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How To Ride The Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway And Toy Train


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Kelli Leblanc



India is a country rich in diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. Among its many breathtaking destinations, the hill station of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal stands out as a must-visit place. One of the iconic attractions of this enchanting hill town is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Toy Train. This narrow-gauge railway has been delighting visitors since the late 19th century, offering a unique and nostalgic way to explore the breathtaking beauty of the region.


The Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway was built between 1879 and 1881 during the British colonial era, with the aim of connecting the town of Siliguri with Darjeeling. The construction posed several challenges due to the treacherous terrain and steep gradients. However, the innovative engineers of the time devised a solution by building loops, zigzags, and carefully designed tracks that ensured a safe and exciting journey.


Today, the Toy Train has become more than just a mode of transportation. It has evolved into a cherished landmark and a symbol of Darjeeling’s rich history and cultural heritage. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway offers a nostalgic and charming experience like no other.


Why should you add the Darjeeling Toy Train ride to your travel itinerary? Firstly, it provides a unique perspective of the magnificent Himalayan views that surround the region. The train chugs along at a leisurely pace, allowing passengers to soak in the breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, and charming tea gardens. The scenic beauty that unfolds during the journey is truly awe-inspiring.


Secondly, the Toy Train offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Darjeeling. As you traverse through the quaint villages and bustling markets, you can witness the daily lives of the local people and get a taste of their warm hospitality. The train passes through charming heritage stations adorned with colorful flowers, giving you a sense of stepping back in time.


Lastly, the Darjeeling Toy Train ride is an experience of nostalgia and romanticism. The rhythmic chugging of the steam engine, the clanking of the wheels on the tracks, and the panoramic views create a magical ambiance that transports you to a bygone era. It is a journey that appeals to the senses and evokes a sense of wonder and tranquility.


In the following sections, we will guide you on how to plan your trip to Darjeeling, the different train classes to choose from, the schedule of the Toy Train, and the highlights along the route. We will also provide you with valuable safety tips and suggestions for a comfortable journey. So, hop on board and let the Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway take you on an unforgettable adventure through the enchanting landscapes of this captivating hill station.


History of the Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway

The Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway, popularly known as the Toy Train, has a fascinating history that dates back to the late 19th century. The railway was initially constructed to connect the town of Siliguri in West Bengal with the hill station of Darjeeling, providing a much-needed transportation link to this remote region.


The British colonial government, recognizing the strategic importance of Darjeeling as a hill station and a center for tea cultivation, commissioned the construction of the rail line. The project was undertaken by ingenious engineers who faced the daunting task of building a railway track through treacherous terrain and steep gradients.


From 1879 to 1881, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was meticulously built, overcoming challenging geographical obstacles. The engineers employed innovative techniques, including loops, reverses, and zigzags, to navigate the steep slopes of the Himalayas. These engineering marvels allowed the Toy Train to climb gradients as steep as 1 in 20, making it an impressive feat of railway engineering.


The original steam locomotives used on the railway were manufactured by Sharp, Stewart and Company of Glasgow, Scotland. These iconic engines, with their distinct whistle and charming chugging sounds, continue to captivate passengers on their journey. Over time, the steam locomotives were supplemented by diesel engines to cater to the growing demand for transportation.


In recognition of its historical and cultural significance, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. This prestigious designation highlights the importance of preserving the railway as a testament to the remarkable engineering achievements of its time.


The Toy Train not only served as a means of transportation but also played a vital role in the development of Darjeeling. It facilitated the transportation of tea, the region’s primary agricultural product, and provided access to remote villages in the mountains. The railway also contributed to the growth of tourism in Darjeeling, attracting visitors from all over the world who were enchanted by the scenic beauty and the unique experience of riding the Toy Train.


Today, the Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway continues to operate, carrying passengers on a memorable journey through the picturesque landscapes of the region. The railway has become an integral part of the local culture, evoking a sense of nostalgia and pride among the residents of Darjeeling.


The history of the Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway is a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance. It stands as a living legacy to the remarkable engineering achievements of the past, reminding us of the transformative power of rail travel and the enduring appeal of the Toy Train experience.


