Breathtaking: Train with vistadome coach, restaurant begins journey
New Delhi, Sep 27: Tourists will now have a better opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views during their journey up the meandering tracks to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri in north Bengal with the introduction of a vistadome coach and a restaurant car in a tri-weekly train which started on Monday.
The introduction of the new train of the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) before Durga puja and Diwali are expected to boost tourism in the hills, a senior railway official said.
The train, run by the North Frontier Railway (NFR), will traverse about 88 km to reach the "Queen of Hills" from New Jalpaiguri in the plains. The train has a vistadome coach offering great views and a restaurant car that will serve an array of food and beverages, NFR general manager Anshul Gupta said.
The new train was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla in the presence of the NFR general manager and other senior officials.
It will run on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from New Jalpaiguri and on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Darjeeling, the official said.
The toy train service between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri, which was temporarily closed owing to a landslide between Rongtong and Tindharia, also restarted on Monday, news agency PTI reported.
The service covering Darjeeling, Ghoom, and Batasia Loop was, however, running as per schedule, an NFR official said.
Describing the introduction of the new train as a positive step, DHR India support group secretary general Raj Basu said "the heritage toy train, Kanchenjunga, and tea are the main attractions of tourism in Darjeeling hills."
With bookings of hotels and homestays in the hills being full this Puja season after two years of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions, the tourism sector, as well as the tourists, will be benefitted from the introduction of the new train, he said.