Railway Board’s CEO, Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha, embarks on inspiring journey to Darjeeling Himalayan railway

Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha, the distinguished Chairman and CEO of the Railway Board, undertook a prestigious inspection of the iconic Steam Locomotive at the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a revered UNESCO World Heritage site. Following this, she graced Ghum Station, renowned as one of the highest railway stations, with her presence, further highlighting her commitment to India’s rich railway legacy.

More Details:

Historical Presence:

The settlement at Darjeeling really began in 1828 with British interest. By 1835, it was separated from Sikkim for establishing a Sanatorium for the invalid servants of the East India Company. In the year 1878, Franklin Prestage, Agent of the Eastern Bengal Railway, foresaw the utility of a rail link between the hills of Darjeeling and the plains.

World Heritage Status:

  • The DHR is the first, and still the most outstanding, example of a hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, it applied bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty. It is still fully operational and retains most of its original features intact.

Some Key Significance:

  • It is the oldest 2-feet (610mm) Narrow Gauge Railway in Asia.
  • It is 88-km long with a ruling gradient of 1 in 31.

  • The line reaches Ghum at an elevation of 7407 feet above msl, before reaching Darjeeling.
  • A marvel of technical innovations like Z-reverse, spirals etc.
  • Presently, the DHR has a total of 19 locomotives. Out of these, 13 are B Class steam locomotives and 6 are diesel hydraulic locomotives (NDM6).
  • All the Charter trains, 6 Joy Rides, Red Panda and Holiday Specials are normally operated by B Class locomotives.


Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha’s visit to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway not only honours its rich legacy but also symbolises a commitment to preserving and celebrating India’s railway heritage. As the steam locomotive’s rhythmic chug echoes through the mist-laden hills, it serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring spirit of innovation and perseverance that continues to define India’s railway journey.

Source: NFR – Press Release | Images Credit: MoR