Mountain Railways

Mountain Railways of India | Mountain Railway Routes in India| UNESCO Mountain Railway Routes | Mountain Railways of India History | Mountain Railways of India UPSC

The Railways which pass through Mountains or Passes through lines laid in the Mountain Ranges are called Mountain Railways. India has many famous Railway Routes which pass through Mountains. There are many railway routes through the Mountains, But only Three Routes are Given the Status of Unesco World Heritage.


In India, The Railway Lines are laid by the British Government, For making the Movement of Goods Free from one point to another point without any use of Vehicle or Bullock carts, In 1853, The First Rail Route was laid between Mumbai and Thane. The Railways soon became popular and also started its commercial service by making Passengers reach the destination within a certain Time Limit.

Usually, Mountain Ranges are famous for the Production of fruits, Spices, and Vegetables. Like Manali is famous for Apple Production, Niligir’s Famous for Tea and Coffee Production. So, In order to cultivate and harvest crops and to bring load from top to bottom, During the early 20th Century British Government laid few tracks in the Mountains for Transportation and it’s still being used.

But, Later on, as the World is Free from Many Countries, The Train Route traveling became a beautiful way of transportation for sightseeing. The government of India decided to make it as a Tourism Special, So many of the Railways which are meter gauge are still being continued to Give great experience for Tourists. Mountain Railways are most popular in Sikkim, Manali, OOTY.

Mountain Railway Routes

All These Mountain Railways look like Toy Trains and are just 5 ft 6 inches Broad Guage lines. They are in blue and white color with open doors and also go with slow speed compared to passenger train Because Tourists should experience the beauty of valleys.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railways

Darjeeling Himalayan Railways operate on a 2ft Narrow Guage line, It is operated by Indian Railways. The line is 88Kms and operates between Siliguri and Darjeeling. This is a famous summer spot, Many Tourists visit here during the summer season. It was built between 1879 and 1881. Its elevation starts at 100m in Siliguri and Rises to 2700m in Darjeeling. The Station starts at New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling.

Darjeeling is a paradise on earth, and the Toy Train is the gateway to this paradise withinside the Himalayas. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, popularly called the Toy Train for its miniature size, is the primary passenger course withinside the mountainous terrains of India.

A World Heritage Site, the Toy Train changed into constructed in 1881 to reinforce the improvement of Darjeeling as a vacationer vacation spot withinside the Himalayas. The 88. 48 km gauge tune from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling passes via numerous inexperienced valleys and eleven hill stations.

Ghoom, the second-maximum railway station withinside the world, is a halt at the manner. The adventure starts with an eyeful of inexperienced valleys and ends with a landscape of the Kanchenjunga.

The eleven km lengthy part of the tune from Sukna to Rongtong includes dense forests. The manner as much as Kurseong is a sprawling hilly location with tea gardens. The 30 km of the course as much as Darjeeling is the alpine panorama dotted with Himalayan pine trees.

Kalka Shimla Railway

The Kalka Shimla Railway is between Kalka and Shimla. It is approximately 96 km and it became a Summer Capital for the British in 1864. This is also a narrow Guage railway and also served as headquarters for British Army. It was constructed in 1898 and Completed in 1903. It has 103 Tunnels and 864 Bridges.

Nonetheless, the concept of connecting Shimla with the railway community didn’t materialize till 1898. The agreement to construct Kalka Shimla Railway Line became provided to the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company via way of means of the British Empire in 1898.

It took nearly five years to assemble the railway music and education offerings started in 1903. The trains strolling at the Kalka Shimla Railway line are affectionately known as the toy educate.

On its manner from Kalka to Shimla, it traverses 102 tunnels, 869 bridges, and extra than 900 sharp curves. There are simplest diesel locomotives in this direction as steam locomotives were phased out.

This hill railway unearths point out withinside the Guinness Book of World Records for the steepest ascent at some point of its ninety-six km adventure from Kalka (200 ft) to Shimla (6,800 ft). It earned the fame of UNESCO international Site in 2008.

Niligiri Mountain Railways

The Niligiri Mountain Railways is known for the Famous Udagamandalam Railway Station. This is 46 Km long and a Metre Guage Railway Line. Connects Mettupalayam to OOTY. Many Film Shoots happen here. Tourists visit this place in Monsoon and Summer. It was constructed in 1908.

The Nilgiri Railway turned into completed in 1908, and an experience as much as Ooty from then on took the best multiple hours in preference to 10 days. In this manner, the mountainous vicinity turned into unfolded absolutely and attracted quite a few settlers.

The railway is 46km lengthy and makes use of an unprecedented rack railway machine, withinside the middle of the tracks lies every other rail, with tooths wherein the educate receives a few more grips. It turned into made with a Swiss technique and is taken into consideration to be the maximum true rack railway machine nonetheless in use.

Almost all the 12 stations underway are original. The WHS additionally consists of the rolling stock, because it turned into taken into consideration with the aid of using ICOMOS to be “irremovable” – it can’t be used everywhere else.


Almost Three Railway Lines in India were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. Darjeeling Himalayan Railways was given status in 1999. Kalka Shimla Railway was granted in 2008 and the Niligiri Mountain Railways in 2005.

Best Season to Visit

Winters and Monsoon, Between months of August to January, Best Time to Travel in Mountain Railways of India.

Train Ticket Rate

Ticket Fares are 30 For General and 205 for AC.

Click below Link for more details : Details

Covid 19 Restrictions

As of July 2021, Lock Down is Lifted in some places in India, Also Few places are restricted as per timings, All Monuments / Parks are open up till a certain time. Further updates will be posted, But International Travelers better skip this season for Travel to India.

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