Darjeeling Toy Train Rides


What to expect

Riding the Toy Train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) has always remained a coveted experience to the tourists. Only few would let go such an opportunity. 
And there is a clear reason why so. After all, this Toy Train has been accorded the UNESCO World Heritage Site status in December 1999. 
Toy Train, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) 
Darjeeling DHR Toy Train 
Operating on narrow gauge tracks since 1880s and providing an important transport link to various parts of Darjeeling hills and lower plains, the toy train is an icon of our heritage since the colonial days and an engineering marvel that was achieved during that period. 
It also offers a wonderful way of absorbing the picturesque Himalayan scenery as you traverse through the mountains. 
Where else can you find a small steam engine pulling mini coaches up the steep mountains through breathtaking landscapes and overcoming almost impossible curves and gradients using sheer engineering ingenuity and creative skills? 
The snail pace at which the train moves through the hilly terrain is at times so slow that you can often see the local children hopping on and off the train on the move. 
Although the diesel engines used these days are faster and more powerful, the original steam engines still operate in some sections and also for joyrides. The steam loco drawn trains sometimes tend to skid in steep gradients. 
You can often see an attendant standing in front of the engine and sprinkling sand on the track to overcome such difficulties, particularly in monsoon time. 
Steam Engine hauled Toy Train at Batasia Loop, Darjeeling 
Toy Train Darjeeling 
Won't you like to experience a ride on such heritage transport that once provided the first and the most important mountain transportation link in the country? And the one that offers a unique ride with picturesque mountain views? 
You will pass by villages and local shops on the way with children on the street waving at you as you take this relaxed and charming journey through the hills. 
Check out DHR Toy Train Story to know why DHR Toy Train received the World Heritage status and remains close to the heart of the Indians. 

Toy Train Amenities

You can enjoy the toy train rides in several ways. 2-hour round-trip joy rides operate between Darjeeling and Ghum, and there are also regular passenger services on toy trains between NJP and Darjeeling. You can even charter a toy train or a coach for a large group. 

Vistadome Coaches

In 2021, Vistadome coaches have been added to some of the toy trains of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. These Vistadome coaches have large windows as well as roof glasses so that you can get a panoramic view. 
Each coach has 44 seats all of which can rotate 180 degree. There is also an observation lounge at the end of the coach that has even larger windows. There are several other amenities offered including on-demand wi-fi, charging sockets, digital display screens and speakers etc. 

Washrooms in Coaches

The coaches of DHR passenger toy trains that operate between NJP and Darjeeling usually have toilets or washrooms at one end (mostly in AC Chair Car coaches, but may not be available in all First Class coaches). 
The toy trains that are used for the short joyrides between Darjeeling and Ghum do not have toilets. 
In case you are undertaking the 7 and a half hour long toy train journey from NJP to Darjeeling, and your coach doesn't have a washroom, then here are your options: 
  • The train usually stops at Tindharia station for about 10 minutes which has a washroom. Tindharia is about 3 hours away from NJP station. 
  • Then it stops at Kurseong station for about 10 minutes where you will find a washroom. 
  • Although the train doesn't have scheduled stoppages at any other intermediate station, but it does stop once in a while for a short time at some of these small stations. 
    You can get off and walk over to an AC coach and use the washroom. Other than Tindharia and Kurseong, no other intermediate stations have washrooms. 

    Food Availability

    There is no food or water served in any DHR Toy Train. If you are undertaking the long journey between NJP and Darjeeling, you should carry your own food and water. 
    You can only get a small food stall at Tindharia station where the train usually stops for 10 minutes. The food stall sells momos and few other snack items. 
    The train also has a 10-minute stoppage at Kurseong. Although you may not find any food stall at Kurseong station platforms, you can quickly walk out of the station premises and find several eateries there selling off-the-shelf snacks and bottled water. 
    You won't get food at any other station in the remaining journey. 


    The NJP-Darjeeling toy train usually has a luggage van annexed at the end. If there is one, then you should keep your luggage there. 
    If you are planning to ride this train, I would suggest not to carry huge luggage and invite inconvenience. Sometimes, the luggage van may not be there and you will then be in real trouble. 
    The passenger coaches are crammed and there is hardly any room to keep luggage there. Your only option then would be to keep the luggage in whatever small leg space you have in front of your seat. 
    If luckily there are enough vacant seats, you can keep your luggage there, but this is highly unlikely in a high tourist season. 

