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Top 10 train jouneys
Kalka-ShimlaTop 10 train jouneys

The majestic toy train journey from Kalka to Shimla is a real treat to people who are passionate about rail journeys. The railway track was first introduced at the age of British government in the year 1903 and was named as little meter-gauge railway. The total distance covered between Kalka to Shimla is 96 km and the train passes through 102 tunnels and 87 bridges. The route offers beauty at its best; the five hour journey is one of the most beautiful rail route journeys to enjoy. The toy train passes through hills, valleys and lush forest of oak, rhododendron, Deodar and Pine trees. Throughout the journey, the most exciting thing to observe is that the train moves in upward direction till it stops at Shimla. Moreover, this 96 km Kalka Shimla toy train route was declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO in the year 2008. Four premium services for travellers on the Kalka-Shimla section are available - The deluxe Rail Motor Car, The Shivalik Deluxe Express, The Shivalik Palace (Tourist Coach) and The Shivalik Queen Tourist Coach.

Distance: Around 96 km

Route: Kalka-Dharampur-Solan-Shimla

Frequency: Daily many

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NewJalpaiguri-Darjeeling Top 10 train jouneys

The toy train on the Darjeeling Himalayan section is not merely a source of delight for the young and old, it also represents the engineering skills of the highest order. The railway, along with the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway, is listed as a Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site. The railway line is laid more or less on the same alignment as the Hill Cart road, which criss-crosses the line at several locations. The headquarters of the railway is in the town of Kurseong. The Operation of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways between Siliguri and Kurseong has been temporarily suspended following a Landslide at Tindharia. Currently on this section there is a Kurseong – Darjeeling service which is a daily three-carriage diesel-hauled service (52540/52544) operates, leaving Darjeeling at 10.15, arriving Kurseong at 1310. The return service (52541/52545) leaves Kurseong at 15.00, arriving Darjeeling at 17.50. Occasionally the service is steam-hauled if the (only) diesel is undergoing maintenance. Then there are Joy Trains- these steam-hauled tourist services run daily on a return trip from Darjeeling to Ghum (India’s second highest station at 2257m). Trains leave Darjeeling at: 10.40.Train 52548 (14D), 13.20.Train 52549 (16D) and 16.00.Train 52547 (18D) Each train has two first class carriages. The train stops at the impressive viewpoint of Batasia Loop for 10 minutes and for 30 minutes at Ghum where there is a railway museum. There is also a ‘Jungle Safari’- this daily diesel-hauled service is the only regular service on the lower section of the line. The train leaves Siliguri Junction at 10.00 arriving Rangtong at 11.15. The return service leaves Rangtong at 14.30, arriving Siliguri Junction at 15.45.

Distance: Around 88 kms

Route: New Jalpaiguri-Siliguri-Kurseong-Ghum-Darjeeling

Frequency: Daily many trains

Train to beautiful Kangra ValleyTop 10 train jouneys

The Kangra Valley Railway belongs to the sub-Himalayan region in Himachal Pradesh. Starting from Pathankot in Punjab, it covers 164 kms to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, meandering through numerous passes, rivers and valleys. Even though it’s a laid back option of traveling across the Kangra valley, yet the views it offers compensates the speed. The sight of the snow capped Dhauladhar hills at a distance after Palampur rewards the tired soul exuberantly. The journey from Pathankot to Jogindernagar takes almost a whopping 10 hours. Earlier the unreserved Kangra Valley Passenger was the only train on this route. Keeping the travelling comfort of its passengers in mind, a new luxury narrow gauge train 'Kangra Queen' has been introduced on this section. This train covers the distance in approximately 4 hours 25 minutes with two stoppages enroute at Jwalamukhi Road and kangra. It consists of 4 coaches; one first class, two chair cars and one second class coach, with a total seating capacity of 92 passengers. The first class/chair cars are furnished with comfortable sofa sets/chairs and have wide glass windows. Facilities such as newspapers, mineral water, tea, snacks, food etc. are being provided on board, on the pattern of Shatabdi trains. Public address system has also been provided in all the coaches for playing music and giving information about historical places in the valley. The fares are all-inclusive and most competitive.
Distance: Around 164 kms
Route: Pathankot-Jwalamukhi road-Kangra-Jogindernagar
Frequency: Twice daily

Mettupalaiyam (Coimbatore)-OotyTop 10 train jouneys

When the blue and cream colored coaches chug up the blue mountains, even the crudest of all hearts will skip a beat. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, running for over a 110 years is another train journey, you simply cannot miss. It was in 1854, that the first plans were made to build a mountain Railway from Mettupalaiyam to the Nilgiri Hills. But it took the decision-makers 45 years to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and complete the construction and installation of the line. The steam engine covers the 46 km to Ooty in four and a half hours, twisting and turning through the rocky terrain, before slowly meandering into the sprawling tea estates. The familiar chuffing sound of the steam locomotive casts an old world charm and reminds of the legacies of the British Raj. If taking the Ooty toy train, take care to book as early as possible, it tends to get booked up months in advance, especially the prized First Class seats (users say that seat #8 is the best)

Distance: 46 kms

Route: Mettupalaiyam-Coonoor- Udagamandalam (Ooty)

Frequency: Four trains daily

Neral-MatheranTop 10 train jouneys

Matheran, nestled in the Western Ghats, is one of the favorite weekend destinations for busy Mumbaikars. It still holds its charm, thanks to no vehicles being allowed in the town. One has to take a pony ride or walk on the dusty and muddy roads to go around Matheran. The Matheran Hill Railway is the only heritage railway in Maharashtra. This narrow gauge rail link between Neral and Matheran was built by Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy between 1901 and 1907 at the cost of Rs.1600000. The route, through large swathes of forest territory, covers a distance of 20 kilometers in about one and half hours, is full of panoramic views. The track zig zags up the side of the hill, bringing into view the full beauty of the Matheran Hill. Any lone visitor will surely enjoy the tranquility this ride offers. There are four pairs of train running between Neral and Matheran. However, during monsoon i.e. June to September, only one pair of train is run to open timings.

