Sunday, August 25, 2013

GOD'S OWN TRAIN



                                                              The northern state of India - Himachal Pradesh have the benefit of two narrow gauge Rail tracks - Kalka/Shimla and Pathankot/Jogindernagar. Kalka Shimla toy train run on these treks popularly called 'Toy Trains' by the tourists. Roundabout on Shimla toy train is a stimulating experience as one passes through the breathtaking landscapes of splendid Himalayas, tunnels, bridges and fertile green dale embroidered with pine, oak trees, leaving a long lasting memory of ecstasy and accomplishment.


At Shimla Station
                                                 The longest tunnel in the route is named after Barog, the engineer, responsible for scheming a tunnel near the railway station. He started digging the tunnel from both sides of the mountain, which is relatively common as it hustles up construction. However, he made mistake in calculation and the two ends of the tunnel did not meet. Barog was fined an amount of 1 Rupee by the then British government. This is equivalent to millions of dollars today. 
                                     Unable to withstand the embarrassment, Barog committed suicide. He was buried near the incomplete tunnel. The area came to be known as Barog after him and the tunnel is called unlucky tunnel. It is said that his dog upon seeing his master bleeding profusely ran in panic to a village, near the present Barog railway station, for help. However, by the time people reached the spot, Barog had breathed his last. There are different versions about the suicide as some say the dejected engineer shot his dog before he shot himself. He was buried in front of the tunnel, near the Kalka-Shimla national highway, about 1 km from Barog. It is now even difficult to locate the whereabouts of the dejected tunnel which has now been closed.

IN FRONT OF BOROG  TUNNEL

Later the mantle fell on Chief Engineer H.S. Harrington's supervison escorted by a local learned, Bhalku, in a short period from July 1900 to September 1903 at a cost 8.40 Lakh rupees (Rupees 840,000).This tunnel is the longest of the 103 operational tunnels on the route of the Shimla-Kalka Railway, which is 1143.61m long. Barog station is right away after the tunnel. Barog tunnel is the straightest tunnel in the World.Trains takes about 2.5 minutes to cross this tunnel, running at 25 kilometres per hour.Trains take about 2.5 minutes to cross this tunnel, running at 25 kilometres per hour.

MOTHERHOOD

                                                 JOURNEY THRO' JUNGLE.
Kalka Shimla Toy Train has about 7 coaches that can accommodate least 200 passengers in a single trip. The diversities of challenging weather do not extricate the pertinacity of the 700 horsepower B-B type diesel engines. They run vigorously taking up the hazards of adverse weather conditions - temperatures ranging from 0 to 25°C, heavy snowfall -average recording 2 feet during winters, and the annual rainfall of 2000-2500 mm, professed by the valley. The train acquires up a moderate average speed of 25-30 km throughout its passage imparting its travelers to delight in the full magnificence of the pleasing valley. 
                                                                                                            


Perhaps this is the only train in India which waited for me to finish my refreshments at Barog station  !