Train journeys are the most memorable journey in everyone’s life. Each of these journey has untold stories of its own. Since the time of British rule railway networks spread throughout India and it is considered most efficient and largest railway networks in the world. You can always take any other commute to travel but the flavours of train journeys are different. You can explore India thoroughly only if you commute by train because it connects India in each and every way possible.
UNESCO has declared world heritage sites which includes many mountain railways of India. Those are the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway. UNESCO has also declared ChtrapatiShivajiTerminus (previously known as Victoria Terminus) as part of India Railway as world heritage site. The Darjeeling Himalayan is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in West Bengal covering 5.34 ha area. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu consisting 4.59 ha area. The Kalka Shimla Railway located in the Himalayan foothills of HimachachalPardesh covering an area of 79.06 ha.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway started functioning from 1881. It was the first hill passenger a railway in India. It connects New Jalpaiguri with Darjeeling passing through Ghoom. The engineering behind it is dynamic and unique as it has to address the problem of establishing an effective rail link in the beautiful mountainous terrain of Darjeeling. It helped in the development of the queen of hill station and one of the main tea growing areas in India. It involves ingenious design of six zigzag reverses and three loops. It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999.
The construction of Nilgiri Mountain Railway was completed in 1908. It is a single track 46 long metre gauge railway. There has an elevation of 326 m to 2203 m. UNESCO added Nilgiri Mountain Railway as World Heritage Site in July 2005 and named as Mountain Railways of India. From Kallar to Coonoor there are 208 curves and 13 tunnels and 27 viaducts.
The Kalka Shimla Railway built in mid nineteenth century covering a long area of 96.6 km. It was built to help the population of Shimla to get easy commute to connect to other parts of the hill. It connects Kalka in the foothills to Shimla. At first there were 107 tunnels built in Kalka Shimla Railway but only 102 is used. The longest tunnel situated at Barong. UNESCO declared it as World Heritage Site ‘Mountain Railways in India’ in 2008.
ChatrapatiShivaji Railway station in Mumbai has a history of its own and serves as the headquarters of Central Railways. It was built to commemorate the Golden Jubliee of Queen Victoria in Bori Bandar area of Mumbai. In the subcontinent Victoria terminus is the first terminus station in the subcontinent. It reveals the great 19th century architectural design sense of British Commonwealth, it is a mixture of Victorian Gothic Revival and traditional Indian features.
These railways have an outstanding and innovative transportation systems also as well food in train are fabulous. Everyone should try once to get on these trains to have a lifetime experience.