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Kalka-Shimla
Kalka Shimla Railway 107 tunnels, arched bridges and picturesque stations en routes are the features of the 96-km journey linking the one-time summer capital of India to the plains of Punjab. The Kalka-Shimla Railway built to connect, the summer capital of India in 1903 at an altitude of 2076 meters offers a panoramic feast to experience the grandeur of the picturesque Himalayas from the Shivalik foot hills at Kalka to several important points such as Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Taradevi, Barog, Salogra, Summer hill, Shimla and beyond up to the silvery snow line near the towering peaks.

The 96.54 kilometer line, built on a 2 feet six inches gauge, was opened for traffic November 9, 1903.Because of the high capital and maintenance cost, coupled with peculiar working conditions, the Kalka - Shimla Railway was allowed to charge fares that were higher than the prevailing tariffs on other lines. However, even this was not good enough to sustain the company and the Government had to purchase it on January 1, 1906.

Spectacular scenery along the whole route, and the marvels of it's construction, keeps the traveler on this line spell bound. On leaving Kalka, 656 meters above sea level, the railway enters the foothills and immediately commences it's climb.

Kalka-Shimla-Railway runs through 102 tunnels, some of which have hoary tales to tell. For instance, the longest tunnel at Barog, named after the engineer in charge of construction, bears the blood of it's creator who apparently committed suicide after making a mistake in laying the alignment. This tunnel is 1143.61 meters long and remained the second longest tunnel on Indian Railways for a long time. It is a straight tunnel, passing through fissured sand stone.

Another tunnel at Taradevi, cutting through a hill on the peak of which is a famous temple, tells of the local superstition of the day that the Goddess would never permit it's construction. When construction was half through, great excitement arose from reported sightings of a huge serpent in the tunnel that had emerged to stop the work. Anti climatically the reptile turned out be a long iron pipe running along the tunnel to convey fresh air.

The section has 864 bridges, only one of which is a 60 feet plate girder span and a steel truss. The others are viaducts with multi-arched galleries like the ancient Roman aqueducts. Bridge No. 493, historically known as the "Arch Gallery", situated between Kandaghat and Kanoh stations, is an arch bridge in three stages, constructed with stone masonry that stands good even today. Bridge No. 226, between Sonwara and Dharampur is an arch gallery bridge having 5 tier galleries of multiple spans, constructed with stone masonry and bridging a deep valley surrounded by high peaks. The railway has a ruling gradient of 1 in 25 with 919 curves, the sharpest being 48 degrees. Climbing from 656 meters, the line ends at 2076 meters at Shimla.

Road links for other scenic spots in these hills also take off from the Kalka - Shimla Railway. First, there is Kasauli, a British day cantonment town, small, quiet but picturesque. Home to a Louis Pasteur Institute that manufactures the anti-rabies vaccine and a Central Research Institute that makes vaccines against typhoid and cholera and antidotes against snake bite, Kasauli can be approached by road from Dharampur Station.

Sutlej Valley Another famous hill station in the area is Chail. Piqued by British snobbery, the Maharajah of Patiala built his summer capital here as a rival to Shimla. Accessible from Kandhaghat or Shimla, Chail is at a height of 2150 meters. The Maharaja's Palace, built in the 19th Century, together with the Cottages of his staff are today a beautiful holiday resort. Chail boasts of the highest cricket ground of the world, overlooking the Sutlej Valley, with a spectacular view of snow capped Himalayan ranges.

Kalka to Shimla
Train No. Train Name Departure Arrival
1 KS Passenger Kalka Shimla Passenger 4.00 am 9.20 am
241 NG Superfast Shivalik Deluxe Express 5.30 am 10.15am
251 Mail Kalka Shimla Mail 6.00 am 11.00 am
255 Express Himalayan Queen Express 12.10 pm 5.20 pm
253 Holiday Holiday Special 6.30 am 11.55 am
101 Rail Motor car Rail Motor Car 11.35 am 3.40 pm
257 Holiday Holiday Special 12.45 pm 6.30 pm


Shimla to Kalka
Train No. Train Name Departure Arrival
256 Express Himalayan Queen 10.35am 4.05 am
2KS Passenger Shimla Kalka Passenger 2.25 pm 8.15 pm
242 NG Superfast Shivalik Deluxe Express 5.30 pm 10.15 pm
252 Mail Shimla Kalka Express 06.05 PM 11.05 pm
258 Holiday Holiday Special 09.25 AM 03.20 PM
102 Rail Motor Car Rail Motor car 11.30 AM 04.25 PM
254 Holiday Holiday Special 03.50 PM 09.05 PM
Note:Train No. 253/254, 257/258 and 101/102 are Holiday Specials and run during the period from 1st May to 15th July, 15th September to 30th October and 15th December to 15th January

The Shivalik Deluxe Express The Shivalik Deluxe Express runs two every day, stopping only at Barog for providing catering services to passengers. The train has bay glass windows and wall-to-wall carpeting. Seating: 120 seats. Deluxe Rail Motor Car, with a transparent roof, TV/VCP, music and an altimeter. It operates twice a day.
Seating: 14-18 persons

Shivalik Palace can be attached to any train for an exclusive experience. With a dining table, folding cushioned beds, a refrigerator, modern bathrooms, catering by a special attendant on board and a well-equipped kitchen etc. As part of the package is offered a complement of two luxurious retiring rooms with geysers, a TV and telephone at Shimla.
Seating: 6 persons

The Shivalik Queen between Kalka-Shimla has been launched for honeymooners. Each couple offers exclusive privacy and big windows for panoramic view of the hills. There is an alarm bell for communication with driver while a microphone helps to be in touch with the guard.

The Deluxe Rail Motor Car runs between Shimla & Kalka and can seat 14 persons. It has a transparent roof, TV/VCP, music and an altimeter and runs twice a day.