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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

734001 Siliguri, India (West Bengal)

Address Siliguri Junction railway station
Hill Cart Road 
 
Floor area unfortunately not known yet  
 
Museum typ Exhibition
Railway
  • World Heritage Site


Opening times
see: dhrs.org/pdf/Travelinformation.pdf

Admission
Status from 09/2014
We don't know the fees.

Contact
eMail:www.dhrs.org/page10.html   

Homepage www.dhr.indianrailways.gov.in
www.dhrs.org

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Location / Directions
N26.723400° E88.413800°N26°43.40400' E88°24.82800'N26°43'24.2400" E88°24'49.6800"

New Jalpaiguri is a railway station in Siliguri in Jalpaiguri district in the Indian state of West Bengal which serves the Indian twin cities of Jalpaiguri and Siliguri.

Siliguri Junction is one of the three railway stations that serve Siliguri in Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The other two stations are: Siliguri Town and New Jalpaiguri.

Darjeeling is a town in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya at an average elevation of 6,710 ft (2,045.2 m)

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connects the town with the plains and has one of the few steam locomotives still in service in India.

Description

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a 2 ft (610 mm) 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 78 kilometres (48 mi) long. Its elevation level varies from about 100 metres (328 ft) at New Jalpaiguri to about 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) 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 locomotive, DHR 778.

The railway is listed as the Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site. The headquarters of the railway is in the town of Kurseong.
 

The route

The railway line basically follows the Hill Cart Road which is partially the same as National Highway 55. Usually, the track is simply on the road side. In case of landslides both track and road might be affected. As long parts of the road are flanked with buildings, the railway line often rather resembles urban tramway tracks than an overland line.

To warn residents and car drivers about the approaching train, engines are equipped with very loud horns that even drown horns of Indian trucks and buses. Trains honk almost without pause.
 

Loops and Z-Reverses (or "zig-zag"s)

One of the main difficulties faced by the DHR was the steepness of the climb. Features called loops and Z-Reverses were designed as an integral part of the system at different points along the route to achieve a comfortable gradient for the stretches in between them. When the train moves forwards, reverses and then moves forward again, climbing a slope each time while doing so, it gains height along the side of the hill.
 

Locomotives

Steam
All the steam locomotives currently in use on the railway are of the "B" Class, a design built by Sharp, Stewart and Company, and later the North British Locomotive Company, between 1889 and 1925. A total of 34 were built, but by 2005 only 12 remained on the railway and in use (or under repair).

In 2002, No. 787 was rebuilt with oil firing. This was originally installed to work on the same principle as that used on Nilgiri Mountain Railway No.37395. A diesel-powered generator was fitted to operate the oil burner and an electrically-driven feed pump, and a diesel-powered compressor was fitted to power the braking system. Additionally, the locomotive was fitted with a feedwater heater. The overall result was a dramatic change in the appearance of the locomotive. However, the trials of the locomotive were disappointing and it never entered regular service. In early 2011, it was in Tindharia Works awaiting reconversion to coal-firing.

In March 2001, No.794 was transferred to the Matheran Hill Railway to allow a "Joy Train" (steam-hauled tourist train) to be operated on that railway. It did not, however, enter service there until May 2002.

Diesel
Four diesel locomotives are in use: Nos. 601-2, 604 and 605 of the NDM6 class transferred from the Matheran Hill Railway.


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