8 July:In its continuous signifying remarkable success, the Indian Railways added another feather in nation’s pride after getting recognition for its fourth railway site, Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railway as ‘World Heritage site’ The Kalka-Shimla Railway has been described as is one of the most Authentic Mountain Railways in the world. by UNESCO.
The decision to add the Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge Railway to World Heritage site was taken at the meeting of UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in Quebec City, Canada, yesterday. The Kalka-Shimla Railway has been described as is one of the most Authentic Mountain Railways in the world. The Indian delegation at the meeting was led by Secretary, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, Shri Mathew John. Executive Director, Heritage, Shri Rajesh Agarwal, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, was also present at the meeting. The other three Railway sites with World Heritage status are the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway near Ooty in Tamil Nadu State and Chhatarpati Shivaji Terminal (Earlier known as Bombay Victoria Terminal) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The Kalka-Shimla Railway (KSR) line was opened to traffic on 9th November, 1903. The KSR during its six hour – journey on 96 kms narrow gauge route from Kalka to Shimla runs through 102 tunnels, many arched bridges and several picturesque stations like Dharampur, Barog and Solan etc. Traveling by rail on this line has a special charm in a variety of options such as the Deluxe Rail Motor Car, the Shivalik Deluxe Express, the Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach and the Shivalik Queen Tourist Coach. The KSR was commissioned initially with modified version of steam locomotives used in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway but soon more powerful, larger and compact locomotives were included. It was only on this railway that the earliest version of petrol driven cars resembling the Royal Char-a-banc carriages became commercially successful and also witnessed a plethora of technology changes with steam, petrol and diesel power for trains running on its hilly terrain.
Taking a journey on this line by any of these trains, offers a unique opportunity to experience the majestic Himalayas and their conquest through engineering construction skills, more than 100 years ago.