    Toy Train Joyride - Darjeeling to Ghum & Back

    Toy train joy rides operate from Darjeeling Railway Station. It's roughly a 2-hour round trip from Darjeeling up to Ghum and back via Batasia Loop covering a total distance of 14kms.  
    There are several such round trips during the day starting in the morning. 
    Number of rides per day depends on the demand during the season. In high seasons such as summers, several trains could be operating simultaneously and there could be 18-20 rides a day. 
    Ghum is the highest altitude station on the Darjeeling Himalayan Rail track. Altitude of Ghum is 2225.7 meters (7407 ft). Here the toy train stops for 25 minutes for a visit to Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Museum
    Ghum Railway Station 
    Ghum Station 
    Photo: Balaji Bharadwaj/Flickr 
    The DHR Museum is located at the station premises. The highlight here is the oldest toy train engine which is showcased outside - The Baby Sivok. The entree fee to the museum is included in the ticket price. 
    Baby Sivok, the oldest Toy Train Engine of DHR 
    Baby Sivok Toy Train 
    The train stops for 10 minutes at the Batasia Loop on its return. At Batasia the train makes a loop around a wonderful manicured garden. The view of Darjeeling town and the snow peaks of Kanchenjunga on a clear day from here is unparalleled. 
    The War Memorial built in honor of the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives is located at the center of the Garden. 
    There was a time when DHR used to send a certificate by post validating your ride on the toy train so that you could cherish the memories of your ride. They no longer issue the certificates. 
    While Batasia Loop and DHR Museum at Ghum are the two main attractions of this ride, the journey itself will remind you of the old transportation that has been in use since the British colonial period. 
    You can also understand why the DHR toy train is now listed under UNECO World Heritage Site. During most part of the journey, the road runs parallel to the railway track. 
    Batasia Loop Darjeeling 
    Batasia Loop Darjeeling 
    Photo: Ankur P, cc by 2.0 
    You can see shops, stalls and houses lined up along the track sometimes giving you a feel that they are too close to the track to be safe. You can see locals and children going through their daily routines and some of them even waving at you. 
    Toy Train Joyride Schedule 
    You can find the current schedule of Toy Train Joyrides in Indian Railways Website
    The timings and number of rides do change depending on seasonal demands. Depending on your preference, you can avail either a steam engine hauled toy train or one with a diesel engine. 
    The steam engine train of course offers the authentic experience of the heritage train and gives you a feel of the colonial aura when such toy trains where first created. But steam engine hauled toy train rides are costlier too compared to diesel engine rides. 
    There are usually two first class coaches provided in a steam engine train, and three first class coaches in diesel engine toy train for joy rides. 
    Note that during high season, there is a lot of rush for the rides and you should try to book tickets well in advance. Don't plan to buy the joyride tickets after you reach Darjeeling because you won't likely get them. 
    Just in case you don't get the joyride tickets, an alternative plan is to buy a ticket on the morning passenger toy train operating between Darjeeling and Kurseong, which too goes via Batasia and Ghum. Get off at Ghum and take a shared jeep back to Darjeeling... 
    You can get almost a similar experience as the joy ride. However this is a diesel engine hauled train. You can buy tickets for this train online through Indian railway site irctc.co.in. 
    Toy Train Joyride Fare 
    (Fare updated: September 2022) 
  • Diesel Engine Rides: Rs. 1000/-. All first class seats. 
  • Steam Engine Rides: Rs. 1,500/-. All first class seats including ones with vistadome coaches. 
  • Above are round trip fares Darjeeling-Ghum-Darjeeling.  
  • No concession in Darjeeling Toy Train Joy Rides to Children of age 5 or above, neither to senior citizens. No tickets required for children below 5 years.  
  • The fares of Steam Engine pulled trains are higher because they represent the original heritage trains and their maintenance cost is also higher. Fares include admission to the DHR Ghum Museum. 
  • A First Class coach has individual reclining seats and can accommodate up to 17 persons. 
    How to book DHR Toy Train Joyrides 
    The toy train in Darjeeling is like any other normal train and the process of booking seats is similar. You can book the joyride either online though the Indian Railway's website or at any computerized reservation counters. 
    Visit How to book Toy Train Joyrides to know about all the details of booking a joyride. 

    Passenger DHR Toy Train Services

    There are diesel engine hauled toy train services that provide regular transport connections within Darjeeling district. 
    One of the most popular ones for tourists is the service between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station and Darjeeling which passes through picturesque mountain landscapes and villages. 
    The track often runs side by side the main motor road (The National Highway-55 which is popularly known as Hill Cart Road) and even crisscrosses the road several times. There are breathtaking zigzags and loops along the way to help the train negotiate steep gradients. 
    Below are the current DHR Passenger Train Services (Train timings are subject to change): 
    NJP DJ PASSENGER (52541) 
    The train (no. 52541) runs daily between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. It leaves NJP at 10am and reaches Darjeeling at 5:20pm. Total distance is 88kms. 
    The return train (no. 52540) departs Darjeeling at 9am and reaches NJP at 4:15pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). 
    It takes little over 7 hours to complete the one-way journey as per schedule, although it's quite usual that the train runs late. The train departure timings also change. 
    Between NJP and Darjeeling, the train stops at Siliguri Junction (but no longer at Siliguri Town), Sukna, Rangtong, Tindharia, Gayabari, Mahanadi, Kurseong, Tung, Sonada, Ghum. 
    The train is hauled by a Diesel engine. It usually has one First Class coach (FC) with 17 seats, one AC Chair Car coach (CC) with 15 seats and a luggage van to store luggage. No food is usually served on this train and you won't find any food vendors along the way. So carry water and food. 
    If you want to know about the complete route of DHR Toy Train, all the stations where it stops, it's arrival and departure time at each such station, then visit Darjeeling Toy Train Route & the Experience
    NJP DJ AC PASS (52539) 
    This is a diesel engine hauled AC Passenger Train which will operate between NJP and Darjeeling thrice a week effective September 26, 2022. 
    This train has one AC Vistadome Coach with 15 seats and an AC Restaurant Car with 8 seats. The train no. 52539 will depart NJP station at 10am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and reach Darjeeling at 6:30pm on the same day. 
    The return train (no. 52538) will start from Darjeeling at 9:10am on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays and reach NJP station at 4:35pm on the same day. 
    This train has short stoppages at the intermediate stations Siliguri Junction, Sukna, Rongtong, Tindharia, Gayabari, Mahanadi, Kurseong, Tung, Sonada and Ghum. Note that the Darjeeling bound train 52539 will be actually coupled with 52541 till Sukna station where it will disengage and run on its own. 
    A first class slip coach gets added to the NJP-Darjeeling train 52541 at Kurseong . The coach has 17 seats. If you want to board from Kurseong and get to Darjeeling, you can book seats in this coach using the train no. 02451 (KGN DJ SLIP TRN). 
    It leaves Kurseong at 2:45pm reaching Darjeeling at 5:30pm. Total distance is 31kms. The down train (no. 02540) departs Darjeeling at 9am reaching Kurseong at 11:30am. 
    If you have heavy luggage, you will need to use the luggage van which is usually attached to this train at the end. Talk to the station master so that the logistics can be arranged as soon as the train arrives at Kurseong. 
    Luggage space inside a coach is limited to overhead racks and below the seats. 
    DHR Passenger Train Fares 
    (Fare updated: September 2022) 
  • NJP DJ PASSENGER (52541), NJP to Darjeeling, First Class (FC) - Rs. 1400.00 
  • NJP DJ PASSENGER (52541), NJP to Darjeeling, AC Chair Car (CC) - Rs. 1500.00 
  • NJP DJ AC PASS (52539), NJP to Darjeeling, First Class (FC) - Rs. 1300.00 
  • NJP DJ AC PASS (52539), NJP to Darjeeling, AC Chair Car (CC) - Rs. 1500.00 
  • KGN DJ SLIP TRN (02451), Kurseong to Darjeeling, First Class (FC) - Rs. 750/- 
    How to book DHR Toy Train 
    Visit How to book DHR Toy Train rides to know how you can book a seat on these passenger toy trains operating between NJP and Darjeeling. 

