Kalka-Shimla Railway announced world heritage by UNESCO

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (UNI) More than a century-old Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railway has been accorded the world heritage status by the UNESCO, describing it as one of the most Authentic Mountain Railways in the world.

Being one of the tourists delight, this is the fourth Railway site to be recognised as a World Heritage, the other three being the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway near Ooty in Tamil Nadu State and Chhatarpati Shivaji Terminal (Earlier known as Bombay Victoria Terminal) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The decision to add the Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge Railway to World Heritage site was taken at the meeting of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Quebec City, Canada, yesterday which was also attended by an Indian delegation led by Secretary Railway Board Mathew John.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway (KSR) line was opened to traffic on November 9, 1903. During its six hour journey on 96 km narrow gauge route from Kalka to Shimla, the KSR runs through 102 tunnels, many arched bridges and several picturesque stations like Dharampur, Barog and Solan.

Covering this rail route holds a special charm coming in a variety of options such as the Deluxe Rail Motor Car, the Shivalik Deluxe Express, the Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach and the Shivalik Queen Tourist Coach.

The KSR was initially commissioned with modified version of steam locomotives used in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway but soon more powerful, larger and compact locomotives were included. It was only on this railway that the earliest version of petrol driven cars resembling the Royal Char-a-banc carriages became a commercial success. It also witnessed a plethora of technology changes with steam, petrol and diesel power for trains traversing the hilly terrain.

A journey on this line by any of these trains is a unique opportunity to experience the majestic Himalayas and their conquest through engineering construction skills more than 100 years ago.

UNI KAS AKJ AS2012

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