeling Himalayan Railway museum. Just in case you don't get the joyride tickets, an alternative plan is to buy a ticket on the regular morning toy train operating between Darjeeling and Kurseong, which too goes via Batasia and Ghum. The track often runs side by side the main motor road (The National Highway 55 which is popularly known as Hill Cart Road) and even crisscrosses the road several times.
There was no toy train service from NJP all the way up to Darjeeling since June 2010 (although an attempt was made in June 2015 which too failed). I know it would be dependent on lots of variable factors like weather, etc but assuming ideal conditions, what would be the best time to take the 2 hr joy ride? I would like to know that "Toy Train Joyride - Darjeeling to Ghum & Back " is a worthy trip? If your response is encouraging I prefer to take this option rather than a taxi from NJP to Darjeeling. I have read almost every word of your website in preparation for a trip to West Bengal and, specifically, Darjeeling district; and I have found it to be incredibly helpful.
Some government hotels may ask for photo id number (like driving license number) at the time of booking, but not the private hotels. New Jalpaiguri is a very big junction and perhaps it's not so easy to find the right train, but the train starts in the morning and we have a lot of time. You can avoid wasting time if you board from Siliguri (note the station is Siliguri Junction and not Siliguri Town, they are 3kms apart). We have some tickets confirmed in first class in the morning train from Kurseong to Darj, and some unconfirmed. So which will be better, Joyride (covering up to Ghum) or the later one which covers up to KURSEONG?
They should have defined the Class type of first class coach as CC (Chair Car) instead of First Class which could have avoided the confusion. You will often find a person standing in front of the engine sprinkling sand on the tracks. I wonder could you assist with some up to date information about the toy train, do you know if it is running at the moment or if it only runs between certain places. If we do, can you give me the name and e-mail details of a Darjeeling based travel agent who may be able to help. The landscape can only be described as spectacular and the views of the Himalayan peaks breathtaking.

The traveller can now notice the change of local people who have sharp mongoloid features and are mostly Nepali. Leaving Tindharia one can see the jagged rock-faced mountains up ahead called Giddapahar (Eagle's Craig) which the train later has to pass through. As the train passes through Sonada bazar, one can get a glimpse of Tibetan chorten (stupa) on the way. This must be the only place where the train may have to stop for a while in case of a traffic jam or have to back up a bit to ease the traffic. From the Batasia Loop you can get a spectacular view of Darjeeling town with the Kanchenjunga and other snowy mountains in the back-drop.
Hence due to multiple trips it’s essential to determine the journey and time the traveler wants to embark on for the joy ride.
Explore the Spectacular & Marvelous Himalayan Expedition amidst fun, frolic, & mirth with Darjeeling Himalayan Toy Train. The spectacular Blue Mountain Ranges are clearly visible as the train chugs from the plains towards the hills amid emerald tea gardens, with both side adorned with forest of teak & sal. The star attraction is however the Tiger hill with a unique view of Himalayas, Sunrise, & bird watching. The train departs for Ghoom 7407 feet, the highest point of the Darjeeling Himalayan Train. Afternoon proceed for a half day city tour visiting Flower show, Cottage Industry and Handicraft Centre, Institute of Tibetology, Dro-dul Chorten, Ranka Monastery & Banjakhri Falls (maximum 3-4 hours).
After all this Toy Train has been accorded the UNESCO World Heritage status, and that's for something special. A section of the track was badly damaged before Kurseong at Pagla Jhora due to landslides in June 2010. In 'From Station' use station code DJ (for Darjeeling), and in 'To Station' use GHUM for Ghum, KGN for Kurseong, NJP for New Jalpaiguri etc depending on your destination, then mention your journey date and choose 'E-ticket' option.
Tour operators can also do your online train booking through their own irctc registered account. The downside of taking this option will be that there will be no 10 minute halt at Batasia loop and the engine will be diesel rather than steam.
The first one (at 8am) is a diesel engine hauled toy train while the others are steam engine pulled. So considering time involved, 2-hour round trip joy ride from Darjeeling satisfies most, but is it the same as a journey all the way to Kurseong? Just want to ask that if the journey in 2nd class would be comfortable or not in the sense will we be getting the seats or the local commuters would grab them first. I came to know from one of my friends, DHR provides food during the ride and it is included in fare.
While funding has been the main issue, the terrain of the damaged track also makes it difficult to repair.
