Shimla toy train

Feb 4th, 2015, 03:41 PM
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Shimla toy train

Planning my second trip to India, this time with my one and only son as my escort. We're going in June because he's a teacher and can't take off during the cooler season.

We're flying into Delhi, then driving to Jaipur to get a taste of Rajasthan. Will fly from Jaipur through Delhi to Amritsar - Golden Temple, Jallianwallahbagh, perhaps Wagah.

Plan to spend the rest of the time in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand. Trying to decide if the Shimla Toy Train is worth the hassle. Most departures are at about 5:45 am, which means we'd drive to Chandigarh, spend the night, then get up at O Dark Thirty to catch the train at Kalka.

indianapearl is offline  
Feb 4th, 2015, 05:00 PM
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There must be a later train from Kalka. I recall changing trains there after leaving in the morning from Delhi.

This from
To Simla
New Delhi depart 07:40 by Shatabdi Express, change at Kalka, Simla 17:20
By broad gauge train to Kalka, then by Toy Train.

And to answer your question, YES, it is worth the hassle. Find that later train: or
MmePerdu is online now  
Feb 5th, 2015, 05:38 AM
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Or cleartrip.ccom. The later train leaves Kalka at 12:10.

I haven't done this train (yet...) but I did the toy train up to Darjeeling and loved it. Not a luxury trip, of course.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 07:12 AM
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It depends on what you enjoy. I haven't taken that train, but took a brief (but all too long) ride on the Darjeeling toy train. I found the train not very comfortable, and it moved so slowly, often, I could have walked faster. It seemed like a waste of time to me. Obviously, others feel differently. So pause and consider what you enjoy as you make your decision for or against the toy train.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 08:34 AM
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It's true what Kathie says, if it's comfort and fast you want then this is not that. But the rewards are the views, the remarkable feat of engineering it was when it was built, arriving in a colonial outpost as the ruling class did to escape Delhi's heat, the history it represents. I've done it twice, plus the Darjeeling train, and there are trains, even as a train lover, I wish I hadn't done at all. Comfort-wise this falls somewhere in the middle and I wouldn't let that stop you if you're interested in the experience. If not then maybe not.

I once flew out of Simla Airport. That is something I wouldn't do again. The land leaves the plane, rather than the other way around as it's built on a cut-off mountain top. Yikes! The second time I left by car, on to another mountain destination and that may be a way for you, if you can incorporate it into your itinerary.
MmePerdu is online now  
Feb 5th, 2015, 12:40 PM
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Right, these trains aren't for everybody, but what is? Geo Ex tried really hard to talk me out of taking the Darjeeling train (I was on a Bhutan tour with them beforehand and had asked them to get me across the border). And it is true I only rode half the distance because a section of the lower half had been taken out by a landslide. But the scenery was great, the fellow-passenger-watching (mostly school kids) fun, and I loved riding a historic train right down the streets of Indian villages. Board with food, water, a camera and patience.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 7th, 2015, 09:08 AM
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Thank you all! There seem to be three classes of trains - the one that leaves at 12:10 seems to be Cold Comfort Farm - no toilets on the train. The two that that leave @ 5:45 are more upscale in terms of bathroom facilities. Hard seats are no problem as it's only for a relatively short while.

There is also a train that caters to luxury travelers - eight couples. More to be learned about that one.
indianapearl is offline  
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