    DHR Toy Train Charters

    How about chartering a DHR Toy Train with the steam engine hooting it's way through the mountains and lovely landscape as you enjoy the ride with your family and friends in complete exclusivity!! It's possible and that too at an attractive rate. 
    You can also book it to celebrate a birthday party or hold a private function. In fact, you can also have flexible timings of your choice. There are several route options for a private ride. 
    One of the great options is to book the Jungle Safari that runs between Siliguri Junction and Tindharia via Rangtong. 
    This is a round trip journey covering a total distance of 56kms in about 6 hours. This is usually a diesel engine hauled train with two first class coaches. 
    You will pass through the dense forests of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and then through the famous Chunabhatti Loop and Z-Reverses. 
    Toy Train Jungle Safari 
    You can also book a shorter section of the route up to Rangtong and back and still enjoy the flora & fauna of the wildlife sanctuary. 
    And effective July 2021, if you are film maker, you can even apply online to use a DHR Toy Train for shooting a film or a documentary... the entire scrutiny of applications and decision making will be done online. 
    Earlier, the film producer or his representative had to physically go down to a place called Maligaon near Guwahati where the Head Quarters of NFR (Northeast Frontier Railway) is located to complete an elaborate application process before finally going to Darjeeling for the shooting. 
    Apart from booking chartered toy trains, you can also book a coach which will be attached to a passenger toy train of your choice. There are various types of coaches available for booking such as a heritage coach, first class coach, second class coach and even a covered or open wagon. 
    Go through DHR Toy Trains Charters to get details about all the possible routes and compositions for chartered trains, fares, and how to book the charter trains and coaches. 

    Related Articles

    1) Check out DHR Toy Train Story to know about the complete story of the toy train including its history and how it was introduced as one of the highest mountain railways by the British. 
    2) Check out Darjeeling Tours & Sightseeing for many other great tours and rides in Darjeeling. 

