Railways introduced in India in the year of 1853. This line was Thane to Mumbai, but the sketch Kalka Shimla line prepared in 1847. British engineers had the experience to build a hill railway, from Darjeeling. The first two survey conducted in 1884 and 1885. Many other surveys conducted but none had accepted by Government of India.
The final survey conducted in 1898 and contract had given to Delhi- Umballa- railway company. Finally, the construction of this heritage route had started in 1898. The earlier width of gauge was 2 feet which considered the best for hill railway. It has increased to 2 feet 6 inch as recommended by the army. The route marked completed and Lord Curzon the Viceroy of India flagged off on 9th November 1903 Monday.
Journey Kalka to Shimla
The height of Kalka station is 650 meters it starts increasing and reaches on the 2100 meters, the height of Shimla. Toy trains start to incline over slopes when it departs from Kalka. You can notice a change in vegetation after Koti station. The train starts moving forward among deodar pine and oak trees. The total length of this route is 96 km. It crosses 898 bridges, travels through 102 tunnels and negotiates around 919 curves.
A tourist enjoys this journey from the moment it departs the Kalka station. When it crosses the Gothic-styled bridge, view of Himalayan foothill looks fascinating. The train passes through the thick Himalayan forest. You can enjoy watching the green view of mountains and a variety of flora and fauna from the window of the train. You can also click a picture of your toy train when it bends over a curve. It can bend and make an angle of 45 degrees over many bends. Slowly, when it reaches a higher altitude view of the green landscape looks miraculous.
Bridges on Kalka Shimla Railways line
There are over 898 bridges in Kalka Shimla route. Every bridge constructed and recommended by Bhilku ram. Bhalku ram was the local person, belonged to small village Jaja 47 km away from Chail. He was a shepherd and he had knowledge of Kalka Shimla trail. He accompanied the team of engineers making Kalka Shimla railway line. Steel bridges had also made on this route but stones were available locally. The engineers preferred stone arch galley to make maximum bridges. The longest arch gallery bridge located after Sanwara station at Dharampur. It is bridge number 246. Longest arch gallery bridge located near Kanoh station. It is bridge number 541.
Railways station and retiring room on Kalka Shimla railways
There are 20 stations on Kalka to Shimla railway line. Earlier these stations are chalet styled hut later converted to railways station. Each railways station has two lines for crossing the trains. The main railway station has the facility of retiring room on Kalka Shimla railway line. These accommodations can be booked on first come first serve basis. A tourist who has a valid inward or outward ticket can book a retiring room from the respective station master. Kalka, Dharampur, Barog, Solan, Kandaghat, Summer hill and Shimla station have the facility of these retiring rooms. Barog station has a facility of Shiwalik cottage. This cottage is better accommodation than the retiring room you can enjoy staying among pine forest booking this cottage.
Railway Tunnels on Kalka Shimla railways
There are 102 tunnels on the route on Kalka Shimla line. There were originally 107 tunnels made out these 103 got operational. One tunnel is not functional out of these 103 tunnels. Longest tunnel is Barog tunnel finish just before the station platform start. Lenght of this tunnel is 1147 meters.