Why Ride the Toy Train?

The Darjeeling Toy Train, with its unique charm and breathtaking views, offers an experience that is unmatched by any other mode of transportation. Here are some reasons why you should consider riding the Toy Train on your visit to Darjeeling:

  • Scenic Beauty: The Toy Train takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the stunning landscapes of the Darjeeling region. As the train winds its way through the mountains, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and terraced tea gardens. The ever-changing vistas provide a feast for the eyes and create unforgettable memories.
  • Heritage and History: The Darjeeling Indian Hill Railway is not just a mode of transportation; it is a living heritage and a symbol of the region’s rich history. Riding the Toy Train is like taking a step back in time to the colonial era, as the charming steam engines and heritage stations evoke a sense of nostalgia. It is an opportunity to connect with the past and appreciate the engineering marvels of the bygone era.
  • Cultural Experience: As you journey on the Toy Train, you’ll pass through quaint villages and bustling markets, providing a glimpse into the daily lives of the local people. You can witness the vibrant culture of the region, interact with friendly locals, and get a taste of the warm hospitality that Darjeeling is known for. The train ride offers an immersive cultural experience that allows you to connect with the local community.
  • Nostalgia and Romance: The rhythmic chugging of the steam engine, the clickety-clack of the wheels on the tracks, and the gentle swaying of the train create an atmosphere of nostalgia and romance. The slow pace of the Toy Train allows you to relax and enjoy the journey, immersing yourself in the natural beauty around you. It is an experience that appeals to the senses and transports you to a bygone era.
  • Unique Perspective: Unlike other modes of transportation, the Toy Train follows a narrow-gauge track that takes you through areas that are not accessible by road. This allows you to discover hidden gems, remote villages, and scenic spots that are off the beaten path. The Toy Train offers a unique perspective of the landscape, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of Darjeeling from a different vantage point.

Riding the Toy Train is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that combines natural beauty, history, culture, and nostalgia. It is a journey that will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the enchanting hill station of Darjeeling. So, hop aboard and embark on a memorable adventure that will surely be the highlight of your trip.


Planning your Trip to Darjeeling

Planning a trip to Darjeeling and experiencing the magical journey on the Toy Train requires careful preparation. Here are some essential factors to consider when planning your trip:

  • Best Time to Visit: Darjeeling’s climate can vary throughout the year, so it’s important to choose the right time to visit. The peak tourist season is from April to June and September to November, when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. However, if you prefer to avoid crowds and enjoy discounted rates, consider visiting during the off-peak season from December to February.
  • Duration of Stay: Plan your stay in Darjeeling for at least 2 to 3 days to fully experience the beauty of the region and ride the Toy Train. This will give you enough time to explore the town, visit the attractions, and take the Toy Train ride at a leisurely pace.
  • Booking Accommodation: It’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Darjeeling offers a range of options, from luxurious hotels to budget guesthouses, so you can choose according to your preferences and budget. Consider staying in or near the town center to have easy access to the train station and other attractions.
  • Permits and Documents: If you are a foreign national visiting India, ensure that you have a valid visa and passport. Additionally, check if you require any permits or special documents to visit Darjeeling, especially if you plan to explore the nearby areas, such as Sikkim or the border regions.
  • Health and Safety: Before traveling to Darjeeling, consult with your doctor about any necessary vaccinations or precautions. It’s also a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit and necessary medications. In terms of safety, Darjeeling is generally a safe destination, but it’s always wise to take common-sense precautions such as safeguarding your belongings and being cautious when exploring unfamiliar areas.
  • Transportation: To reach Darjeeling, you can either take a flight to Bagdogra Airport and then a taxi or bus to the town, or opt for a scenic train journey from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station. The Toy Train operates from Darjeeling to Ghum, so if you plan to take the entire journey, you can book a ticket accordingly. However, keep in mind that the Toy Train ride is a slow and leisurely experience, so if you are short on time, you can take a taxi or bus to Ghum and then board the train from there.
  • Itinerary and Activities: Apart from riding the Toy Train, Darjeeling offers a range of attractions and activities to explore. Plan your itinerary to include visits to places like Tiger Hill to witness the sunrise over the Himalayas, the famous Ghoom Monastery, the tea gardens where you can enjoy a tea tasting session, and the colorful markets where you can shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs.
  • Budgeting: Set a budget for your trip, taking into account transportation, accommodation, meals, and activities. Darjeeling offers options for all budgets, so you can choose accommodation and dining options that fit your financial plan. Keep in mind that the Toy Train ride has different ticket classes, so choose one that suits your budget and preferences.

