Siliguri, Jan 3: Landslide near Darjeeling hill station in West Bengal blocked the route of the famous toy train, adversely affecting tourism in the state.
The famous toy train, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, runs between Siliguri and Darjeeling.
The train stopped operation, as severe landslides washed away a huge portion of the railway track. A huge pile of debris has accumulated on the tracks, halting the operation of the toy train.
Samrat Sanyal, a tour operator from Siliguri, told reporters on Wednesday that the irregular service of the toy train service has disappointed tourists, who specially come to this region for a ride in the heritage train.
“The toy train running from Siliguri to Darjeeling has been shut for two years and the train that runs from Kurseong to Darjeeling is not plying on a regular basis. The major tourist attraction is the toy train, people want to take a ride to Darjeeling in a toy train, but they are unable to use the service, which is why a lot of tourists are unhappy,” he said.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) is trying hard to resume the journey at the earliest, but the service is expected to resume not before a week or fortnight.
The DHR toy train was started in 1896 by the then British Lieutenant Governor Ashley Eden, offering riders an opportunity to enjoy the majestic beauty of nature along the Darjeeling hills. At the beginning, this railway was named as the Darjeeling steam Tramway Co.
Later when India gained independence in 1947, the railway was named as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR). (ANI)