The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, often affectionately referred to as the “Toy Train,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming narrow-gauge railway system in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Built during the British colonial era, the railway was completed in 1881 and has since become an iconic symbol of Darjeeling’s rich heritage.
The Toy Train covers a picturesque route that spans about 88 kilometers, meandering through the undulating landscapes of the eastern Himalayas. The railway starts from the Darjeeling town at an elevation of around 2,042 meters and descends to the plains, offering breathtaking views of tea gardens, forests, and the snow-capped peaks, including the majestic Kanchenjunga.
The journey on the Toy Train is a nostalgic experience, with vintage steam locomotives and charming, century-old coaches. The slow pace of the train allows passengers to savor the beauty of the surroundings and appreciate the engineering marvel of the railway’s loops, spirals, and zigzags. One of the most famous sections is the Batasia Loop, a spiral track that offers panoramic views of the Himalayas and Ghoom Monastery.