North Bengal Travel Blog Post: Darjeeling Part III- Toy Train Ride

Darjeeling Travel experience || North Bengal Travel || India Travel || North East Travel || Indian Hill Station || What to do in Darjeeling || Activities in Darjeeling || Tourist Attractions in Darjeeling ||


It’s a dream .. like in those fairy tales? Very local fairy tale though!! Darjeeling and Toy train ride are interrelated.. there was a time when travelling mode to/from Darjeeling was this Toy train.. nowadays it is only a tourist attraction.. but at least it’s still living with all pride.. that’s the best part.. May it lives forever.. Dugga Dugga!!

As I have already told you, this was my very first visit to Darjeeling, I wanted to experience Toy train by all means. During season time, it’s better to book your seats well ahead (the way you book rail tickets in India or your travel agent can help). Tickets cost about INR 1000 per person. There are trains available from 9:30 in the morning, there are trains after every 45 minutes till 1 or 2 pm maybe.

The first train of the day is a steam engine run, blowing coal-burnt smoke; but the rests are electric ones. Honestly, try for the electric ones, steam engine ones are good to look at from a distance.. you don’t want to take layers and layers of engine smoke on your face, do you?? Naahhh.. it’s not thick a layer of coal on your face!!

View Of Kanchenjunga from darjeeling Station


The entire journey is about 1 hour and 40 minutes. The train goes to Ghoom station (about 13 km), waits there for about 20 minutes, then comes back to Darjeeling station, en route it stops at Batasay loop for 10 minutes. It’s a medium slow ride, scenic, people taking your picture inside the train.. actually.. they capture the train.. unless you are peering out the window, then of course your face will be veryyy much visible!!

The Toy-Train Journey:

Aaahh! The journey! It’s.. ummm.. one of a kind! Darjeeling toy train is famous from the British period, of course, the coaches are new, modern.. but those narrow gauge rail tracks, small coaches, the train literally runs in the mid of the town, right beside the shops, houses and you can just touch them.. it is an experience.. it’s wonderful.. seeing morning lives of small hill station people, tourists storming around places, entrances of  Batasay loop buzzing with them.. traffic.. oh a lot of them here.. passengers in the car taking pictures of the toy train and you are inside (just the same you were doing a day before while you saw the train passed by! I took a video every time I saw one toy train passing by).. the entire journey was intoxicating..

*** By the way, do you know there is a toy train which also takes you to Siliguri.. it runs only once a day, and it takes about 7 hours to reach Siliguri from Darjeeling.

Ok before I keep repeating how amazing the ride was.. let me tell a bit more.. so the train directly takes you to Ghoom station, it stays there for about 20-30 mins. Many tourists get down here, take a tour of Ghoom town and go back to Darjeeling on their own. Ghoom station is very interesting.. there is a small museum upstairs, you should not miss it, take a small tour back to the time we didn’t belong to but are very fascinated about.. then these small train stations are so simple, still holds that old time charm.. you know those black and white days.. I loved the train stations as well..

Then after the half an hour stop here, you get on to the train again, the train travels back to Darjeeling, taking the same route. This time it stops at Batasay loop at about 15 minutes, and you take a picture of the view of Kanchenjunga from here, shop some woollen stuff if you want. And then head back to Darjeeling before lunch. Toy trains may get delayed at times, but don’t miss the scene of trains arriving at the station, changing tracks, coaches being adjoined one after the other to prepare for the next bunch of passengers.. you should try the train ride once.. of course..

How’s the experience of riding a Toy train?

Exciting.. just like a child’s excitement with every new thing it sees.. but you know what.. this will be little strange for you to read maybe.. but the excitement is even more when you see the toy train passing by in front of you.. you are all excited to wait for your turn.. and you are looking at it with awe.. once you have taken the ride you just know it all.. but that excitement of not knowing how-will-it-feel is more appealing.. at least for me it was this.. does that make any sense to you?? Maybe you will know once you cross the bridge like me!!

That’s all about Darjeeling.. I will be sharing my itinerary for North Bengal in my next post.. however.. However.. Darjeeling will be back once again in a few months’ time.. it’s a promise.. to myself..

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