If there is no luggage van (which is quite likely for Darjeeling to Kurseong section), then don't plan to carry heavy luggage.
Yes, you should reserve all joy rides in advance as there would be lots of tourists during that time. Darjeeling to Ghoom joy ride is a far more popular trip with the tourists, and you can buy the tickets at Darjeeling station. However, if you want to take a joy ride, take the 2-hour toy train round trip ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back (operates twice daily).
Leaving New Jalpaiguri station the train passes through the outskirts of Siliguri town and reaches Siliguri station. From here the blue mountain ranges of the foothills are visible and the train quickly rises from the plain passing through tea gardens and forest of teak and sal. Just near this town is the source of the Mahanadi river which the train had earlier crossed shortly after leaving Siliguri. The sight of Tibetan prayer flags as the train passes over Hussel (whistle) khola (stream) makes the traveller feel that he is now truly in the mountains.
Now the train passes through Senchel Reserve forest with oaks, chestnuts, walnuts, magnolias, rhododendrons, etc.
From now onwards uptill Darjeeling, the snowy peaks are in full view for the travellers' eyes. After taking the jungle safari from Siliguri, will it be possible to cover Mirik site seeing and then go to Darjeeling.
We are being asked to provide scanned and e-mailed copies of our passports to a tour operator (Nature Beyond) we have engaged in order to secure room reservations at Jaldapara Tourist Lodge and toy train tickets from Kurseong to Darjeeling (among other services). Not sure why they are not doing it for your toy train booking in this case and instead proposing to do it manually across the counter and asking for passport copy. Is is possible to get down at Tindharia or Gayabari, if it's possible please suggest which is the best place to get down, since I plan to reach Kurseong from there, but I am not sure whether I can reach Kurseong from Tindharia or Gayabari through any means like Jeep or bus. However, the saving will be substantial without much decrease in comfort and enjoyment, as I assume that the First Class coaches in the regular train will be the same as that in the Joyride. I mean, will I miss something worth seeing partly if I choose Joyride instead of the later? The landslide has almost completely washed away the landmass and the track here virtually hangs in a deep gorge. After a short halt the train leaves Siliguri station and crosses the Mahanadi bridge over the Mahanadi river which flows from the Himalayan foothills. Before the railway line was built, there was a bungalow here where the travellers travelling in palki (palanquin) used to rest for the day.
The train passes through small forests of maple, chestnut, pear, cherry, criptomeria (introduced from Japan), etc. During spring one can see the bright blooms of rhododendrons, cream magnolias and orchids in this moss-laden forest. Zoological Park (Thursday closed), Tenzing Rock, Tibetan Refugee self-help Centre (Sunday closed), Tea Garden (outer view), Ropeway and Japanese Temple. Please forgive us, but his is our first trip to India, and we are wondering if this is usual practice as we are somewhat concerned given we have never been asked to provide this information to tour operators in other countries. I have read in the blog that you prefer morning ride but will this slot be worthwhile considering the fact that the sun would go down in sometime. The First Class coaches have individual push back seats like in Shatabdi and lot more space.
Note that due to security reasons, all your bags in the cloak room must be individually locked. The train is now fairly among the mountains and a panoramic view of the deep valley and higher range of mountains is visible. On top of this hill is a famous tourist spot Tiger Hill with a unique view of the Himalayas and also of the sunrise. Could you please let me know is this possible and if so will I be missing any scenery or important things that I shouldn't be when the train goes back to siliguri.
I guess looking at a steam engine moving and taking its picture is arguably a better experience than riding it. Can we expect some visibility or should we consider it bad luck and let go off the ride and do something else. From Kurseong station how much time it takes to reach NJP station and what would be the price like so that I get an estimate and not get cheated there. The station authority will not accept any luggage which is unlocked even if it is a backpack. For soft bags or backpacks, wrap it around with a chain that should pass through the flaps and then lock it. Between NJP and Darjeeling, the train stops at Siliguri Town, Siliguri Junction, Sukna, Rangtong, Tindharia, Gayabari, Mahanadi, Kurseong, Tung, Sonada, Ghum. Only a railway authority can answer that question, but I doubt even if they would respond to such query. Having said that, your time of visit is in the beginning of next financial year and that's the time when railway budgets are revised. So on your way back, do not come just 10 minutes before the train departs and expect to get your bags back in time. However having steeply revised it for Darjeeling toy train this year, it's unlikely that there will be any significant changes next year.

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