    Visitors' Reviews/Comments

    Sankar Haldar (August 2023) 
    Three questions : 
    1. Can I book a toy train joyride, pay for round trip, but board at Ghoom station and end journey at Darjeeling? 
    2. can I carry one backpack and one small suitcase in toy train ? Is it allowed ? 
    3. I believe, there will be toilet in the train, since journey from NJP to Darjeeling is about 8 hours. Thanks in advance. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2023 
    Hello, Below is my response to your questions... 
    1. Earlier, there was a provision to specify a separate boarding station while booking a train ticket, but that has been eliminated by the railways. So, the Ticket Checker can now release the seat if it goes empty. 
    However, since there is no other stoppage between Darjeeling and Ghum station, it is likely that the seat will remain unused and you can board at Ghum if you have paid the full round trip fare. 
    But, you must time it right and board the same train and the coach where your seat was allocated. Not sure though, why you want to get into such complications. 
    2. If you carry any luggage of any form, you need to manage it within the small leg space you get in front of your seat. 
    However, the NJP - Darjeeling passenger toy train usually has a luggage van attached to the end where you can keep your suitcases. 
    3. The coaches of passenger toy trains between NJP and Darjeeling usually have toilets at one end (mostly in AC Chair Car coaches, but may not be available in all non-AC coaches). The joyride toy trains between Darjeeling and Ghum, do not have toilets. 
    Hope this helps! 
    David McGill (July 2023) 
    Hi, do you have any information regarding when steam hauled trains are operated on the line in September and October please.  Thanks for your help, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2023 
    Hi, you will need to check out the IRCTC website and see the schedule of the DHR trains... the name of the train indicates if it's a steam engine hauled one or not. 
    Renuka (June 2023) 
    The experience was very bad. The train gets delayed often and goes through Darjeeling city which is extremely dirty. There is nothing exciting about the ride. Wouldn't recommend this to any of the tourists. 
    Balaji Ramachandran (May 2023) 
    Travelled in April 23. Experience was very average. Small seats. Also cityscape was anything but beautiful. Worth only Rs. 500 per person. Sorry to say not recommended for the price and experience. 
    Kamal (March 2023) 
    Dear sir, I understand from your review that Steam is costlier than diesel because of the heritage and high maintenance but can you please let me know if the Vistadome is there in both diesel and steam train. 
    I would like to go with Rs 1000 per head ticket vs Rs 1500 for steam if diesel also has vistadome options. Please mention the train number if diesel has vistadome. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2023 
    You will need to check IRCTC site for the list of toy trains that are available on your date... the trains will bear 'Vista' as part of their names if they have a Vistadome coach. Usually, a Vistadome coach is attached to steam engines. 
    Priya (January 2023) 
    Hi ... we are planning to visit Darjeeling in March 2023. I just want to know, if we want to go from Bijanbari to Darjeeling then which  station is preferable to board on a toy train ? Guide me please. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2023 
    Hi, there is no toy train station on the usual route between Bijanbari and Darjeeling unless you take a detour and come via Mariabong and Ghum... there is a toy train station at Ghum but this detour doesn't make sense and a toy train ride from Ghum may not work out for several reasons. It's better to come directly to Darjeeling and take a 2-hour round-trip toy train joy ride from Darjeeling station... usually, there are several joy rides daily. 
    Mrs B Banerjee (November 2022) 
    We have a plan for Kurseong from 13th December to 15th December '22 and like to return to NJP on 16th December '22 by toy train. 16th December is a Friday. Can we avail toy train for returning from Kurseong to NJP that day ? One more question-- is there any toilet facility with the coach ? As both of us (me and my husband) are seniors, it is necessary to know about toilet. What is the train no of the train (Kurseong to NJP) and what is the procedure for advance booking ? Advance thanks for your valuable answers. Waiting for your answers. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2022 
    Presently there is no provision to book the toy train from Kurseong to NJP... the only option is to book from Darjeeling to NJP by paying the full fare and you can board at Kurseong. However, it is possible to book from Kurseong to Darjeeling and return... they add a slip coach at Kurseong to the train that comes from NJP where you can book seats. You can book online using the railway's website IRCTC.CO.IN. Coaches of the passenger trains operating between NJP and Darjeeling usually have a toilet each. 
    Zuber Bhatuk (October 2022) 
    Hello Sir, We visited Darjeeling between 22nd to 25th October. Everything was good but the toy train experience was the WORST. We paid ticket of Rs 1500 per person (total 9000 for 6 persons) and very disappointed with the services. We did toy train on 23rd Oct, timing 1:50PM. Few problems we faced as below. 
    1. It was sunny day and sun was coming to our face directly, no curtain in the train. 
    2. The window frame was full of coal sand, and If we open window, that coal sand comes inside train. 
    3. The toy train timing was 1:50PM to 3:45PM, and it covers a distance of 14KM. But still our train was late by 40 minutes. It reached by 4:25PM. 
    4. The engine failed 3 times during the journey, and train was standing on the roadside with full sunny rays on our faces. Our cab driver was saying, these are usual things with these trains, they don't do any maintenance of the trains and just robbing the people. 
    We had lots of expectation of this world heritage site seeing, but unfortunately we were very very disappointed with Toy Train. 
    Radhika VN (October 2022) 
    For toy train ride from NJP to Darjeeling, FC and AC coaches are there. Can you advice which one is preferred to have better view and enjoyment. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2022 
    If you get a vistadome coach, the views will be much better, otherwise, it won't make much difference in views. The recently introduced train NJP DJ AC PASS (52539) has an AC vistadome coach, but it runs only 3 days a week. 
    Dr Farheen Khan (May 2022) 
    Hello, I want to know that whether I can carry my luggage in the Darjeeling toy train from NJP station to Darjeeling. Can you please tell me that is there a separate compartment for luggage or we have to carry the luggage with us... Please help. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2022 
    The NJP-Darjeeling toy train has a luggage van at the end where you need to keep your luggage. You can not carry your suitcases in the passenger coaches. 
    Heiko Scharnberg, Germany (April 2022) 
    Hello Mr. Raj, first let me thank you for doing a excellent job on this website! It is very helpful! I was wondering whether it is possible to take a longer break (90-120min) in Ghum on the Joyride Trip (DJ-DJRZ), because it would be great to go the Monastery, when in Ghum. Thanks! 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    Hello, the train won't wait at Ghum station for more than 10 minutes and return to Darjeeling station. If you take a longer break and visit the Old Ghum Monastery, you will then need to get back by taxi. 
    Heiko Scharnberg, Germany (April 2022) 
    Alright Raj, thank you. As you didn't mention it, I conclude it is not possible to just board a different train for the trip back to Darjeeling. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    That's correct Heiko. A joyride ticket is issued for a specific ride (journey)... just like any normal train. The train number for each such ride is different and the combination of train no., date, class, coach no. and seat no. is unique for each ticket issued and those are printed on the ticket. So, if one misses a ride or fails to board, the same ticket can not be used to board another train. 
    Anabil Sarkar (April 2022) 
    Hello Raj, can you please tell me if there is any difference(s) between the diesel joyride and the newly put out joyride special toy trains, both the train types operating between Darjeeling and Ghum. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    Hello, I don't see any difference between the two... they are called specials because those rides have been temporarily introduced in addition to the regular rides because of the surge in demand. They are similar to Puja Specials that get introduced from Howrah/Sealdah during the Puja rush :) 
