Darjeeling toy rtain to add extra coaches for Christmas-New Year season

Siliguri, Dec. 22: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway will add one extra coach to each of the three diesel-run toy trains for the joy rides to accommodate tourists who flock to the hills during the Christmas-New Year season.

The additional compartments on the Darjeeling-Ghoom-Darjeeling route would be introduced from December 25.

Narendra Mohan, the area officer of the DHR, said the decision to add the coaches was taken because there had been an increase of around 10 per cent in online reservations for the joy rides since the holiday season began this time.

“We have noticed that the online reservations for the DHR joy rides have risen to around 80 per cent in the past two-three days, which is around 10 per cent more compared to the previous years. So, we have decided to add an extra coach for all diesel-driven joy rides to accommodate more tourists,” said Mohan.

Darjeeling toy rtain to add extra coaches for Christmas-New Year season
A diesel-driven toy train in the Darjeeling hills. File picture

Currently, the DHR offers seven joy rides, including a steam-run Red Panda that plies between Kurseong and Darjeeling.

The six other joy rides are between Darjeeling and Ghoom.

Three trains on the route are diesel-driven and the three others run on steam.

“The reason for attaching additional coaches to the diesel-driven trains is that they (the engines) can haul up to four coaches. The steam-driven engines can pull only two compartments. We will run the extra coaches till the reservations come back to normal,” Mohan said.

DHR sources said a first-class coach has 28 seats and by adding the extra coaches, 84 more passengers can be accommodated for the joy rides daily.

On December 2, the DHR had resumed the toy train service between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. The route had been shut since June 2010 because of a landslide at Paglajhora.

While one train travels from NJP to Darjeeling, another one runs from Darjeeling to NJP everyday.

“The occupancy has been fairly good in the past three weeks. In fact, in the past three days, the train that travels uphill from NJP to Darjeeling had full occupancy,” Mohan said.

Source: Telegraph

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