Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Ghoom Museum, Darjeeling

3.9
#2 of 7 in Museums in Darjeeling
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
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The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the DHR or "Toy Train", is a narrow-gauge railway that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal, India. Built between 1879 and 1881, the railway is about 88km long. Its elevation level varies from about 100m at New Jalpaiguri to about 2200m at Darjeeling. Four modern diesel locomotives handle most of the scheduled services; however, the daily Kurseong–Darjeeling return service and the daily tourist trains from Darjeeling to Ghum (India's highest railway station) are handled by the vintage British-built B Class steam locomotives. The headquarters of the railway is located in Kurseong.
On 2 December 1999, UNESCO declared DHR as a World Heritage site, later two more railway lines were added and the site then became to be known as Mountain railways of India.
1879-1900Siliguri, located at the base of the Himalayas, was connected with Calcutta (now Kolkata) by broad gauge railway in 1878. Between Siliguri and Darjeeling Tonga, services ran on a cart road (the present day Hill Cart Road). Franklin Prestage, an agent of Eastern Bengal Railway Company approached the government with a proposal of laying a steam tramway from Siliguri to Darjeeling. Sir Ashley Eden, the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, formed a committee to assess the feasibility of the project. The proposal was accepted in 1879 following the positive report of the committee. Construction began the same year.
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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Ghoom Museum reviews

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  • We loved the ride when we left Darjeeling. We had left Ghoom and the train broke down. We had to take a cab back as it was going to take an hour to get an engineer out to even look at train 
    We loved the ride when we left Darjeeling. We had left Ghoom and the train broke down. We had to take a cab back as it was going to take an hour to get an engineer out to even look at train  more »
  • The joy ride train stops in Ghoom for 20min - time for us to go around the small little museum. Very interesting facts and pictures about the DHR. 
    The joy ride train stops in Ghoom for 20min - time for us to go around the small little museum. Very interesting facts and pictures about the DHR.  more »
Google
  • Ghoom is the indian railway station in highest altitude. The museum here exhibit some of interesting facts about Himalayan Darjeeling railway
  • Travelled on the Heritage train - 2 hr session - steam version thankfully and not the polluting diesel - darj itself is decaying due to overpopulation and haphazard construction, why add to the chaos with diesel we thought. Part of the journey included 15-20 mins stops each at Batasia Loop and Ghoom museum. This was on Dec 25, '18. Firstly, let me compliment the people managing the show - it's not easy to run this ancient centurion with its pristine charm intact efficiently and seamlessly day after day. I got on not knowing what to expect ( many reviewers had trashed it so...). It was chilly , maybe 6 degrees ( 4 at Ghoom !) but the experience left me feeling warm and special. Mist started enveloping the surroundings and off we went into the yonder - around 4.30 pm ,so there was still light to be had. I decided to ignore the cheek to jowl dwellings and shops the train almost grazed as it wound it's way up. The winding track, the periodic whistling of the train, vehicles on the roads alongside forced to stop or slow down in deference to the train as ' old as the hills' , the smoke plume rising from its chimney, the view through the glassed partitions ahead cast a spell. This is a long forgotten way of travelling - quite civilised and sanitised as the train is well maintained ( remember it's a 150 year old engine ) . Gradually , as the evening progressed, the mist and darkness were total and the effect mesmerising ( also naturally helped shut out the dilapidated parts of Darjeeling I was trying to block out ) - tearing through nay chugging through the night all bundled up warm and cosy with your loved one in this lovely time capsule. I never wanted the journey to end ! Just one crib - can they avoid the overload of Bollywood songs on the journey back ? The journey itself is laden with mystery and charm - we don't need the intrusion of forced jollity as provided by the music - methinks it's a nod to Gen X and Y - the idea being to entertain nonstop. May not be required - for once let the experience take over without the cacaphony of everyday humdrum life. Getting down at Ghoom is like being somewhere in Siberia - the chill and grey of the evening and the museum transport you to a different era and geography for us folk from the sunny plains. The train waits with plumes of smoke rising from its chimney while you peruse the museum. Batasia loop is essentially a view point with binocs on hire to see peaks and to stretch your legs a bit. All in all, Darj heritage train worth the unique experience for its legacy value.

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