In a major boost to the year-end tourist season, the world heritage toy train service has resumed between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling after having witnessed disruption for over five years.
The first toy train, on resumption of the service, was flagged off from Darjeeling station by senior railway employee Purna Bahadur Lepcha around 9.30 am on Wednesday, in presence of Northeast Frontier Railway general manager Md Jamshed.
The narrow gauge toy train service is operated by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), which is a wing of the NF Railway headquartered at Maligaon in Assam.
The direct toy tain service between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling suspended from June 15, 2010 due to heavy landslide near Paglajhora in Kurseong.
During this period, truncated services were run between New Jalpaiguri and Tindharia, and Kurseong and Darjeeling.
On restoration of the railway tracks, the service was resumed after five years on 12 June this year but was suspended within three days on 15 June due recurrence of landslide on the railway tracks at Paglajhora and elsewhere.
Following this, the NF Railway authorities undertook a strenuous repairing work of the landslide hit tracks and the regular train services between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling finally resumed on Wednesday.
Going by the new schedule, a passenger special toy train will leave Darjeeling at 10.15 am daily and reach New Jalpaiguri at 5.45 pm. On the opposite leg, a train will originate from New Jalpaiguri at 08.30 am and reach Darjeeling at 4 pm.
The diesel engine hauled passenger trains will have two first class coach and a luggage van.