'Orient Rail Journeys' is a brand of 'Travelogy India Private Limited'. All payments related to train tours and services should be in the name of 'Travelogy India Private Limited' only.

Kalka Shimla Toy Train – A Detailed Travel Guide

One of the most exciting activities to enjoy in major hill stations of India is the toy trains. These trains provide a non-stop scenic view of the mountain regions, unexplored parts of the area, and a panoramic view of the mountain ranges. Kalka-Shimla toy train is one such similar tourist activity.

History of Kalka Shimla Toy Train

The railway route was built by British in early 20th century to reach Shimla to escape the harsh summer of India. Shimla was British's summer capital. Today, it still gives the nostalgic feel as you ride along the steep tracks bordering pine forests, gorges, valleys, plantations,and much more.

The first train ran between the two stations in 1903 and this steam engine took 7 hours running through 109 tunnels. According to reports, Lord Curzon boarded the maiden train from Kalka to Shimla. Until date, the route remains the same and even the stations use the 20th century clocks to sync the timings for the train. In the past, to provide illumination inside dark tunnels, engineers added mirrors to reflect the sunlight into the tunnel.

Train Route

As the name indicates, the trains run between Kalka and Shimla stations. Both the destinations are located in Himachal Pradesh. The trains run for 96 km between the two destinations, running past 20 railway stations. The route covers 900 curves, 800 bridges and 103 tunnels. The longest tunnel in the route is located closer to Barog Railway Station and it stretches for more than one kilometer.

The route is quite standard from Kalka to Barog. The scenic beauty of the hill region starts only after the train leaves Barog. The train's speed is also reduced considerably after Barog. The route turns to become steep, narrow, and zigzags around small boulders and rugged regions, giving you a panoramic view of fascinating elements of the region.

Train Timetable from Kalka to Shimla

There are two passenger trains that run in this toy train route. Apart from the standard trains, three tourist trains also serve the route.

52451 - Shivalik Deluxe Express

This train is a premium option with luxury elements like carpeted floors, large glass windows, modern toilets, soothing music, comfortable seats, and much more. This train halts only at Barog along the way. The train's capacity is just 120 passengers. The train starts at 5:45 am from Kalka and reaches Shimla by 10:35 am. However, the train runs an hour or more late usually, because it is specially timed to run to connect with Howrah Kalka Mail train.

Shimla to Kalka Route

On the return journey, the train number is 52452 – Shivalik Deluxe Express and it starts by 5:50 pm from Shimla. It reaches Kalka by 10:45 pm. The train is fairly punctual.

Cost of the train ticket (for both routes)

  • One way ticket for adults – INR 510
  • One way ticket for children – INR 255

52455 - Himalayan Queen

This is a nostalgic train, which provides a comfortable ride throughout the route. Food is not a part of the tariff, but one can purchase it from any one of the nine stations it stops along the way. Each stop is not more than ten minutes, thus comfort is guaranteed. The train runs very slow, allowing you to take perfect pictures along the way. The only disadvantage is that Himalayan Queen has a high demand and is always crowded. It starts from Kalka by 12:10 pm and reaches Shimla by 5:30 pm. During certain seasons, the train journey can take more than 7 hours for completion.

Shimla to Kalka Route

On the return journey, the train is 52456 – Himalayan Queen and it starts by 10:40 am from Shimla. It reaches Kalka by 4:10 pm. The train is fairly punctual.

Cost of the Train Ticket (for both routes)

  • One way ticket for adults – INR 470
  • One way ticket for children – INR 235

72451 - Rail Motor Car

This train's decor is quite similar to the rail bus used during the Second World War. The train is designed in such a manner to give a nostalgic feel. The train has a transparent roof which gives a panoramic view of the region as the trains curves along the sides of the mountains. The train tariff also includes food. The speed of the train is comparatively higher, and it can carry only 14 passengers.

Shimla to Kalka Route

On the return journey, the train is 72452 – Rail Motor Car and it starts by 5:25 pm from Shimla. It reaches Kalka by 9:35 pm.

Cost of the Train Ticket (for both routes)

  • One way ticket for adults – INR 320
  • One way ticket for children – INR 160

52457 - Kalka- Shimla Passenger

This is a famous train running in the route and a quite crowded one too. The train starts every early in the morning from Kalka (3:30 am) and reaches Shimla by 8:55 am. The train stops at 16 stations and has a nostalgic feel.

Shimla to Kalka Route

On the return journey, the train is 52458- Kalka Shimla Passenger and it starts by 2:20 pm from Shimla. It reaches Kalka by 8:10 pm. The train is usually punctual.

Cost of the Train Ticket (for both routes)

  • One way ticket for adults – INR 270
  • One way ticket for children – INR 135
  • For unreserved seating – INR 25

52453 – Kalka-Shimla NG Express

This is a similar train, which is fitted with special vistadome carriages in addition to the first class, second class and unreserved compartments. This train is getting more popular among tourists looking for a luxurious experience. The train starts from Kalka at 6:20 am and reach by 11:35 am, making 10 stops on the way.

Shimla to Kalka Route

On the return journey, the train is 52454 – Shimla-Kalka NG Express and it starts by 6:30 pm from Shimla. It reaches Kalka by 11:30 pm.

Cost of the Train Ticket (for both routes)

  • One way ticket for adults (first class) – INR 295
  • One way ticket for children (first class) – INR 150
  • One way ticket for adults (second class) – INR 65
  • One way ticket for children (second class) – INR 25
  • One way ticket in unreserved – INR 25

52459 - Him Darshan Express Train

This is a new train started by the end of 2019. The train has vistadome carriages in the first coach. The train starts in Kalka by 7 am and reaches Shimla by 12:55 pm. The train stops at Barog along the way. The train runs throughout the week. Him Darshan is a luxury option with wooden decor, LED lights, reversible seats and others.

Shimla to Kalka Route

On the return journey, the train number is 52460 – Him Darshan Express and it starts by 3:50 pm from Shimla. It reaches Kalka by 9:15 pm.

Cost of the Train Ticket (for both routes)

  • One way ticket for adults (first class) – INR 295
  • One way ticket for children (first class) – INR 150
  • One way ticket in Vistadome carriage – INR 630

Travel Tips

  • Not all train tickets can be booked online in this route, especially the tickets for Vistadome carriages. Thus, the passengers have to visit the railway station at Shimla or Kalka for manually booking via counter.
  • The demand for the train tickets is quite high during summer season (April to June). During the peak season, it is best to book the tickets as early as possible.
  • The number of carriages and frequency of the train is reduced during monsoon season. Check the availability before planning.
  • Foreign Quota Pass is not applicable for certain coaches, especially Vistadome carriages. Confirm it before booking.

Related Posts: