Indian Hill Railways
Sunday 10 February to Saturday 2 March 2013
A repeat of our hugely successful tour to India that includes the three Hill Station railways as featured in the popular BBC series. This wonderful tour combines the three most exceptional railways that served the former British Hill Stations. Engineering excellence, fierce gradients and stunning scenery make for a memorable tour.
Day 1 Fly London to Amritsar
Evening flight London to Amritsar via Delhi.
Day 2 Arrive in India
Arrive in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar for a 2-night stay. Afternoon free to relax.
Day 3 Full day in and around Amritsar
Day 4 By rail and road across the Punjab
Morning train across the Punjab to Ludhiana and onward by road to Nalagarh and the romantic Nalagarh Palace Hotel.
Day 5 Kalka Shimla Railway
By 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 Old Colonial Shimla
Sightseeing tour of Shimla including Viceroy’s Lodge, formerly the seat of power of the Indian Raj and the colourful Hanuman Temple.
Day 7 Free Day in Shimla
Enjoy a free day in Shimla before an evening train departure to Kalka with a simple dinner served on board (included), perhaps the only 2ft 6in gauge railway in the world to offer this facility. Onward by night train in air-conditioned, 2-tier sleepers on the Kalka Howrah Mail.
Day 8 Sightseeing in Agra
Breakfast will be served before we arrive at Tundla (Agra) for an overnight stay. Sightseeing will include the ‘Baby Taj’ and the wonderful Mogul Red Fort with views across the Jamuna River to the Taj Mahal.
Day 9 Visit the Taj Mahal
Day 10 Sightseeing in Delhi
Day 11 Fly to Bagdogra
Morning flight to Bagdogra in West Bengal where we transfer to our hotel for lunch (included) before an afternoon visit to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) depot at Siliguri Junction. We stay here for 1 night on full board.
Day 12 From Siliguri to Kurseong
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 Chundbhati 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 in 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.
PLEASE NOTE that in the event that one or more sections of the line are reopened after storm damage, the train will continue either to Tindharia or Kurseong without the transfer to road transport.
Day 13 Another Day on the DHR
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – 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. 3 nights on full board.
Days 14 and 15 Magical Darjeeling
Two full days in Darjeeling for general sightseeing or further travel on the DHR. 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 fascinating DHR museum.
Day 16 Fly to Chennai
Return to Bagdogra by road and then fly to Chennai via Delhi. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 17 Train to Coimbatore
We take a late morning train across Southern India from Chennai to Coimbatore arriving in the early evening. 1 night on full board.
Day 18 Steam Charter on the Nilgiri Railway
We depart 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. As we climb to the hill station of Ooty, we will have a range of photostops and false starts (subject to the approval of Indian Railways). Coonoor to Ooty will be diesel hauled. 2-nights on full board.
Day 19 The Cool Blue Mountains
Day 20 Final Steam Charter and Journey Home
Return journey on the Nilgiri Rack Railway with a private steam charter from Coonoor to Mettupalayam. Continue by road to Coimbatore then flight to Mumbai.
Day 21 Fly to London
Early morning flight to London arriving same day.
|Single room supplement:||£890|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£200|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st May 2012