The Northeast Frontier Railway is striving to increase the number of passengers on toy trains to augment earnings, said a senior official.
“We have been working to promote the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and tourism in the hills for the past couple of years. In the current fiscal, around one-and-a-half lakh passengers have already travelled by toy trains. We expect the final figures will be around 1.80 lakh,” S.K. Choudhury, the Katihar divisional railway manager of the NFR, said on Friday.
He said a half-marathon would be held by the railways in Darjeeling on February 26.
“A similar event was held in Guwahati on February 5 and a third race would be conducted at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on March 2. We are organising the events to promote the north-eastern part of India and also the heritage railway of Darjeeling,” the official added.
The race, Choudhury said, will be organised in three categories — 21km, 10km and 5km.
“Around 7,000 runners had joined the race in Guwahati. For the Darjeeling chapter, registration has started and any runner can register by logging into www.nehalfmarathon.com by February 20,” he added.
The railway authorities have come up with new ideas to increase the revenue of the DHR. A number of new services and new coaches have been introduced. Also, events are being hosted at regular intervals to promote the hill railway.