    Manish (April 2022) 
    Hi, Can you please confirm if all joy ride trains consist of Vista-dome coaches? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    No, all joyride trains do not have vista-dome coaches... only some of them do and they are clearly indicated on IRCTC website as part of the train names. 
    Abhi Ghosh (April 2022) 
    What are the cancellation charges for Toy Train? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2022 
    Hi, the cancellation charges of DHR toy trains are levied as per Indian Railways ticket cancellation policy and will depend on several factors including class of travel (AC Chair / First Class, etc), how many days/hours before the scheduled departure you are cancelling it, status of your ticket (confirmed/ waitlisted), etc. 
    Amit Goyal (March 2022) 
    Hello DJ Tourism Team, Is there any toy train ride from Kurseong to Darjeeling between 17th-20th March 2022? My kids want to take long toy train ride and I am avoiding 7hr long ride from NJP to DJ due to less time. There is no option except 52541 in IRCTC, which doesn't stop anywhere as per shown route. Please suggest. Will appreciate your response. Thanks, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2022 
    Hello, the toy train Him Kanya (52546) runs between Kurseong and Darjeeling on the weekends... so, you can ride the train on the 19th or 20th of March, 2022. It starts at 1:15 pm from Kurseong and reaches Darjeeling at 4.05 pm, and has fist class coaches (Rs. 1000 per seat). You can book through the IRCTC website. 
    Mayukh Ray (February 2022) 
    I have booked tickets on the NJP to Darjeeling train (52541) for April 2022. However judging by the most recent comments here, it looks like that service is still not operational. Do you have any latest update on the train service from NJP to Darjeeling? Also the DHR site it seems does not provide any up-to-date information. Also if the service is available, does it start from the same NJP station where Darjeeling mail arrives from Kolkata? Or do I have to take a cab to somewhere else to board this train? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2022 
    The NJP-Darjeeling toy train is not yet operational. However, as per the IRCTC train schedule, the train will resume operation from 21st February 2022. The train leaves from NJP station itself. Once you arrive at NJP station, you need to get to the right platform to board the toy train. 
    Ashwini Pailoor(February 2022) 
    We took a taxi to Darjeeling station and bought tickets for a joy ride on the toy train. It was fun. We got some good photographs of ourselves in Batasia Loop and Ghum station. It was really cold, around 2 - 3 degrees, and this kind of weather was new to us. We shivered and froze and still enjoyed the ride. We bought some snacks at Ghum and munched it while on our way back up. 
    Diali Chandra (February 2022) 
    In the Joy ride can I ride with my Golden Retriever? He is very calm and a friendly baby. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2022 
    According to Indian Railways guidelines, dogs can be carried either in boxes in luggage vans or alternatively in AC First Class or First Class coaches provided the entire cabin is booked by the passenger or the group, and there is a separate charge for the dog. Since the joyride toy trains have no cabins or luggage vans, you can not ride with your dog. 
    Greg Schlotthauer (December 2021) 
    Hello, I keep getting error messages on the IRCTC website trying to book a train from Darjeeling to Kurseong on Jan. 21. The system only allows me to book from Darjeeling to Ghum. Is this an error? On Jan. 21, I really want to travel in the Toy Train from Darjeeling as far as I can go. Please advise. Also, there are 8 departures from Darjeeling, are ALL of them on a "Toy Train"?  
    Hello from New York and I really appreciate any info you have. Every time I contact IRCTC they give me confusing information referring me to websites or phone numbers in India that do not answer my query. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2021 
    Hello, there is no train from Darjeeling to Kurseong on Jan 21, and therefore it shows the error. Presently, the toy train between Darjeeling and Kurseong (known as Him Kanya) runs only on weekends. So, if you try for 22nd or 23rd Jan (Saturday / Sunday), you will be able to book the ticket. It departs Darjeeling at 8:30am and reaches Kurseong at 11am. 
    All departures from Darjeeling are by Toy Trains... it's a narrow-gauge track here and only toy trains can run on that. Some departures from Darjeeling to Ghum are by steam engine pulled trains while others are by diesel engine hauled ones... that's the only difference. The one from Darjeeling to Kurseong is a diesel engine hauled train. 
    Greg Schlotthauer (December 2021) 
    Perhaps you know how much I appreciate getting a personal and understandable response. Thank you very very much. I'm so excited to go back to India in January. 
    Mantasha Ahmed (September 2021) 
    Hi All. This is to bring to your kind attention that never ever plan to take the toy train from NJP to Darjeeling. It is the most tragic, pathetic and uncomfortable ride I had ever experienced in my life. Though IRCTC shows the coaches to be AC CC but they don't even have fans. The seats are all very uncomfortable. Their charges are very high but they don't even bother to take care of the basic need of the passengers. I went with my husband and 3 kids aged 10,5 & 2 years respectively. The train had to wait at Sukna for more than an hour because there was some tree which had fallen on the tracks. Instead of 5:30 pm the train reached Darjeeling at 7:30 pm. The view also was not clear since the sides of the tracks are having overgrown wild bushes. I think DHR should take some immediate steps to take care of their heritage toy train. The joy ride which is for 2 hours is recommended. Thanks 
    Sanjoy Basak (September 2021) 
    Is it possible to book a ticket for Ghoom- Darjeeling-Ghoom toy train ride. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2021 
    No, that's not possible. The Toy Train Joyride is a return trip that originates from Darjeeling station. 
    Mangalya (July 2021) 
    Hello, I just wanted to know if we plan Darjeeling trip in August last-weekend, what will be the status of toy train journey at that time? Last time I took the train from Jalpaiguri... is the route same... Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2021 
    Hi, there is only one track route of the DHR toy train... from NJP (New Jalpaiguri) to Darjeeling via stations such a Kurseong, Ghum etc. Presently NJP-Darjeeling train is not operational due to Covid19 as well as landslides along the way. Whether it will be operational in August 2021 will depend on the prevailing Covid situation and how quickly the landslide-caused damages get repaired. However, joyrides are available from Darjeeling up to Ghum and back. 
    Disha (January 2021) 
    After Covid, we will be traveling to Darjeeling. I wanted to ask whether the toy train will be operational or not? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2021 
    The toy train joyride from Darjeeling to Ghum and back is currently operational. The one from NJP to Darjeeling has not yet started. 
    Myriam Sonneveld (from Eindhoven, The Netherlands) December 2020 
    Hi Raj, thank you for all your information on Darjeeling and Sikkim. Great help! I hope to come in October 2021, after covid and having been vaccinated. 
    I'd love to do the toy train. Is the train from NJP to Darjeeling back on track? I will arrive midday in Bagdogra. Option is hotel in Siliguri, next day 08.30 hrs train to Darjeeling, with luggage. Other option is transport (pre ordered taxi) from Bagdogra to Darjeeling and do the loop from Darjeeling, without luggage. Apparently train and cars follow approx the same route? So the experience of scenery is much the same but more comfortable by car? Thanks for your help! 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2020 
    Hi, NJP to Darjeeling toy train route is still not operational (it would be soon), but the joy ride loop from Darjeeling was restarted on Christmas Day. From Bagdogra, the taxi usually takes the route via Rohini which joins the main road (NH-110) to Darjeeling at Kurseong and roughly at the midpoint between NJP and Darjeeling. So, you will basically follow the next half of the route along the toy train track except for some sections and the track loops like Batasia. 
