The Kalka-Shimla toy train will resume operations for the first time in seven months on Tuesday, as the seven-coach Himalayan Queen will make its journey from Kalka to Shimla, and vice versa, for the first time since March when a national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease was enforced.
Last week, the Railway Board had given its approval for the resumption of services of the Himalayan Queen keeping in mind the upcoming festive season.
While the Kalka-Shimla train will leave Kalka at 12:10pm and arrive in Shimla at 5:20pm on October 20, it will make the return journey the next day, leaving Shimla at 10:40am and reaching Kalka at 4:10pm. The Kalka-Shimla Himalayan Queen is numbered 04515 (Up), the Shimla-Kalka Himalayan Queen is numbered 04516 (Down). Of the seven cars in the train, two will be luxury coaches. The train will be in service from October 20 to November 30.
Stations were sanitised and maintenance work of the track was carried out by authorities keeping in mind the resumption of the Himalayan Queen’s services. Also, during the journey, strict Covid-19 protocols will be followed.
The Kalka-Shimla railway track has been classified as a ‘world heritage route.’ It will complete its 127th anniversary on November 9, as train services on this track started on November 9, 1903. It comes under the Ambala division of the Northern Railway and is 96 km long with 18 stations on the route. There are more than 880 bridges, as well as over 100 tunnels on this route.
Himachal Pradesh on Monday recorded 160 new cases of the coronavirus disease, taking the state’s total tally to 19,135. A total of 16,241 people has recovered in the hill state and active cases stand at 2,593. The death toll, meanwhile, reached 267 after four new fatalities on Monday, data showed.