Monday, 30th October 2017

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Darjeeling Himalayan Railway halves toy train rides

Tourist footfall has dropped due to travel restrictions to combat coronavirus

By Bireswar Banerjee in Siliguri
  • Published 13.03.20, 3:40 AM
  • Updated 13.03.20, 3:40 AM
  • a min read
A toy train passes through Batasia Loop in Darjeeling. File picture

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway on Thursday slashed the number of toy train trips by half till March 20 as tourist footfall dropped in the wake of travel restrictions to combat the novel coronavirus.

The joyrides by toy trains on a 10km-distance between Darjeeling and Ghoom are most popular among tourists.

“As the turnout of tourists, especially foreigners, has become thin in the Darjeeling hills because of the coronavirus, we have decided to reduce the number of joy rides between Darjeeling and Ghoom. It has been decided that from Thursday, all three joy rides by steam locos will remain cancelled till March 20,” said S. Chanda, the chief public relation officer of the Northeast Frontier Railway.

Every day, the DHR conducts six joy rides — three with steam engines and the rest with diesel locos — between Darjeeling and Ghoom.

“Now that the steam engines have been taken off trips, there will be only three toy trains — hauled by diesel locos — for joy rides. Using this window, we will carry out some maintenance works of the steam engines which are several years old,” said a source at the DHR.

The regular DHR services between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling will continue to be operational.