    Personally, I find this second part of the main road more interesting and scenic compared to the first part. And the cab journey from Bagdogra (once you go past Matigara) along the Rohini route up to Kurseong too is quite scenic. So if you take the cab from Bagdogra airport and later do the joy ride loop on the toy train from Darjeeling, you should enjoy best of both the worlds :) 
    The 7-hour toy train journey at snail pace all the way from NJP/Siliguri to Darjeeling can be uncomfortable for some. And it is not unusual for the train to run late. And on this end-to-end route, there is no option to avail a steam engine hauled train which is the original one and part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites... DHR only operates Diesel engine hauled trains on this long route to reduce pollution and time. 
    Ekta (November 2020) 
    Hello Raj, Hope you are doing well!!! I am planning to visit Darjeeling in the last week of December and hoping to experience the Joy ride. However, due to Covid, have heard it is not operating currently. Could you please help me if it's gonna resume? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2020 
    Hi, booking is currently suspended by railways till further notice. There is no communication when this may resume. 
    Soumya (February 2020) 
    Hi Raj, Your website is very informative and well updated. I hope you would expand your website for other tourist destinations in West-bengal/India. Could you please suggest which toy train to book for joy ride, the steam one or the diesel one? Are facilities in both same? Tickets for Steam powered train is more expensive than diesel powered. Please suggest. Thanks! 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020 
    Hi, coaches are the same for both steam and diesel toy train joy rides. Steam engines are more expensive to maintain and operate, plus steam engines are the main heritage of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways since the colonial era... so you pay a higher price in steam engine hauled trains to get the authentic heritage experience. 
    Varun Sharma (January 2020) 
    We have a plan to visit Darjeeling in April. Our hotel is in Ghum, hence wanted to travel one side either Darjeeling to Ghum or Ghum to Darjeeling instead of a round trip. My query is that as like joy ride (round trip) if we book single side journey, do we get the opportunity of train halt of 10 minutes in Batasai loop or the single journey train will pass the Batasia loop without halt? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2020 
    Joy Rides can only be booked for the round trip and not for the single journey... the joy ride toy trains stop at the Batasia Loop for 10 minutes. The other passenger toy trains that operate between Darjeeling and Ghum (where you can book one-way journey), do not stop at Batasia Loop. 
    Sumana Das (December 2019) 
    Hi,  you have described very elaborately but I would like to know about seating arrangement in Joy ride train. Could you please help in this matter. Thanks 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2019 
    Hi, most coaches have 4 (2+2) individual reclining seats in a row with an aisle in-between. 
    Chris H (July 2019) 
    Raj, Your website is excellent and we shall be following as many of your recommendations as we can when we visit Darjeeling in September. We have booked on the Darjeeling Mail (12343) from Kolkata Sealdah that is now scheduled to arrive at New Jalpaiguri at 08:15, and on the Toy Train to Darjeeling that leaves at 08:30. However, the Mail is often late at the moment, sometimes well over an hour late. Will the Toy Train wait at New Jalpaiguri until the Darjeeling Mail arrives, or do I need to rebook on another, earlier train from Kolkata instead? Many thanks for any advice you can give us. Very best regards. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2019 
    Hi, the toy train is not supposed to wait unless it too gets late for some reason (which is not uncommon either). There is no official communication that the toy train would wait, but I guess it does if Darjeeling Mail is late by few minutes and not hours. In order to ensure the ride from NJP, you need to book a train from Kolkata that reaches NJP earlier. Alternatively, if Darjeeling Mail is late by an hour or so, you can take a taxi, go up to Kurseong and board the same toy train there (it departs Kurseong at 12:56pm). That would be a much shorter ride, but perhaps the best part of the ride. 
    Mihir Kumar (July 2019) 
    I am coming to NJP on 4th Nov 2019 and would like to take steam engine toy train ride from NJP to Darjeeling but in IRCTC website steam engine is not shown. Are steam engines operated from NJP to Darjeeling? It shows NJP DJ PASSENGER (52541) train. Thanks in advance for your tip. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2019 
    There is no steam engine operated toy train from NJP to Darjeeling. For that you need to take a 2-hour joy ride from Darjeeling. 
    Rupa (July 2019) 
    I want to speak about Darjeeling toy train as I went with high hopes. First I want to talk about the station. It's really in a very poor condition. Such a small station but administration is unable to maintain it properly. People come from different places thinking money would be worth such a visit. Surrounding of station is also full of dirt, uncountable garbage. Now about the toy train, they charge Rs 1000 for diesel  and Rs 1600 for steam engine toy train which is a huge amount for the track from Darjeeling to Ghoom and then back to Darjeeling. It takes only one and half hours in which there is 10 minute break in Batasia Loop and half an hour in Ghoom and it also travels through dirty surroundings. There is no proper restaurants. Highly unsatisfied. 
    Sourav (May 2019) 
    Please let me know the distance from the toy train station at Darjeeling to Mall road, how can we reach the station from Mall road and how long will it take. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2019 
    It's about 25-minute uphill walk. You can also take a taxi to get off at Gorkha Bhawan on Mall Road. Some people confuse Nehru Road (Keventers to Chowrasta Mall) as the Mall road, that would take about 20 minutes walk. 
    Suresh V (April 2019) 
    Hi Sir, I have a first class ticket from Siliguri to Darjeeling toy train. Grateful if you could guide me on the following -  
    1. Whether there is a separate luggage van in this train 
    2. Can we avail this luggage facility from Siliguri Jn also or only from NJP 
    3. Do we need to book ticket separately for the luggage 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2019 
    Hi, yes there is usually a luggage van in this train. There is no separate booking required for storing your luggage. It will be difficult to avail that at Siliguri Jn because the train stops there only for 5 minutes, but possible if you can manage the logistics through station master's office. 
    Vinodh (March 2019) 
    Sir, I knew that both Joy toy train and Normal toy train would follow the same track from one of your many Posts. I just want to know whether the Normal Train, that is the train from NJP to DJ would take this Circular Loop (Batasia loop) or only the Joy toy train would cover that loop? Thanks in advance for your answer. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2019 
    Hello, NJP to Darjeeling toy train also takes the same route from Ghum onwards going along the Batasia loop. The only difference is, the joy ride train stops at Batasia loop for 10 minutes so that one can get off and enjoy the views around. The NJP Darjeeling train won't stop at Batasia. 
    Sandra (January 2019) 
    Hi Raj, Namaste. I will be visiting Darjeeling next month February. I would like to take the toy train journey. Can you recommend which is the nicest and more popular train journey. Thank you. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2019 
    Hi, steam engine hauled toy train joyride is more popular... a morning train would give you better chances of views from Batasia loop. 
    Rati Satish Chunletia (December 2018) 
    Hi Raj, Can we have just one way ride to Ghoom through toy train and then go around the monastery and near by areas and return by another train or by a sharing vehicle. We are to visit during new year. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2018 
    Hi, you can get off at Ghum but can not board another toy train with the same tickets. Once you visit the monastery, you can walk back to the taxi stand and take a shared Jeep back to Darjeeling lower town (Chowk Bazaar). 
