Gorkhatimes

A Gorkha weblog which intends to keeps you updated about everything and bring together all Gorkhali community

Darjeeling rail dumped by UK agency

Posted by Ramesh Khati on September 30, 2009

By Andy Hemmington

September 29th, 2009:GW travels has announced that it will be dumping the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) as of 2011 after ongoing disappointment in the standards of service. The group will switch to road travel for its four journeys through the region after 2010.

The DHR has achieved legendary status amongst train-spotters and was named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1999. The railroad was built around 1880 and trains rise some 7,000 feet from Siliguri to Darjeeling.

The GW group, which has to date used the famous ‘toy train’ on 8 tours in the past four years, claimed that the number of ongoing complaints from customers over track conditions, engine failure and delays made it non-viable as a customer service option.

The latest group to experience frustrations were forced to take a bus to Darjeeling after engine failure stopped the train and its replacement vehicle. This is not the first time that GW clients have encountered this problem. Ahead of a planned increase in the travel to the region in 2011, GW has declared that it could no longer tolerate the continued problems and that the customer must take priority. The group is also frustrated that such a small yet significant stretch of railroad has not managed to address the issues. Last year a train carrying GW customers derailed resulting in delays in hotel arrivals.

The average customer for GW tours pays a high price for the journey and expectations are similarly high, leaving the group no option but to discontinue the partnership after repeatedly having had to explain the problems to disgruntled passengers

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