Chandigarh: The UNESCO world heritage Kalka-Shimla narrow-gauge train has resumed its run after over 80 days. The rail services were suspended since July 9 after torrential rains and landslides caused massive damage to its track.
The railway officials said that the 96.6-km-long narrow gauge line had now been fully repaired and restored allowing the train to resume its journey between Kalka and Shimla on Monday after conducting trial runs of the train for two days.
The track was first partially repaired and restored from Kalka and Solan on September 20 and later up to Tara Devi station in Shimla.
Rains damaged rail track
It may be recalled that the torrential rains and landslides had first damaged the rail track especially between July 7 and 14 leading to a partial suspension of train run on Kalka-Koti, Kalka-Solan and Solan-Tara Devi stretches.
The situation worsened in August when heavy downpour and landslides further badly damaged more points on the route including the 50-meter bridge at Summer Hill and it washed out the ground underneath the said bridge.
According to media reports, severe damage was caused at more than 175 locations on the Kalka-Shimla track, repairs and restoration of which at one time, seemed a humungous challenge.
Kalka-Shimla train journey
For the record, operational since the early 1900s, the iconic and scenic Shimla-Kalka railway track was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name of "Mountain Railways of India" on July 8, 2008.
Laid in tough hilly terrain, the track has 102 tunnels and about 900 bridges and offers numerous picturesque views and valleys along the five-to-six hour journey.