By considering these factors and planning your trip in advance, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience in Darjeeling. Remember to check the weather forecast before your visit, pack appropriate clothing, and embrace the beauty and tranquility of this stunning hill station.


Getting to Darjeeling

Getting to Darjeeling, nestled in the scenic mountains of West Bengal, requires a bit of planning but is well worth the effort. Here are the different transportation options to reach this enchanting hill station:


By Air: The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport, located around 90 kilometers away. Several domestic airlines operate flights to Bagdogra from major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to Darjeeling, which takes approximately 3-4 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.


By Train: The closest major railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), which is well-connected to various cities across India. From NJP, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to Darjeeling, which is a scenic drive of around 3 hours. For a unique and nostalgic experience, you can also opt to take the Toy Train from NJP to Darjeeling, enjoying the breathtaking views and slow-paced journey.


By Road: Darjeeling is accessible by road, and the most common route is via Siliguri. From Siliguri, you can hire a taxi, take a shared cab, or even avail of the state-run buses that ply from various locations. The drive to Darjeeling takes approximately 3-4 hours, offering picturesque views of the mountains and tea gardens along the way.


Shared Taxis: Shared taxis are a popular and cost-effective mode of transportation to reach Darjeeling. You can find shared taxis in Siliguri, Bagdogra, and NJP, which usually depart once they are full. This option is ideal for solo travelers or small groups on a budget, as it offers a convenient way to reach Darjeeling while enjoying the company of fellow travelers.


Private Taxis: If you prefer a more comfortable and convenient journey, hiring a private taxi is a good option. You can either book a taxi in advance or find one at the airport or railway station. Private taxis give you the flexibility to stop at viewpoints and attractions along the way, making the journey more personalized and enjoyable.


Toy Train: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Toy Train, is a popular attraction in itself and offers a unique way to reach Darjeeling. The Toy Train operates on a narrow-gauge track and connects Darjeeling with Ghum, a suburb of Darjeeling. From Ghum, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach the town center. The train journey is slow and scenic, allowing you to savor the beauty of the mountains and tea plantations.


Before planning your trip to Darjeeling, it’s advisable to check the current transportation options and availability, especially during peak tourist seasons. Whether you choose to fly, take a train, or indulge in a picturesque road trip, the journey to Darjeeling sets the stage for an unforgettable experience amidst the captivating beauty of the Himalayas.


Darjeeling Toy Train Booking

Booking tickets for the Darjeeling Toy Train ride is an essential part of planning your trip to this charming hill station. Here is a guide to help you navigate the process of booking tickets for the Toy Train:

  • Online Booking: The most convenient way to book Toy Train tickets is through the Indian Railways official website. Visit their website and select the “Darjeeling Himalayan Railway” option under the “Book your train” section. Fill in the necessary details, including your travel dates and class preferences, and proceed with the booking process. It is advisable to book your tickets well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, as the availability of seats can be limited.
  • Offline Booking: If you prefer to book your tickets offline or are facing any issues with online booking, you can visit the nearest Indian Railways booking center or agent. These booking centers are located in major cities and towns across India. Approach the counter or agent and provide them with your travel details. They will assist you in booking the desired class and date for your Toy Train ride. Keep in mind that offline bookings may have limited availability, so it’s recommended to book in advance.
  • Classes of Travel: The Darjeeling Toy Train offers different classes to suit varying preferences and budgets. The available classes include First Class, AC Chair Car, and Second Class. First Class is the most luxurious option, featuring comfortable seating and large windows for panoramic views. AC Chair Car provides air-conditioned seating, while Second Class offers a more budget-friendly option with simple seating arrangements. Choose the class that best fits your comfort needs and budget.
  • Child and Foreign Tourist Quota: The Indian Railways allots a certain number of seats for children and foreign tourists. If you are traveling with a child or are a foreign tourist, you can check the availability of seats under these quotas while booking your tickets. Keep in mind that specific identification documents may be required to avail of these quotas, so ensure you have the necessary proofs handy.
  • Flexible Ticketing: When booking your Toy Train tickets, it’s advisable to opt for flexible ticketing options, if available. This allows you to modify or cancel your ticket in case of any unforeseen circumstances or changes in your travel plans. Having flexible ticketing provides peace of mind and flexibility during your journey.
  • Collecting Tickets: After completing the booking process, you will receive a confirmation of your ticket via email or SMS. This confirmation contains your ticket details and a unique PNR (Passenger Name Record) number. To collect your physical ticket, visit the designated ticket counter at the departure station before your journey. Present your PNR number and any necessary identification documents to collect your ticket. It’s recommended to arrive at the station well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle.

