Home / News / India /  Darjeeling's toy trains to resume services from today after more than a year

Darjeeling's famous 'toy trains' will be chugging again from August 25, Wednesday, after a gap of more than one year due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Formally known as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), the toy train will run again on tracks between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal from today.

According to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), each toy train will have 17 seats in the first class and 29 seats in the general class for passengers. The resumption of the hill station railway services is expected to benefit the tourism and hospitality sectors, the NFR added.

The Darjeeling toy train was built in the British era, between 1879 and 1881. It ascends from about 100 metres above mean sea level at New Jalpaiguri to about 2,200 metres at Darjeeling. The Toy train was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was closed down on March 22 last year because of the pandemic. However, the trains are preparing to get back on track now after nearly one and a half years.

Meanwhile, the government is likely to privatise Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or Darjeeling's toy train under the National Monetisation Policy (NMP) announced by union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 23.

A total of 400 stations, 90 passenger trains, railway stadiums and colonies, and the famed Konkan and hill railways are among the assets identified by the government for monetisation.

Railway assets would contribute 26% of the 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), Sitharaman said.

This week, FM Sitharaman launched the National Monetisation pipeline (NMP), in which she listed out the government's infrastructure assets which would be sold over the next four years.

The government views asset monetisation as a strategy for the augmentation and maintenance of infrastructure, and not just a funding mechanism.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Edit Profile
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout