Location of Kalka-Shimla Railway
Kalka-Shimla Railway is located at 7,116 feet in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountain Region.
History of Kalka-Shimla Railway
Kalka-Shimla Railway was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British East India Company, with the Indian rail system. Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Kalka-Shimla Railway was settled by the British East India Company shortly after the first Anglo-Gurkha war. By the 1830s, Shimla had already developed as a major base for the British. It became the summer capital of British East India in the year 1864, and was also the headquarters of the British army in India. Prior to construction of the railway, communication with the outside world was via village cart. The 1,676 mm broad gauge Delhi-Kalka line was opened in 1891. The Kalka-Shimla Railway was constructed on 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge tracks by the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company commencing in 1898. The estimated cost was Rs.86, 78,500, however, the cost doubled during execution of the project. The 96.54 km (59.99 mi) line was opened for traffic November 9, 1903. It was inaugurated by Lord Curzon, then Viceroy of India. Because of the high capital and maintenance costs, coupled with peculiar working conditions, the Kalka-Shimla Railway was allowed to charge fares that were higher than the prevailing tariffs on other lines. However, even this was not good enough to sustain the company, so the Government had to purchase it on January 1, 1906 for Rs.1, 71, 07,748. In 1905, Kalka-Shimla Railway line was regauged to 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge under guidelines from the Indian War Department seeking to ensure uniformity in all imperial narrow gauge systems. In mid-August 2007, the Government of Himachal Pradesh declared the railway a heritage property in preparation for its review in September.
Extension of Kalka-Shimla Railway
Kalka-Shimla Railway passes through a city named Solan, which is also known as mini Shimla. A festival celebrating the goddess Shoolini Devi, after which the city is named, is held each summer in June.
Tourism in Kalka-Shimla Railway
The scenic hilly beauty along the whole route of Shimla-Kalka Railways, and the marvels of its construction, keeps the traveller on this line spell bound. On July 8, 2008, the Kalka-Shimla Railway was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the World Heritage Site Mountain Railways of India. The Mountain Railways of India includes Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway. The longest tunnel is located at Barog is one of the major tourist attraction.