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States » East


Indian Railways to celebrate the two decades of Heritage Site status for Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling, Nov 8 (UNI) The Indian Railways have decided to celebrate the two decades of the declaration of iconic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) as the World Heritage site by the UNESCO.
The word body on December 5, 1999, tagged the DHR, which is popularly known as "Toy Train", the World Heritage Site for its exclusivity, the marvel of engineering of the Victorian era.
The inscription on DHR by the UNESCO read “The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the first and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway.
Opened in 1881, it applied bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty.
It is still fully operational and retains most of its original features intact.”
Fully justifying the inscription, the world-famous DHR is still running between the planes of Siliguri to Darjeeling crisscrossing the Hill Cart Road which was built in 1831 by Lieutenant Napier of Indian Army in numerous places and going up through ingeniously created “Z-reverse” and loops.
The journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling is very scenic for anyone who loves the nature.
Tourists from all over the world visit Darjeeling mainly to have an experience of riding on the DHR. It has helped to improve the economy of the people of Darjeeling area.
The construction of the 2 ft (610 mm) wide-gauge DHR was started in 1879. It reached Tindharia in March 1880 and up to Ghum in April 1881.
The first train finally reached Darjeeling on 4th July 1881. Initially, there were four complete loops and four Z – reverses. But today DHR has three loops and six Z-reverses and a ride through them is stunningly breathtaking.
Thirteen stations are starting from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. Although the old narrow gauge trains of DHR used to be hauled by steam engines only, today it is being hauled by both steam and diesel engines.
The NFR has already introduced Vistadome coaches in DHR, through which tourist can have a better scenic view of Himalayan terrain during the journey.
The NFR hopes that the plan to celebrate the 20 years of “World Heritage” declaration will become fruitful to further promote the DHR.
UNI XC-PC RN
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