Booking your Toy Train tickets in advance ensures you have a confirmed seat and allows you to plan your itinerary accordingly. Remember to carry a printout of your ticket or the e-ticket on your mobile device, as it will be checked by the train staff during your journey. With your tickets secured, get ready to embark on a nostalgic and picturesque ride on the Darjeeling Toy Train.


Choosing a Train Class

The Darjeeling Toy Train offers different classes of travel, each with its own unique features and comforts. Here is a guide to help you choose the right train class for your journey:

  • First Class: If you seek a luxurious and comfortable experience, First Class is the ideal choice for you. This class offers plush seating with ample legroom and large windows for panoramic views of the beautiful landscapes. The seats are cushioned and well-maintained, ensuring a cozy and relaxed journey. First Class also provides a more intimate and exclusive atmosphere, perfect for those looking to indulge in a premium travel experience.
  • AC Chair Car: If you prefer air-conditioned comfort, the AC Chair Car class is a great option. This class provides comfortable seating with air conditioning, ensuring a pleasant ride even during warmer seasons. The AC Chair Car offers great views through its large windows, allowing you to admire the scenic beauty along the Toy Train route. The seats are well-padded, providing a comfortable and enjoyable journey.
  • Second Class: For a budget-friendly option, Second Class is the most economical choice. While it may lack the luxury of the higher classes, Second Class still provides a comfortable and authentic experience. The seats are simple and bench-like, offering a more communal seating arrangement. Although the windows may be slightly smaller, you can still enjoy the beautiful views during your journey. Second Class is perfect for travelers seeking an affordable way to experience the charm and nostalgia of the Toy Train.

When choosing a train class, consider your budget, comfort preferences, and the overall experience you desire. First Class and AC Chair Car provide more comfortable seating options, while Second Class offers a more affordable option. It’s also important to note that availability may vary depending on the season and demand, so it’s advisable to book your preferred class in advance.


Regardless of the class you choose, all passengers on the Toy Train will have the opportunity to soak in the breathtaking views, enjoy the rhythmic chugging of the train, and experience the nostalgia and charm of this unique railway. Remember to bring your camera to capture the memorable moments along the scenic route.


Whichever class you select, the Darjeeling Toy Train promises an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of Darjeeling. So sit back, relax, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of the Himalayas while riding the iconic Toy Train.


Toy Train Schedule

The Darjeeling Toy Train operates daily, offering multiple departures throughout the day. The schedule may vary depending on the season, weather conditions, and maintenance requirements. Here is a general overview of the Toy Train schedule:


The first train of the day usually departs from Darjeeling in the early morning, around 7:40 AM. This early departure allows passengers to witness the stunning sunrise over the Himalayas from the famous Tiger Hill viewpoint. The morning train is especially popular for its panoramic views and the enchanting play of colors as the sun rises above the snow-capped peaks.


Following the morning departure, there are several Toy Train departures throughout the day, with intervals of about one to two hours between each train. The exact schedule may vary, so it’s advisable to check the current timetable and book your tickets accordingly.


