World famous toy train resumes run in West BengalFebruary 22nd, 2009 - 2:30 pm ICT by ANI
Siliguri (WB), Feb 22 (ANI): The world famous toy train in Darjeeling hills is back on track after it was suspended for 10 days following agitation for a separate Gorkha state.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) is on a roll to attract as many tourists as possible across the globe.
The train, listed among UNESCO’’s World Heritage Sites, passes through a number of picturesque locations including ”Batasia Loop” (the valley of storm), the tea gardens of the Darjeeling Himalayas, the world’’s highest rail station ”Ghoom” and many other locations covering the forest lands of Terai.
The operation of the train has been severely curtailed in the last three years in the wake of the agitation by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM).
The train chugged again since February 19 after being closed down on February 9.
Despite the turmoil, the magnetic charm of the world famous toy train brings back the tourists.
“It is a very famous train, and very well known train in England. People know about it,” said Mark James, a tourist from United Kingdom.
Ever since the GJM agitation rocked the Darjeeling hills, the tourism industry in the region received a major setback.
Last year 16 charters and eight-winter safaris had to be cancelled due to the agitation and strikes in the hills.
There has also been a steady drop in the number of tourists. The DHR reports project a drop of 28 per cent in volume with mounting losses of rupees two million.
“Last year, I brought 42 people from all over the world. We were unable to run because of the Gorkha strike. One of our people comes back this year. I now know that there was another strike last week. But we better be sure we run for the next two days,” said Andrew Nil, the tour conductor from U.K.
The DHR toy train was started in 1896 by the then British Lieutenant Governor Ashley Eden, offering riders an opportunity to enjoy the majestic beauty of nature along the Darjeeling hills.
At the beginning, this railway was named as the Darjeeling steam Tramway Co. Later when India gained independence in 1947, the railway was named as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
DHR was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO on December 5 at their 23rd session. (ANI)
- Landslides disrupt toy train service in West Bengal - May 28, 2009
- Heritage walk to spread awareness about Kalka-Shimla railway line - Jul 05, 2010
- Post-treaty, Darjeeling tourism eyes revival - Jul 26, 2011
- Landslide disrupts toy train services in Darjeeling, disappointing tourists - Jul 04, 2010
- Day 3 of shutdown in Darjeeling, tension continues - Feb 11, 2011
- Tourists flow to Darjeeling marred by GJM moral policing - Sep 06, 2009
- Madan Tamag's funeral procession taken out in Darjeeling - May 24, 2010
- GJM to boycott Rajya Sabha polls - Mar 18, 2012
- Divide Darjeeling into two districts: GJM - Aug 03, 2011
- Mamata to meet GJM delegation June 14 - Jun 11, 2012
- Pintail adds another twist in Darjeeling's politics - Jul 18, 2011
- Gorkhaland team meets Bengal governor - Aug 22, 2012
- GJM threatens to renew Gorkhaland demand - Feb 09, 2012
- Upset over panel report, GJM threatens to renew agitation (Second Lead) - Jun 09, 2012
- GJM boycotts Mamata meets in Darjeeling - Apr 22, 2012
Tags: agitation, darjeeling hills, forest lands, ghoom, himalayas, lieutenant governor, majestic beauty, major setback, picturesque locations, railways, rupees, siliguri, tea gardens, tour conductor, tourism industry, toy train, train in england, unesco, west bengal, world heritage sites