Gorkhatimes

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Steam to pull hill toy train again

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 7, 2009

Darjeeling, Oct. 6: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’s joy rides will again have the familiar hoot of the steam engines from October 19.
Since September 23, the DHR has been using diesel engines for the joy rides, much to the chagrin of hill tour operators who have termed the move as a betrayal of its promise.
Subrata Nath, director, DHR, had claimed that they had never committed a steam engine for the joy ride on Darjeeling-Ghum route.
But tour operators in Darjeeling pointed out that http://www.dhr.in, the hill railway’s official website, said three locomotives would be pulled by the heritage B-Class steam engines.
“The official website suggests that the toy trains will be run on steam. But diesel engines are now used for the rides. Many foreign clients refused to travel on a train pulled by a diesel engine,” said Suresh Periwal, chairman, Indian Association of Tour Operators’ north Bengal and Sikkim chapter.
Even though the website could not be accessed this afternoon, Periwal claimed that he had with him the downloaded pages of the DHR’s website.
“I have a copy of the saved page. In the time-table section of the website, the DHR has clearly maintained that only steam engines would be used to haul the trains. It is based on these information that foreigners visit Darjeeling for a steam engine joy ride,” said Periwal.
The DHR in a letter to the tour operators has clarified that diesel engines are being used primarily to pre-empt any effort by coal labourers to disrupt the joy rides by calling strikes during the tourism season and secondly to accommodate more tourists on the train.
Nath had said the diesel engine could pull four bogies whereas only three rakes could be attached to the steam engine.
“Incidentally, two trips of steam hauled joy ride can carry a maximum of Rs 100 tourists whereas diesel hauled joy ride can clear 150 tourists in two trips. I am glad to say that the two diesel hauled trips are running 100 percent since 27.09.2009,” said the letter by Nath.
Today, Nath said he had never stated that a commitment on the steam engine had not been made. “What I had said was that the fares for the steam and diesel rides was the same. We will be reintroducing steam rides after October 18,” he said over the phone from Siliguri.

Power to hoot: A toy train with steam engine chugs up the hills

Power to hoot: A toy train with steam engine chugs up the hills

Darjeeling, Oct. 6(The Telegraph): The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’s joy rides will again have the familiar hoot of the steam engines from October 19.

Since September 23, the DHR has been using diesel engines for the joy rides, much to the chagrin of hill tour operators who have termed the move as a betrayal of its promise.

Subrata Nath, director, DHR, had claimed that they had never committed a steam engine for the joy ride on Darjeeling-Ghum route.

But tour operators in Darjeeling pointed out that http://www.dhr.in, the hill railway’s official website, said three locomotives would be pulled by the heritage B-Class steam engines.

“The official website suggests that the toy trains will be run on steam. But diesel engines are now used for the rides. Many foreign clients refused to travel on a train pulled by a diesel engine,” said Suresh Periwal, chairman, Indian Association of Tour Operators’ north Bengal and Sikkim chapter.

Even though the website could not be accessed this afternoon, Periwal claimed that he had with him the downloaded pages of the DHR’s website.

“I have a copy of the saved page. In the time-table section of the website, the DHR has clearly maintained that only steam engines would be used to haul the trains. It is based on these information that foreigners visit Darjeeling for a steam engine joy ride,” said Periwal.

The DHR in a letter to the tour operators has clarified that diesel engines are being used primarily to pre-empt any effort by coal labourers to disrupt the joy rides by calling strikes during the tourism season and secondly to accommodate more tourists on the train.

Nath had said the diesel engine could pull four bogies whereas only three rakes could be attached to the steam engine.

“Incidentally, two trips of steam hauled joy ride can carry a maximum of Rs 100 tourists whereas diesel hauled joy ride can clear 150 tourists in two trips. I am glad to say that the two diesel hauled trips are running 100 percent since 27.09.2009,” said the letter by Nath.

Today, Nath said he had never stated that a commitment on the steam engine had not been made. “What I had said was that the fares for the steam and diesel rides was the same. We will be reintroducing steam rides after October 18,” he said over the phone from Siliguri.

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One Response to “Steam to pull hill toy train again”

  1. great info thanks for writing, hope you had the best new year.

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