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Indian Railways Launch Him Darshan Express Train between Kalka and Shimla

On December 25th, 2019, the Him Darshan Express started its maiden journey from Kalka railway station to Shimla railway station with 90 passengers on-board. This is a historic moment in Indian Railways, as this is the first regular train to have vista-dome (glass ceiling) in India.

The Kalka-Shimla route is a UNESCO heritage train route famous for its mountain view. The vista-dome ceiling allows tourists to enjoy a panoramic view, as the train moves amidst valleys and mountains. Thus, the Him Darshan Express with 6 coaches of vista-dome roof is expected to be a hit among the tourists. According to Gurinder Mohan Singh, Divisional Railway Manager of IRCTC, this train is an initiative by the department for developing tourism. The train is expected to run until December 24, 2020.

About Him Darshan Express

The Him Darshan Express can carry 104 passengers during a trip. The train has seven coaches, out of which six are vista-dome coaches and one is AC chair car-cum-luggage space. Each vista dome coach can hold a maximum of 15 passengers (ten window seats on either sides of the train and five aisle seats in the middle). Thus, 90 passengers can travel in the vista dome and 14 passengers are allowed in the AC chair car.The prototype of the train had 35 seats per vista-dome coach but, during the later stages, the number of seats was reduced to avoid hustle and congestion.

Features and amenities of the train

The train provides top-notch features and luxury amenities like

  • Cushioned wooden decor interior
  • Modular switches and power outlets
  • LED lights for comfortable movement inside the train
  • Glass top dome in six coaches
  • Air-conditioned coaches
  • Western-styled toilets with liquid soap, room freshener, and others
  • Reversible and comfortable seats

Also Read: Luxury Train Facilities

Him Darshan Express Fare

The cost of the ticket per head, per route is INR 630, for both children and adults. The first-class vista-dome booking does not accept any concessions provided by IRCTC. The train tickets can be booked using the online portal of IRCTC or at the booking counters found in Kalka and Shimla railway stations. However, if you are booking for the first-class sitting chair (one without vista dome), the only booking option is via the booking counter in the railway stations. The train halts at Barog station for a few minutes. If the passenger travels between Barog and Kalka, or Barogand Shimla, the ticket fare is still the same.

Also Know about the Luxury Train Fares:

  • Palace on Wheels Tariff
  • Him Darshan Express Timing and Route

    The train runs throughout the week. Every day, the train makes one trip from Kalka to Shimla, and one on the other direction. The speed of Him Darshan is between 14 and 20 kilometer per hour.

    For Train 52459 (Him Darshan Express from Kalka to Shimla)

    Departure or Arrival Station Kilometers Traveled Arrival Time Halting time Departure Time Elevation (in meters)
    Kalka Railway Station Haryana N/A N/A 7:00 Am 640 m
    Barog Railway Station Himachal Pradesh 9:02 Am 8 minutes 09:10 am 1552 m
    Shimla Railway Station Himachal Pradesh 12:55 Pm N/A N/A 2086 m

    For Train 52460 (Him Darshan Express from Shimla to Kalka)

    Departure or Arrival Station Kilometers Traveled Arrival Time Halting time Departure Time Elevation (in meters)
    Kalka Railway Station N/A N/A N/A 7:00 Am 2086 m
    Barog Railway Station Himachal Pradesh 9:02 Am 8 minutes 09:10 am 1552 m
    Shimla Railway Station Himachal Pradesh 12:55 Pm N/A N/A 640 m

    In between the two destinations, the train crosses through 17 different stations, but halts only at Barog station. Other stations that the train passes through are Summer Hill, Jutogh, Taradevi, Shoghi, Kanoh, Solan Brewery, Solan, Koti, Gumman, Taksal, and others.

    Tourism Element of Him Darshan Express

    The train route between Kalka and Shimla is one of the most beautiful routes, and is very famous among tourists, especially honeymooners. With the new vista-dome, the coaches provide an unhindered panoramic view of pine forests, Shivalinks, valleys, pristine villages, meadows, and others throughout the 5 hours of journey.

    The tourists can rotate the seats to align their position according to the direction of the train. This allows the tourists to have a comfortable ride. If the season is very sunny and bright, the honeycomb blinds and window rollers will help to shunt the sunlight from affecting the comfort of the travel.