    Gary Collinson (November 2018) 
    Namaskar, I will be in India in February 2019. Is the toy train between NEW JALPAIGURI DARJEELING operating in February 2019. Await your response so I can plan my tour. Thank you very much - Dhanyawad. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2018 
    Hello Gary, the toy train between NJP and Darjeeling is presently operational and unless for any unforeseen circumstances, it should continue to operate in February as well. You can check availability in Indian Railways website (irctc.co.in). Regards. 
    Michael Gill (October 2018) 
    Please can you confirm whether the DHR is running at the moment? I have bought a ticket from New Jalpiguri to Darjeeling in November but some websites say that the service is suspended due to a landslide? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2018 
    NJP to Darjeeling train is currently suspended although DHR is operational between Kurseong and Darjeeling as well as for the Joy Ride (Darjeeling - Ghum - Darjeeling). Administration is working on clearing out the debris which is expected to be done in the next few days. A major festival time (Durga Puja) starts from October 15 when tourist arrivals would surge and they are targeting to complete the work by then. So I think in November there should not be an issue. 
    Debjyoti Roy (August 2018) 
    Dear Raj, I'm planning to visit Darjeeling in Dec 2018. Your blogs are excellent. I found Joy Rides are very costly & sometimes canceled. So, I booked DJ KGN NJ Train (52588) from DJ (4pm) to Ghum (4.30pm) at Rs. 30 only. In the evening time, how to go back from Ghum Station to Darjeeling Mall? Is there any shared vehicle available at evening time? What would be the cost? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2018 
    Ghum to Darjeeling road route is quite busy... you might get a shared jeep around that time. Otherwise private taxi would be the other option (which too would be far more economical compared to joy ride fare). Shared jeep would take you up to Chowk Bazaar (lower town) and then you need to walk up to the Mall. 
    Harpreet (August 2018) 
    Dear Sir, Thanks for providing great information. I am planning to visit Darjeeling in first week of October'18. I have read lot of information and reviews. I was about to book tickets for joy ride (2 hours) . However, after reading reviews I'm confused. Most people are saying the route is not good. There are lot of shops & so on. Now, I am confused between Darjeeling to Ghum and from Kurseong to Darjeeling. Please Help. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2018 
    Kurseong to Darjeeling train will also go through Ghum station and then take the same last stretch up to Darjeeling. There are shops close to the track when the train passes through townships, and there are several scenic stretches as well. Kurseong to Darjeeling would have more number of scenic stretches and also more number of townships along the way. 
    Rafi (August 2018) 
    Hello, I want to go Darjeeling from Shilliguri and stop at Ghum. From Ghum via toy train reach Darjeeling. My question... is there availability of toy train from Ghum to Darjeeling? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2018 
    You can book one that comes from Kurseong or NJP (check the timings) and board at Ghum. 
    Paramartha Chakraborty (May 2018) 
    I am travelling from NJP to DJ with my family. I have already booked toy train tickets from NJP to DJ (Train No.: 52541). Just wanted to know whether the Joy Ride from DJ to Ghum (the 2 hours one) is the one I should go for? And, do these basically cover the same places? Could you compare the two journeys? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2018 
    The route from Ghum to Darjeeling (about 7kms) is the same for both the journeys including Batasia Loop. The only difference is... the train on joyride stops at Batasia for 10 minutes allowing passengers to enjoy the views and also at Ghum station for 30 minutes for visiting the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum. Additionally in Joyride you have a choice of riding a steam or diesel engine hauled train while the one from NJP is always diesel engine hauled. 
    Ranjith (May 2018) 
    The ticket cost for joyride is too expensive, the journey is not that worth. The train passes through crowded markets and you will hardly enjoy the view of the valley or the mountains. its construction everywhere and not even an inch of space is left for enjoying the view from the train. If you want to see the train you can go to Darjeeling station or Batasia or Ghoom and take a closer look at the steam engine. Overall Darjeeling is a crowded over exploited tourist place which is already saturated. This is a classic example of what mindless tourism development can do to a place. 
    Sayantan (March 2018) 
    In order to reach Darjeeling station for joyride how to reach there from club side. Are there any shared jeeps available? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2018 
    Shared jeeps are occasional at Clubside (i.e. below Planters Club). You can easily walk down to the station (15-20 minute downhill walk, less than a kilometer). 
    Gerard Bain, UK (February 2018) 
    What station do you pick the toy train up in Siliguri? Many thanks. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2018 
    Hi, in Siliguri the station is Siliguri Junction. The starting station is the one prior - NJP (New Jalpaiguri). 
    Chitra (January 2018) 
    Hi, I read so many of your articles and they are so informative. It's like Encyclopedia of Darjeeling. Seriously I mean it.  I wanted to know about Darjeeling Himalayan toy train. We are planning in last week of February 2018 and our hotel is Sterling Ghoom. Can we go from Ghoom to Darjeeling ? Or Darjeeling to Ghoom only .. which one do you suggest ? Or is it mandatory to go from Darjeeling to Ghoom and return to Darjeeling? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2018 
    Hi, currently you can board the toy train Joyride from Darjeeling for a 2-hour return journey although you can get off at Ghum if you want (but you pay for entire return trip). For Ghum to Darjeeling one way journey you can avail one of the two other passenger toy trains... one coming from NJP and the other from Kurseong. The route from Ghum is the same as joyride. 
    Sanjida Khan (November 2017) 
    I am Sanjida khan from burdwan west Bengal.. Want to go Darjeeling on 29th December 2017. Please inform me does the toy train run between NJP To Darjeeling ? Can I book ticket from irctc website ? But I searched for the train running status 52541 ...then it shows train canceled... Please help me ..thank you. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2017 
    You need to keep checking the irctc website. Currently it shows cancelled because there is not enough tourist demand. 
    Katja (September 2017) 
    Hello,  we will travel to Darjeeling in October. As we fly to Siliguri and want to take the Toy Train to Darjeeling, we are wondering if we need a ticket for the train in advance, or if we can book it in Siliguri. We arrive Friday, 13th October, and want to take the train Monday, 16th October (therefore we have some days to organise permits and tickets). Thank you very much for your help, kind regards. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2017 
    Hi, toy train is not operating currently due to unrest in Darjeeling. You can check in irctc (railway) site few days before your departure and book if available. 
    George from Australia (August 2017) 
    Hi, You advise that the Toy Train from NJP to Darjeeling No 52541 runs Monday, Wednesday & Friday. On the irctc.co.in website you can book 7 days a week. Is there more than one Toy Train that does this trip? We are planning to get this train on a Thursday if it runs otherwise we have to spend another night in Siliguri and go on a Friday. Can you please advise. Kind Regards, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2017 
    Hi, the toy train schedule changes frequently. Currently it's not operational due to political unrest in Darjeeling. Although irctc website might show available seats for future dates, the status might be updated later. So do check the status and weekly schedule few days before your planned arrival. 
    S Roy (June 2017) 
    Hi,  I am Dr. Roy.  Can you please guide me about the permissible baggage allowance for Toy train from NJP to Darjeeling as i am planning to travel this month end with 5 family members. Am in Pune and your guidance will help me plan my vacation. Regards. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2017 
