Indian Hill Railways

Sunday 15 February to Saturday 7 March 2015

A slightly revised version of our annual trip to the three Hill Stations which now includes a journey on the Rajdhani Express between Delhi and New Jalpaiguri.

Day 1 - Fly London to Amritsar

Golden Temple at Amritsar - © Bob CableEvening flight from London to Amritsar via Delhi.

Day 2 - Arrive in India

Attari-Wagah Frontier Post - © Bob CableArrive in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar for a 2-night stay. Afternoon free to relax.

Day 3 - Full day in and around Amritsar

Kalka Shimla Railway - © Bob CableMorning sightseeing tour of Amritsar including the stunning GoldenTemple. Afternoon visit to the Atari-Wagah frontier post, a thoroughly unusual and unexpected experience.

Day 4 - By road and rail across the Punjab

Kathleeghat steam train - © Bob CableMorning train across the Punjab to Ludhiana and onward by road to Nalagarh and the romantic Nalagarh Palace Hotel.

Day 5 - Kalka Shimla Railway

The Taj Mahal - © Bob CableBy road to Kalka where we visit the extensive 2ft 6in gauge workshops of the Kalka Shimla Railway. Later we travel by privately chartered carriage or railbus over this astonishing line to Shimla, the former summer capital of British India. We remain here for 2-nights on full board.

Day 6 - Steam charter to Kathleeghat

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - © Bob CableDepart on our own special steam charter to Kathleeghat using one of the original KC Class engines built for the line. Enjoy wonderful scenery and many photo opportunities en route, returning to Kalka by diesel train in the afternoon.

Day 7 - Kalka to Delhi

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Joy Train - © Bob CableDepart on the morning train from Shimla to Kalka, continuing to Delhi on the Shatabdi Express. Evening arrival in Delhi and transfer to the Grand Hotel for 3-nights on B&B basis. Lunch included.

Day 8 - Sightseeing and Delhi Railway Museum

Nilgiri Railway - © Ray SmithWe visit some of the many famous sights of Delhi including the India Gate, Rajpath, Qutab Minar and Humayun's Tomb. Afternoon visit to the famous Delhi Railway Museum.

Day 9 - Visit the Taj Mahal

Nilgiri Railway - © Bob CableMorning train from Delhi to Agra. Visit the sublime Taj Mahal and Red Fort before returning to Delhi by road. Lunch stop at a local restaurant included.

Day 10 - Rajdhani Express

Morning at leisure with a restaurant lunch included. Afternoon departure on board the Rajdhani Express for the overnight journey to New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. Accommodation in 2nd Class air conditioned berths with all meals included.

Day 11 - Siliguri & DHR Depot

Morning arrival at New Jalpaiguri and transfer to our hotel in Siliguri. We have lunch at the hotel (included) before an afternoon visit to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway's depot and enjoy the first of our steam charters. 1-night stay on full board.

Day 12- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Depart from Siliguri Junction on our charter train made up of two very comfortable 1st Class carriages, hauled by a B Class 0-4-0. Proceed to Gayabari, on the recently re-opened line where we transfer to road vehicles for a visit to the running shed and works at Tindharia. There will be many stops and buses running parallel for photography. This magnificent line climbs to over 7,000ft using zig-zags and loops with fabulous views. Continue by road to Kurseong for a 1-night stay on full board.

Day 13- Another day on the DHR

Second day of the charter continues from Kurseong to Darjeeling. The train winds its way straight up the main street of Kurseong and other villages before reaching the summit at Ghoom and descending into Darjeeling. A 3-night stay on full board at the wonderful Mayfair Hotel.

Days 14 & 15 - Magical Darjeeling

Two full days in Darjeeling for general sightseeing or further travel on the DHR. Optional excursions are available to view KanchenJunga and even Mt Everest at dawn and to fascinating Kalimpong. On the last day we have a farewell trip on the DHR by travelling on the 'Joy Train' from Darjeeling, round the Batasia Loop, to the summit at Ghoom where we visit the DHR museum.

Day 16 - Fly to Chennai

Return to Bagdogra by road and then fly to Chennai via Calcutta. Overnight in Chennai on B&B basis.

Day 17 - Train to Coimbatore

We take a late morning train across Southern India from Chennai to Coimbatore arriving in the early evening. A 1-night stay on full board.

Day 18 - Nilgiri Railway

Early morning departure on the metre gauge Nilgiri Rack Railway, steam hauled from Mettupalayam to Coonoor. The train will be hauled (or rather pushed) by one of the huge SLM built rack tanks up the astonishing escarpment into the Blue Mountains. Coonoor to Ooty will be diesel hauled. A 2-night stay on full board.

Day 19 - The Cool Blue Mountains

A whole day's sightseeing, including the Dodabetta Peak, the Botanical Gardens, a tea garden and Coonoor station and shed. Return to the hotel for a Farewell Dinner.

Day 20 - Journey home

Most of the day at leisure before returning by road to Coimbatore then flight to Mumbai.

Day 21 - Fly to London

Early morning flight to London arriving same day.

Includes:

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airlines
  • Accommodation in good standard hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 16 Lunches and 12 Dinners
  • Rail travel in Chair Car accommodation
  • Privately chartered carriage or Railbus Kalka to Shimla
  • Steam charter Shimla to Kathleeghat, return by diesel train
  • One overnight in 2-tier air-conditioned sleeper on the Rajdhani Express
  • Chartered steam trains on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
  • 1st Class travel on the Nilgiri Rack Railway
  • All transfers as stated
  • All excursions and admission charges as listed
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour
 
   
Price per person:  
Escorted holiday: £4,550
Single room supplement: £975
Deposit for this holiday: £200
   

Rates of exchange used are as at 1st May 2014

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