Shimla is the end of the line for the narrow gauge (2 ½ ft) line up from the plains. This line is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Mountain Railways of India’. A small museum is located at the site of the former transfer point for goods from carts to the railway. It holds some smaller collectibles as conductor cap, manual switchstand, derailing device, ticket punching machines, jacks for lifting rolling stock, station lamps, etc. The Shivalik Palace car, combination coach 346 and the small luggage car 1995 are stationed alongside.
As we stroll along the tracks towards the passenger station, we pass the loco shed. KSR (Kalka Shimla Railway) 700 stands there with its maintenance doors open, to give me a good look at her engine and additional machinery.
Not much seems to have changed at the station since it was built in 1903. Ancient machinery is still in use in the stationmasters office, coolies find their own shelter, switches are thrown by hand and an old kiosk serves as information center.
We venture along the tracks of adjoining yard, where the 112 year old steam engine KC520 is waiting for us. It was built in Great Britain in 1906 and used on the line until 1971. After 30 years it was rehabilitated in 2001 and is now used on special occasions.
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