The journey time from Darjeeling to Ghum, the highest railway station in India, is approximately one hour. From Ghum, the train makes a short stop, allowing passengers to visit the Ghum Monastery, which houses a beautiful statue of Maitreya Buddha and other Buddhist relics. After the brief stop, the train starts its return journey back to Darjeeling.


It’s important to note that the Toy Train schedule is subject to change due to various factors, including maintenance work, inclement weather conditions, and other operational considerations. It’s recommended to check the latest schedule and timings when planning your Toy Train ride. You can refer to the official Indian Railways website or inquire at the local train station for the most up-to-date information.


During the peak tourist season and weekends, the Toy Train often attracts a large number of visitors. Therefore, it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance to secure your seat and avoid any disappointment. The Indian Railways official website allows you to easily check for availability and book online, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.


As you plan your itinerary, consider the duration of the Toy Train journey and schedule it accordingly. It’s a good idea to allocate ample time for the Toy Train ride so that you can leisurely enjoy the breathtaking views, soak in the atmosphere, and make memorable stops along the way.


By planning ahead, checking the schedule, and booking your tickets in advance, you can ensure a delightful and seamless Toy Train experience in Darjeeling. Prepare for a journey filled with nostalgia, scenic beauty, and enchantment as you traverse the picturesque landscapes aboard this iconic heritage railway.


Starting your Journey

As you embark on your Darjeeling Toy Train journey, here are some important steps and tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable start to your adventure:


1. Arrive at the Train Station Early: It’s recommended to arrive at the Darjeeling train station well in advance of your scheduled departure time. This allows you to complete any necessary ticket or baggage procedures and secure a good seat on the train. Arriving early also gives you time to soak in the atmosphere of the station and capture some pre-departure photographs.


2. Check Your Ticket and Platform: Before boarding the train, double-check your ticket to ensure you are at the correct platform and boarding the right train class. The platform numbers and train information are usually displayed on boards at the station. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask station staff or fellow passengers for assistance.


3. Boarding the Train: Once the train arrives, listen to the announcements and follow the instructions of the train staff for your particular class. Board the train calmly and make your way to your assigned seat, or find a suitable spot if you are in an unreserved class. Keep your ticket handy, as it may be checked by the train conductor during the journey.


4. Storing Your Luggage: If you have any luggage, there are overhead storage racks and/or under-seat compartments available on the Toy Train. Stow your bags securely to ensure a clutter-free and comfortable experience. It’s advisable to travel with minimal luggage to make the journey more convenient, as the seating area is limited in space.


5. Settling into Your Seat: Once you are on board and the train starts moving, settle into your seat and get ready to enjoy the scenic journey ahead. Adjust your seat if necessary, and if the windows are not already open, feel free to open them for fresh air and uninterrupted views of the picturesque landscapes.


6. Engage with Fellow Passengers: One of the unique aspects of the Toy Train ride is the opportunity to interact with fellow passengers. Embrace the friendly atmosphere and strike up conversations with your fellow travelers. This can create memorable experiences and enhance the enjoyment of your journey.


7. Respect Train Etiquette: To ensure a pleasant experience for everyone on board, it’s important to adhere to basic train etiquette. Avoid disturbing other passengers, keep noise levels to a minimum, and refrain from littering. Be mindful of the limited space and respect the seating arrangements.


8. Capture Memories: Throughout your journey, have your camera ready to capture the breathtaking views and memorable moments. The Toy Train offers numerous picturesque spots along the route, so be prepared to snap photos of the stunning Himalayan peaks, charming tea gardens, and quaint villages.


9. Stay Hydrated and Snack Smartly: Carry a water bottle and some light snacks to stay hydrated and energized during the journey. However, remember to be considerate of others and avoid strong-smelling foods that may disturb fellow passengers. The Toy Train may also have a food and beverage cart onboard, offering refreshments during the journey.


10. Enjoy the Ride: Finally, relax and immerse yourself in the experience of riding the iconic Darjeeling Toy Train. Let the rhythmic chugging of the train, the panoramic views, and the nostalgia transport you to a bygone era. Embrace the beauty of the journey, making memories that will last a lifetime.


