Kalka (KLK): As the dense fog continue to play spoil sport for railways on the account of cancellation and delayed arrival of trains, passengers going uphills have a reason to smile. The zonal railway authorities have decided to ensure that two holiday special trains which are introduced to accommodate tourist rush will be linked with the long distance trains having delayed arrival at Kalka.
Among those trains which are linked with Kalka-Shimla trains include Howrah-Kalka, Bandra-Chandigarh-Lukhnow, New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabadi Express and Himalayan queen express and other trains.
Currently, Northern railways are running five trains. One Holiday special train known as Duplicate Shivalik Express was put on the tracks on Thursday.
The authorities are hopeful of putting the second train on the tracks from Wednesday. This will take total number of trains going uphills to Seven.
All these train start chugging in Kalka at 5.am, the time when Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge trains start chugging off from Kalka. Last train leaves Kalka at 12.40 pm.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Sr.DCM) Gulshan Kumar said that the decision to link holiday specials has been done to accomodate passengers of delayed trains.
“We have asked the local authorities to ensure that tourists are accommodated in all the trains. Since we cannot make the tourists wait in case of linked trains are having long delays, hence we decided to link holiday special trains,” Kumar said.
As the mercury is dipping day by day, the tourist rush going uphills is increasing every day. Railway authorities had pressed first holiday special. The five-hour journey on the narrow-gauge rail line is an exhilarating experience. The Kalka-Shimla rail track was built by the British in 1903 to ferry Europeans to and fro this hill town, the erstwhile summer capital of British India.
There are 102 tunnels on the rail line. A train takes about three minutes to cross the longest tunnel at Barog (5,000 ft).