August 7: From 6 August 2012 the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) introduced an enhanced timetable for the upper section of the line between Darjeeling and Kurseong. The move follows the transfer by road to Darjeeling of B Class locos 788 and 802, NDM6 diesel 601 and four carriages.
An additional steam tourist ‘Joy Train’ service leaves Darjeeling for Ghum via Batasia Loop at 0800hrs complementing the existing departures at 1040, 1320 and 1600hrs. The existing diesel-hauled return service from Darjeeling to Kurseong is now matched by a new service leaving Kurseong at 0700hrs and arriving Darjeeling at 0945hrs (later timings than the former ‘School Train’ which ended in 2007). The train returns from Darjeeling at 1600hrs arriving Kurseong at 1840hrs.
On the lower section of the line the daily diesel-hauled ‘Jungle Safari’continues to run between Siliguri Junction and Rangtong.
Elsewhere the DHR remains breached by landslips at two locations. Repair of the breach at PaglaJhora is due to be complete by the end of 2012. At Tindharia a second recent landslip has added to problems and threatens the railway workshop. However, urgent stabilisation work is under way, finance for repairs is agreed and the Railway Minister has committed to the entire DHR route being fully operational again by the end of 2013.
Said David Barrie, Chairman DHRS “Indian Railways is showing real imagination, determination and commitment to overcoming the challenges caused by the severe landslips. These additional services are most welcome. The DHR’s future is bright!”
Full details of DHR services are on the Travel Information page of the DHRS web site at www.dhrs.org
Further Details From:
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society
Paul Whittle –Vice Chairman and Public Relations Officer
++44(0 ) 1932 346549