The “toy train” or more correctly the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, runs for around 80 kilometres from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling via Siliguri, Kurseong, and Ghum. The line climbs sharply through a number of mesmerising reverses and loops and affords panoramic views of Darjeeling with Mount Kanchenjunga as the backdrop.
Constructed in 1879 and operational by 1881 the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway which is also known as the toy train is India’s most well known and some say most spectacular of the mountain railway journeys. The train became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1999 and operates a daily steam service to Kurseong and a diesel train to New Jalpaiguri. Scenic pleasure rides take place in the high season and consist of a round trip to Ghum which is India’s highest railway station and where the train stops for half an hour for visitors to explore the town’s small railway museum.
The main daily toy train service to Darjeeling departs from New Jalpaiguri at 9 a.m. and arrives at 4.15 p.m. There are also joyrides, each lasting for around two hours, that depart Darjeeling daily at 10.40 a.m. and 1.20 p.m., and Siliguri Junction daily at 10.30 a.m.