Toy Trains In India Backpacker’s bucket list
When backpacking India, you will come across many new transport mediums. From trams in Kolkata, to battery operated rikshaws (tuk tuks) in metropolitan cities, to toy trains in the mountains.
Toy trains are not exactly toys for children. They are, in-fact transport vehicles. Toy trains are small trains that run on coal. Impeccably cute and adorable, these tiny trains run chugging on meter gauge rail tracks that often run alongside the cliff side of the mountain, zig zag through roads, where traffic must halt and wait as the petite train glides gently through.
Where in India are toy trains found?
Certain hill stations round India offer transport and joy rides aboard toy trains.
Most toy trains offer joy rides (a tourist ride). These take you around in a small loop and bring you back. While a short joy ride is quite fun, these trains you want to avoid for transport reasons. Over a longer distance these can test your patience, as they are quite noisy, dirty (flying coal chunks through the journey) and slow. The toy train from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (for example) takes a long, slow eight hours, while a shared jeep will transport you in two.
List of toy trains in India
Shimla – Kalka – Shimla Rail, Himachal Pradesh (H.P.)
Darjeeling Rail, West Bengal (North of Kolkatta)
Kangra Valley Rail (H.P.)
Kashmir Rail (Jammu & Kashmir)
Nilgiri Mountain Rail, Tamil Nadu (South India)
Matheran Hill Rail, Maharashtra (near Mumbai)
Lumding – Silchar Rail (Assam, NE India); in the Barak River Valley of the Cachar Hills
Find toy train time table here.
All said and done, a toy train ride is a must do. Because there is something special about looking out of the window, at the misty mountainside slowly going by in a train right out of history books; can be quite a spectacular, albeit romantic sight to behold.