By following these steps and tips, you can start your Toy Train journey on the right track and fully enjoy the enchanting landscapes of Darjeeling. So sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the stunning Himalayas.


Scenic Highlights along the Route

The Darjeeling Toy Train journey is a visual delight, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Here are some of the scenic highlights you can expect to encounter along the iconic Toy Train route:


1. Batasia Loop: Located just a few kilometers from Darjeeling, the Batasia Loop is a magnificent engineering marvel. This spiral loop allows the train to negotiate the steep gradient by making a 360-degree turn, offering passengers a panoramic view of the town, the snow-covered peaks, and the surrounding landscapes. The beautifully landscaped garden at Batasia Loop adds to the charm of the place, making it a perfect spot for photography.


2. Ghum: As the train climbs higher into the mountains, it reaches Ghum, the highest railway station in India. Ghum is surrounded by breathtaking vistas, including mist-covered valleys, rolling hills, and lush green tea gardens. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Ghum Monastery, a prominent Buddhist monastery housing ancient scriptures and an exquisite statue of Maitreya Buddha.


3. Majestic Himalayan Peaks: Throughout the journey, you will be treated to magnificent views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. On clear days, you may catch glimpses of majestic mountains such as Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. The sight of these towering peaks, bathed in golden hues during sunrise or sunset, is a truly awe-inspiring experience.


4. Tea Gardens: Darjeeling is renowned for its tea plantations, and the Toy Train route passes through several picturesque tea gardens. These sprawling estates are a sight to behold, with their neatly manicured bushes and vibrant greenery. The train slows down near some of these gardens, allowing passengers to admire the beauty of this unique agricultural landscape.


5. Waterfalls and Streams: As the train meanders through the mountains, you will come across cascading waterfalls and gurgling streams along the route. The sight and sound of these natural water features create a soothing and tranquil ambiance, adding to the charm of the journey.


6. Quaint Villages: The Toy Train passes through several quaint villages that dot the mountainside. These villages offer a glimpse into the local way of life, with villagers going about their daily activities and terraced fields providing a picturesque backdrop. The train’s slow pace allows you to observe the simplicity and beauty of these traditional settlements.


7. Charming Bridges: The Toy Train crosses several charming bridges that span deep valleys and mountain streams. These architectural marvels, often made of iron and adorned with intricate designs, provide a delightful sight as the train chugs over them. Some of these bridges, such as the Tindharia Bridge, are particularly famous for their unique design and craftsmanship.


8. Himalayan Flora and Fauna: The journey through the Darjeeling hills offers glimpses of the region’s rich biodiversity. Keep an eye out for colorful rhododendron bushes, vibrant orchids, and other Himalayan flora. You might also spot various bird species and occasional wildlife, adding to the natural allure of the landscapes.


These are just a few of the scenic highlights you can expect while riding the Darjeeling Toy Train. Each curve and bend in the track reveals a new vista of natural beauty, taking you on a mesmerizing journey through the colorful landscapes of this enchanting region. So sit back, soak in the stunning views, and let the beauty of Darjeeling unfold before your eyes.


Stops and Attractions

The Darjeeling Toy Train journey is not just about the scenic landscapes, but also provides opportunities to explore various stops and attractions along the way. Here are some notable stops and attractions that you can explore during your Toy Train ride:


Ghum: Ghum, located at an altitude of 7,407 feet, is an important stop along the Toy Train route. This quaint hill station offers a serene and tranquil ambiance, providing a respite from the bustling city life. Visit the Ghum Monastery, also known as the Yiga Choeling Monastery, which houses rare Buddhist manuscripts and a stunning statue of Maitreya Buddha. Take a stroll around the monastery grounds and soak in the spiritual atmosphere.


Batasia Loop Garden: Just a short distance from Darjeeling, the Batasia Loop is a must-visit stop on the Toy Train route. This beautifully manicured garden offers breathtaking views of Darjeeling town and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Take a leisurely walk around the loop, admire the colorful flowers, and capture stunning photographs of the surrounding landscapes.


