Next day early morning we reached Kalka station and boarded our train, which was Shivalik Deluxe (Toy Train) to Shimla. The scenic landscapes that engulfs the journey will be glued to our memory for a long time. Most exciting part of this train route is that it passes through 102 tunnels. There are also 864 bridges which comes on this trail. Overall it was a wonderful experience.
You can return the same day in the same Rail Motor Car which leaves Shimla at 4:55 PM and reaches Kalka at 9:25 PM or stay in Shimla and go back the next day. Bus service from Shimla to Chandigarh or Delhi is also good.
The Vintage Ride:-Early in the morning, we got ready, checked-out and headed off for the toy train.We hadn't get the much desired 'Shivalik Express', which is fitted with deluxe coaches with comfortable seating, as booking for that train starts 4 months in advance and we planned our trip much later. By which time, Shivalik exp was fully booked.We had booked the 'Kalka-Shimla Express' which is scheduled to depart at 6am. A little to our surprise, this train did not have deluxe seats (contrary to our expectation).Also seating arrangement is not as per IRCTC reservation status. We had to talk to the TTE, who then allocated a 'coach' for us. It is a separate coupe with only 5 seats (we were 5 people). So we could enjoy the ride with out an intrusion of a 6th person. :)We also managed to catch a glimpse of the 'Rail Car' train, which has only 1 bogey and has the looks of old bus. Seats looked comfortable, but I wouldn't recommend anyone booking that train.The ride was awesome. The tunnels, the turns, the whistle, the small but pretty stations - all added a unique flavour to the ride.The stations offered authentic and delicious local breakfast and hot/cold beverages.
Next day we left boarded the evening shatabdi to Delhi, having spent a memorable weekend in Kasauli. For people so inclined, the trip can be extended to spend an extra day in kasauli or combined with a trip to Pinjore Gardens and Chandigarh
I highly recommend taking the toy train from Kalka to reach Shimla. Yes, it takes more time than a cab would but it is totally worth it. All the historical importance is one thing, and the spell-bounding scenic sights are another level.Keep your cameras ready as you will definitely be clicking a lot of pictures.Here's one that I clicked :D