Distance: Around 21 kms

Route: Neral-Matheran

Frequency: Daily

Vasco Da Gama-LondaTop 10 train jouneys

Another side of Goa which cannot be missed. The lush green villages, thick jungles and the abundant waterfalls constitute a charming world of Goan Rails. A train ride from Vasco takes you from the serene beaches to the precarious curves of Western Ghat Mountains offering a breathtaking sight of the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, one of India’s highest and most exquisite falls. The wonderful train journey from Vasco Da Gama to Londa Junction is truly an amazing experience one can rejoice. Adding to it, you can experience the view of an attractive falls at Dudhsagar, on the way from Vasco Da Gama to Londa junction. Another most attractive view of the route is when the train moves through Western Ghats, where the train accelerates its speed and passes through the woods. Also you can enjoy the view of gigantic falls and red clay surroundings, when the train approaches near to Londa. The pleasant time to travel through this route is after monsoon.

Distance: Around 108 kms

Route: Vasco-Madgaon-Dudhsagar-Castle rock-Londa

Frequency: Seven trains daily

Visakhapatnam-Arakku (Arakku Valley Railway) Top 10 train jouneys

Arakku Valley is a popular hotspot for nature enthusiasts, boasting of thick forests and coffee plantations. Vishakhapatnam, an important port city of East India has a rail link to Arakku, which lies on the Kothavalasa and Kirandul (KK) Line. This is one of rare broad gauge hill railways of India, which was built to transport iron ore from the mines of Chattisgarh to the port city of Vizag, presently known as Vishakhapatnam. The rail route is one of the better ways to travel to Arakku Valley and Borra caves, crossing quite a few caves and waterfalls on the way. In India most of the mountain railway runs on narrow and meter gauge. But the Vizag – Araku train exception and also has the distinction of housing one of the highest broad guage train station in India. Located North West of Vizag the beautiful valley is connected by a 150 km long rail track. An engineering marvel the rail tracks meanders through the Eastern Ghats passing through 58 tunnels and 84 bridges. Add to this what is popularly known as the KR line, the Koraput-Rayagada line, which is an off shoot from the Kirandul- Kothavalasa (KK) line. Koraput is about 800 meters above sea level and the journey till Rayagada at 200 meters is an enchanting downhill experience. The dense forests and horse shoe curves add a charm to this unknown ride.

Distance: Around 128 kms

Route: Visakhapatnam-Shivalingapuram-Borra Guhalu-Arakku

Frequency: One passenger train daily

Manamadurai- Pamban- Rameswaram (The Sea Bridge Ride)Top 10 train jouneys

The bridge that connects Mandapam in TamilNadu to the Pamban island is the second longest sea bridge in India and even if you are not a pilgrim to the Varanasi of south, you will fall in love with this train ride crossing the Gulf of Mannar. Pamban Bridge is a cantilever bridge on the Palk Strait which connects the town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island to mainland India. The bridge refers to both the road bridge and the cantilever railway bridge, though primarily it means the latter. Opened in 1914, it was India's first sea bridge, and was the longest sea bridge in India till 2010. The rail bridge is for the most part, a conventional bridge resting on concrete piers, but has a double leaf bascule section midway, which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through. On 24 February 2014, Pamban Bridge has successfully completed 100 years of its existence. A rare trip worth a lifelong memory.

Distance: Around 113 kms

Route: Manamadurai-Ramnathpuram-Pamban-Rameshwaram

Frequency: More than five daily

Jodhpur- JaisalmerTop 10 train jouneys

India is a land of diversity. On one hand it offers lush green sceneries and on the other hand it offers the beauty of barren deserts. A train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is another exciting journey where one can experience the flavor of barren deserts. The beauty of this route is that the view of landscape keeps changing. You can see the change of landscape from desert to pastoral landscapes, beautiful mud huts that are made up of red clay bricks and you can also enjoy the view of camels gazing in the flat desert. The amazing scenic beauty makes this route entirely majestic and incredible.

Distance: Around 300 kms

Route: Jodhpur-Phalodi-Pokran-Jaisalmer

Frequency: Five daily

Jammu-Katra & Banihal- BaramullaTop 10 train jouneys

No discussion on scenic train journeys in India can be complete without talking about the train in Valley. The train connectivity to Katra is part of the ambitious Kashmir rail link project and has been executed at an estimated cost of Rs 1,050 crore. The 25-km stretch to Katra is an engineering marvel as the route has seven tunnels, 29 minor and nine major bridges with some of the bridges as high as 85 metres. Jammu-Udhampur sections has been running for years now and so was from Qazigund to Baramulla. Last year Banihal to Qazigund section was opened with the longest tunnel in the country. Udhampur to Katra section is ready and will be thrown open in June 2014. Hence only Katra to Banihal will have to be traveled via road, until this connectivity happens. But a trip from Jammu to Srinagar is now possible on a single ticket for two parts of train journey and a road journey to connect them. Kashmir valley section takes you through one of the most beautiful scenes of saffron fields and snow peaks on this paradise.

Distance: 78 Kms & 135 kms

Route: Jammu-Udhampur-Katra & Banihal-Srinagar-Baramulla

Frequency: One & Three daily

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