Indian Hill Railways

Sunday 9 February to Saturday 1 March 2014

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

Indian Hill RailwaysEvening 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

Golden Temple - © Ray SmithMorning sightseeing tour of Amritsar including the stunning Golden Temple. Afternoon visit to the Atari-Wagah frontier post, a thoroughly unusual and unexpected experience.

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

ZDM-3 No. 192 at Kalka Station - © Ray SmithBy 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

Taj Mahal - © Bob CableEnjoy 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

Delhi Railway Museum - © Ray SmithBreakfast 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

Visit the sublime Taj Mahal at dawn, a truly unforgettable experience. Later we visit Akbar’s Mausoleum at Sikandra before continuing by road to Delhi for 2 nights.

Day 10 - Sightseeing in Delhi

Delhi Railway Museum - © 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 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

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - © Michael WhitehouseDarjeeling Himalayan Railway - © Ray SmithDepart 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 7,000 feet 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 the train will continue either to Tindharia or Kurseong without the transfer to road transport.

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.

Days 14 and 15 - Magical Darjeeling

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - © Bob CableTwo 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 Calcutta. 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. A 1-night stay on full board.

Day 18 - Nilgiri Railway

YDM-4 6414 at Ooty - © Ray SmithWe 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. Coonoor to Ooty will be diesel hauled. A 2-night stay on full board.

Day 19 - The Cool Blue Mountains

Whole day 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
  • 15 Lunches and 12 Dinners
  • Rail travel in Chair Car accommodation
  • Privately chartered carriage or Railbus Kalka to Shimla
  • One overnight in 2-tier air-conditioned sleeper
  • 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: £4,600
Single room supplement: £975
Deposit for this holiday: £200

Rates of exchange used are as at 1st May 2013

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