The little Darjeeling train manoeuvring in the street

The little Darjeeling train manoeuvring in the street.

I stand back to let the little Darjeeling train past, the famous “Toy Train”. I do so quickly as it isn’t always easy to know which direction it is travelling in. The whistle blows and amidst a terrible racket, here it is starting to gather speed. It is manoeuvring right in the middle of the street, surrounded by people and traffic. We can guess from the tense face of the driver, who has his back to the engine and is steaming straight ahead, that it isn’t an easy task.

Posted in Country : India by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , ,

Toy Train taking a break for the delight of tourists

The little Darjeeling train sometimes takes a break. Near Ghoom, at the Batasia loop, there is a special stop which the tourists enjoy.

It is a spectacular configuration, where the track turns back on itself, climbing at the same time, before the train crosses a bridge right above the track it was on just a few minutes earlier.

In this photo the train has just completed the loop and is passing in front of some pretty and very neatly trimmed trees, a sign of the locals’ pride in their Toy Train.

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On the way to school in Kurseong

Almost the beginning of the new school year ! In Kurseong (India), these schoolboys jump on the Toy Train’s bandwagon and hold on the outside, not because the train is packed, but simply because it’s actually more fun doing the journey with the head in the breeze.

They laugh, say hello to the people they know when the train crosses a village: a pleasant way to get to school.

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The “Toy Train” running from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling

I like taking things slowly. I appreciate anything that takes its time. So you won’t be surprised to hear that my favourite train is one of the slowest in the world, perhaps the last steam train in operation in India. It is nicknamed the Toy Train and it runs between Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, a distance of 80 km which takes it… 8 hours! It needs all its puff to climb 2,088 metres.

Posted in Country : India by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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