Happy Valley Tea Estate: Located near the Batasia Loop, the Happy Valley Tea Estate is one of the famous tea gardens in Darjeeling. Take a guided tour of the estate to learn about the tea production process, from plucking the leaves to the manufacturing of tea. Immerse yourself in the aroma of freshly brewed tea and enjoy a tasting session, where you can savor different varieties of fine Darjeeling tea.


Kurseong: Kurseong, a picturesque town along the Toy Train route, offers several attractions worth exploring. Visit the Eagle’s Craig viewpoint, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Explore Dow Hill Park, known for its thick forests and a haunted house, which adds an eerie charm to the area. Don’t miss a visit to the Kurseong Museum, where you can learn about the rich history and heritage of the region.


Tindharia: Tindharia, a charming village on the Toy Train route, is renowned for its engineering marvel – the Tindharia Railway Workshop. This workshop is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the Toy Train’s locomotives and carriages. You can take a short break at Tindharia and visit the workshop to witness the skilled craftsmen at work, ensuring the smooth operation of the historic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.


Sukna: Sukna is another noteworthy stop along the Toy Train route. This small town is home to the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, a haven for nature enthusiasts. Consider taking a detour from the Toy Train journey to explore the sanctuary, where you can spot a wide variety of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and numerous bird species.


These are just a few of the many stops and attractions along the Toy Train route. As you plan your journey, consider incorporating visits to these places to enhance your overall experience. Each stop offers a unique glimpse into the culture, history, and natural beauty of the region, adding depth to your journey on the iconic Darjeeling Toy Train.


Safety Tips for Riding the Toy Train

When embarking on a journey aboard the Darjeeling Toy Train, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow Instructions: Listen to the announcements and instructions provided by the train staff. Pay attention to safety guidelines, including boarding and disembarking procedures, as well as any specific instructions related to the train journey.
  • Secure Personal Belongings: Keep your personal belongings secure throughout the journey. While the Toy Train is generally safe, it’s advisable to keep your bags close to you and avoid leaving valuables unattended. Use the storage compartments provided on the train to keep your belongings organized and easily accessible.
  • Mind the Gaps: When boarding or disembarking the train, be cautious of the gaps between the train and the platform. Take small steps and hold onto the handrails if necessary to ensure a safe transition. If you require assistance, don’t hesitate to ask the train staff or fellow passengers for help.
  • Stay Seated: During the train ride, remain seated in your designated seat or area. Avoid standing or moving around excessively while the train is in motion, as this can be dangerous due to the limited space and the train’s movements. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the picturesque journey from the comfort of your seat.
  • Be Mindful of Windows: If you choose to open the windows for fresh air and better views, exercise caution. Avoid leaning out too far or sticking any body parts outside the train. Wind gusts or close proximity to structures could pose a potential risk. Remember to close the windows when required, especially during inclement weather or at higher altitudes.
  • Carry Essentials: Bring along essentials such as drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat or umbrella, depending on the weather conditions. Prepare for variations in temperature and weather as you journey through different altitudes. It’s also a good idea to carry a light jacket or shawl for cooler sections of the trip.
  • Be Mindful of Photography: Taking photographs during your Toy Train ride is a wonderful way to capture the scenic beauty. However, ensure that you do so safely without compromising your own or others’ safety. Be mindful of your surroundings, avoid obstructing pathways or other passengers, and do not lean too far out of the train while capturing shots.
  • Respect fellow Passengers: Maintain a respectful and considerate attitude towards fellow passengers. Avoid loud conversations, excessive noise, or any actions that may cause discomfort to others. Remember that everyone is onboard to enjoy the journey, so be mindful of creating a pleasant atmosphere for all.
  • Listen to Train Staff: The train staff are there to assist and ensure a safe journey for all passengers. If they provide instructions or guidance, it’s important to listen and follow their advice. They are experienced in managing the train operations and can offer valuable insights or assistance during the trip.

By adhering to these safety tips, you can enhance your experience aboard the Darjeeling Toy Train and enjoy the stunning views and nostalgic ambiance without compromising your well-being. Stay vigilant, be respectful, and cherish the memories created during this unique journey through the enchanting landscapes of Darjeeling.


