Indian Hill Railways

Street Route on the DHR - © Michael Whitehouse
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - © Bob Cable
Siliguri Junction on the DHR - © Michael Whitehouse
Golden Temple at Amritsar - © Ray Smith
Kathleeghat Steam Loco on Kalka Shimla Railway - © Bob Cable
Nilgiri Railway - © Bob Cable
Taj Mahal - © Bob Cable

Holiday Highlights

  • Private Heritage carriage on Kalka Shimla
  • Private steam charter - Shimla to Shoghi
  • Taj Mahal & Red Fort
  • 2 Private steam charters on DHR
  • Journey on the ‘Joy Train’
  • Delhi Railway Museum & DHR Museum
  • Workshop visits on Kalka Shimla & DHR
  • Amritsar, Delhi, Darjeeling & Ooty
  • See Atari-Wagah Frontier, Golden Temple, India Gate, Dodabetta Peak
  • 21 days from £TBC
Tailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
February 2018 – dates TBC

Our successful annual tour to India which includes the three most exceptional railways that served the former British Hill Stations. Engineering excellence, fierce gradients and stunning scenery make for a memorable tour.

Ffestiniog Travel have been running an annual escorted tour to India for the last 17 years, visiting the hill station railways of Darjeeling, Nilgiri and Shimla. The 20+ day tour usually departs in February each year and a detailed itinerary of our 2017 tour can be seen below. If you are interested in joining our 2018 tour please register your interest by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"The holiday met and exceeded expectations, especially the trip on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway." Mr & Mrs E. Stephens, Hampshire - Indian Hill Railways 2016


Day 1 – Fly London to Amritsar

Evening flight from 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 – Sightseeing in Amritsar

Morning 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 – Across the Punjab

Morning train across the Punjab to Ambala and onward by road to Chandigarh for 1-night stay on B&B basis.

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 – Steam to Shoghi

Depart on our own special steam charter to Shoghi using one of the original KC Class engines built for the line. Enjoy wonderful scenery and many photo opportunities en route. Return to Shimla by road for an afternoon sightseeing tour.

Day 7 – Kalka to Delhi

Depart 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 & dinner included today.

Day 8 – Delhi Railway Museum

We 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. Lunch included.

Day 9 – The Taj Mahal

Morning train from Delhi to Agra. Visit the sublime Taj Mahal and Red Fort before returning to Delhi by train. 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 2-tier air conditioned berths with all meals included.

Day 11 – Siliguri and DHR Depot

Morning arrival at New Jalpaiguri and transfer to our hotel in Siliguri. We have lunch at the hotel (included) before an optional afternoon visit to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’s depot. 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.

Note: In the event that one or more of the sections of the line are reopened, the train will continue 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 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 full day excursion available to the Teesta Valley and 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 Delhi and Pune. 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.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ritz Plaza Hotel, Amritsar

Taj Hotel, Chandigarh

Oberoi Clarke Hotel, Shimla

The Grand Hotel, Delhi

Sinclairs Hotel, Siliguri

Cochrane Palace Hotel, Kurseong

Mayfair Hotel, Darjeeling

Rain Tree Hotel, Chennai

The Residency Hotel, Coimbatore

Taj Savoy Hotel, Ooty

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airlines
  • Accommodation in good standard hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 16 lunches and 12 dinners
  • All rail journeys as stated
  • 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: TBC
Single room supplement: TBC
Surcharge per person: TBC
Surcharge for single supplement: TBC
Deposit for this holiday: £200
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st May 2017

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Alternative flash content


Get Adobe Flash player