Keeping in mind the comfort of tourists and locals visiting the state capital by train, the railway department has introduced eight "luxury coaches" on the heritage Kalka-Shimla track. The move comes ahead of the tourist season in order to make the ride joyful.
Shimla railway station superintendent Sanjay Gera, while talking to Hindustan Times, said that the railway had started "steam-hauled luxury coaches" from Shimla to Kanoh, with a stoppage at Kathleeghat. He added, "The distance from Shimla to Kathleeghat (23 km) will be covered in around 70 minutes, while from Shimla to Kanoh (30 km) in 90 minutes. Gera said KC 520 steam locomotive engine was 109-years-old and was designed and manufactured in England by North British Locomotive Company.
The engine that pulled the toy train was, however, withdrawn from service in 1971, after which diesel engines were introduced. It was renewed in 2001.
Gera said that the coaches were introduces to make the ride pleasant and comfortable. He added, "The bookings for these coaches are available at the railway booking office in Shimla and Kalka and will run the coaches once the bookings are made."
The CT/12 and CT/13 are two luxury coaches attached to each other with a seating capacity of 10 and 12 passengers respectively. The CT/14 coach has a seating capacity of 8 passengers and some additional facilities. The RA/200 of "Shivalik Palace" has a capacity of eight passengers with a personal kitchen.
Other coaches include first class chair car with seating capacity of 18 passengers, while 14 seater first-class chair car and guard room. Gera also said that the security Rs 4,000 per coach is refundable.
Meanwhile, Travel Pal's India proprietor Amit Chopra from Delhi said, "There has been demand for luxury coaches from our foreign clients, the ones especially from United Kingdom and Europe. The Kalka-Shimla track has been a favoured choice for these tourists."
Fare of coaches
CT/12 Rs 15,044
CT/13 Rs 18,053
CT/14 Rs 25,268
RA/200 Rs 26,805
FCZ Rs 30,088
FCZLR Rs 30,088
KC-520 Rs 76,389
FCS Rs 3,839