Tips for a Comfortable Journey

Riding the Darjeeling Toy Train is a unique and mesmerizing experience, and with a few helpful tips, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Here are some suggestions to enhance your comfort during your time aboard the Toy Train:

  • Dress Comfortably: Choose clothing that allows for ease of movement and suits the weather conditions. As the train may have limited space, avoid wearing bulky or restrictive attire. Layering your clothing is advisable, as it allows you to adjust according to variations in temperature during the journey.
  • Cushioning and Back Support: To make your seat more comfortable, consider carrying a small cushion or pillow for added support. This can help alleviate any discomfort during the journey, especially if you have back or neck concerns. Additionally, adjusting your seating position or using the provided backrest can improve your overall comfort.
  • Stay Hydrated: Carry a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout the journey. Staying hydrated is important for your well-being, especially during longer rides. Depending on the duration of your journey, you may also want to bring along some light snacks to keep your energy levels up.
  • Pack Essentials: Remember to bring essentials such as sunglasses, a hat or cap, sunscreen, and insect repellent, depending on the season and weather conditions. These items can protect you from the sun’s rays and any pesky insects that may be encountered along the way.
  • Carry Entertainment: Although the scenic views will captivate your attention, carrying some form of entertainment during the journey can enhance your experience. Consider bringing a book, a travel journal, or even a portable music player to keep yourself engaged during the quieter stretches of the ride.
  • Engage with Fellow Passengers: Part of the charm of the Toy Train journey is the camaraderie with fellow passengers. Strike up conversations with your co-travelers, share travel experiences, or simply enjoy the company of those around you. Engaging with others can make the journey more enjoyable and create memorable interactions.
  • Respect Quiet Zones: Some sections of the Toy Train may have designated quiet zones, where passengers prefer a more serene and peaceful atmosphere. If you find yourself in such an area, maintain a lower volume while conversing or using electronic devices, allowing everyone to enjoy a tranquil ride.
  • Relax and Immerse Yourself: The Toy Train journey is a magical experience, so be sure to take the time to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings. Appreciate the slower pace of the train, listen to the rhythmic chugging, and let the scenic vistas soothe your senses. Embrace the nostalgic ambiance and create lasting memories of this enchanting journey.

By following these tips, you can ensure a comfortable and enriching experience while riding the Darjeeling Toy Train. Embrace the unique charm of this iconic railway, sit back, and let the beauty of Darjeeling unfold before your eyes.



The Darjeeling Toy Train, also known as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, offers a journey unlike any other. It takes passengers on a captivating adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Darjeeling, providing a nostalgic and scenic experience that will be cherished for a lifetime. From the rich history and engineering marvels to the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, this journey offers a unique perspective and an immersive cultural experience.


Planning your trip to Darjeeling and booking your Toy Train tickets in advance are essential steps to ensure a seamless journey. Consider the best time to visit, the duration of your stay, and the class of travel that suits your preferences and budget. Explore the various stops and attractions along the route, and don’t forget to prioritize safety and comfort during your journey.


As you board the Toy Train and embark on this enchanting adventure, be prepared to relax, unwind, and enjoy the sheer beauty of the landscapes. Marvel at the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, witness the charm of tea gardens and quaint villages, and immerse yourself in the nostalgic ambiance that the Toy Train evokes.


The Darjeeling Toy Train journey is not just a mode of transportation; it’s an experience that captures the essence of Darjeeling’s rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. Soak in the stunning views, engage with fellow passengers, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Whether you choose to ride through the loops of Batasia, explore the Ghum Monastery, or sip on freshly brewed Darjeeling tea at a tea estate – each moment will fill you with awe and wonder. The Darjeeling Toy Train allows you to connect with the past, revel in the present, and appreciate the timeless beauty of the region.


As your Toy Train journey comes to an end, you will carry with you not just memories of the scenic landscapes but also a sense of tranquility and a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders of Darjeeling. So, hop on board the Toy Train, let the rhythmic chugging guide you along the tracks, and set off on an unforgettable adventure through the mystical landscapes of Darjeeling, a journey that will leave an indelible impression on your heart.