    Hi, NJP to Darjeeling toy train has a luggage van (coach) attached. There is no luggage allowance as such (like any other trains). Heavy luggage has to be kept in the luggage van and not in the passenger coach. 
    Sujeet (June 2017) 
    Hi Raj, I am planning to visit Darjeeling next month and I am interested in taking Toy train ride from NJP to Darjeeling or Darjeeling to NJP. any one way is fine for me. I have few doubts about the Toy Train ride and I hope you can guide me about it: 
    1. Is the Toy Train between NJP and Darjeeling operational? IRCTC is showing that tickets are available but some websites report that Toy Train between NJP and Darjeeling is not Operational. 2. Will I lose my money if I book the tickets through IRCTC and later I see that there is not train from NJP to Darjeeling?  3. Fare for Toy Train between NJP and Darjeeling is INR 1300 per person. Is the journey worth paying 1300 for 7 hours ride? Many people has mentioned that the Journey is not worth the money. It's dirty and boring.  Please advice. Thanks in advance.  
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2017 
    You should go by IRCTC website to know if the train is running for a day and book it. Like any other train, if it gets cancelled, the cancellation policy will apply and you can claim refunds. Enjoying the 7-hour ride is quite subjective and depends on the individual concerned. Many like to trace the entire historic narrow gauge DHR route to go through all stations, loops and zig-zags ... for them the journey has a different meaning compared to those who are looking only for enjoyment and views. If you belong to the second category, you can instead consider the 2-hour joyride from Darjeeling. 
    Also note... toy trains have no toilets in most coaches... for some it can cause discomfort. If you do plan to take the full ride, you can also consider taking the train from Siliguri (i.e. Siliguri Junction) ... you can avoid the train journey through the traffic congested plains. 
    Sankar V (June 2017) 
    I am planning to visit Darjeeling and return to NJP by toy train.  Will it cover steam ride and forest ride? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2017 
    Darjeeling to NJP is a diesel engine hauled train.... you will pass through the forested area near the plains. 
    Preeti Bhide (April 2017) 
    Dear Mr. Raj, You have a wonderful forum. I have a question about taking the train to Darjeeling. My parents are visiting Darjeeling and arrive at Bagdogra on 30th April at around noon. I would like to book them on the train to Darjeeling but noticed that there is only one departure at 8:30am. Is there a possibility to join the same train at another station by catching up with a taxi, or is there a later train from Kurseong or some other station. Please advise. Thanks in advance for your help. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2017 
    First check if NJP - Darjeeling toy train is at all available on the day. They can try to catch the train from Kurseong, there are also other trains from Kurseong to Darjeeling. Check the train schedules from irctc website. But if they carry heavy luggage, then it can be a problem boarding the train from an intermediate station because only the one from NJP has a luggage van, and one can not keep heavy luggage in passenger coaches. 
    Tim Alexander (April 2017) 
    Hello, I am planning a trip to India starting this coming June. I plan to travel from Calcutta to Darjeeling in mid-june, and I want to take the toy train. I know that I first have to get from Sealdah to NJP, but after this I am not so sure what to do. This is because whilst I also know that ordinarily I could get the toy train from NJP straight to Darjeeling - because of damaged tracks at Tindharia - I can only board the toy train from Kurseong. This is my problem - I cannot find how to get from NJP to Kurseong + I can also not actually find where I can book the toy train. Regarding the latter, I know the station codes etc - but when I search for them on train booking websites they do not appear! Please help! Much appreciated if you do!! Thank you. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2017 
    Hi, the track has been repaired quite sometime back. You can board the train from NJP or Siliguri, however it runs on few days of the week. You can book your seat from Indian railway site irctc.co.in . 
    Brenda D. (February 2017) 
    Hi Raj, I plan on boarding the Toy Train at Siliguri.  Will there be enough room in the luggage van for my medium sized suitcase?  Also, how long is this portion of the trip? Thanks so much.   
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017 
    Hi, yes... medium size suitcase is okay. Will take nearly 6.5 hours to Darjeeling. 
    J K Parikh (January 2017) 
    Dear RAJ, I went through many of your posts. Hats off to you. You are offering a great help to tourists. My query is that if I travel via Road DARJEELING TO NJP VIA MIRIK. Then also, is the toy train trip is so different that I need to incorporate it in my itinerary? Thanks... 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2017 
    Mirik route meets the main hill cart road at Ghum. This road runs parallel to the toy train track. So from Ghum onward up to Darjeeling (about 25 minutes drive) you will get similar views as toy train except that the toy train also traverses the wonderful & fascinating Batasia Loop which you can not really see from the road. But you can certainly get off the vehicle and enter the loop. Most tourists consider riding the heritage toy train an experience by itself, leave aside the views. 
    Dipanshu Yadav (November 2016) 
    Hi Raj, I must say that this is a very helpful website and you are helping a lot of travelers by providing your comments. I have a question though, I am not able to find that jungle safari train from SGUJ to SGUD as mentioned by you. Is that train run everyday? if not, which train I must take to enjoy nature and landscape. Thanks and Regards, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2016 
    Jungle Safari is usually a seasonal train. You can take the regular toy train from NJP to Darjeeling (it does not run everyday though). This train also goes through the same stations as Jungle Safari. You can go all the way to Darjeeling (about 7 hours) or get off at Kurseong and take a road transport, like a private or shared taxi. 
    Sandhya Sunil (September 2016) 
    Hi, We were planning on a trip to Darjeeling from Kolkata in December. Wanted to know can we do say from NJP to Darjeeling we travel by toy train part way & then taxi, or alternatively taxi part way first and then the toy train? If so what would the recommended route be & which one affords the better scenic experience? Thanks 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2016 
    What you take first (taxi or toy train) will depend on toy train timings and the time when you reach NJP. One possibility is take a taxi up to Kurseong and then toy train. All toy trains from NJP pass through Kurseong plus there are toy trains that start from Kurseong for Darjeeling. So check your arrival time and toy train timings, and plan accordingly. 
    Meher Sangle (September 2016) 
    Hi Raj, Thank you for the amazing details that you have taken the trouble of writing down for all of us. Just a quick question. My mother and her collugues are travelling to Darjeeling for a conference and have a Return flight from Bagdogra. I have recommended that they take the toy train upto Siliguri instead of a car, halt near NJP /Siliguri for the night and then proceed to the Bagdogra. I understand that the train stops at stations will compensate for not having bathroom on-board ? Correct? Thanks a ton! 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2016 
    Hi, unfortunately the toy trains briefly stop at the intermediate stations and such stops can not be used for toilet breaks. In fact most stations along the route do not have toilets. So alternatively she can get off at Kurseong (half way), take a cab and go down to a hotel in Siliguri or Bagdogra. 
    Azeem (August 2016) 
    Hi Raj,  Is it true that 52541 toy train from NJP to DJ doesn't have toilets?? I am planning for Darjeeling trip in September this year with my parents who are aged. I believe it will be a big problem if the train doesn't have toilets. What is the alternative if the doesn't have one? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2016 
    Most Darjeeling toy trains do not have toilets in the coaches. If that's a problem, go for a shorter ride (like the 2-hrs Joy Ride from Darjeeling, alternatively 3-hrs one way ride from Kurseong to Darjeeling or the reverse). 
    Vanshul Pali (June 2016) 
    Hi Raj, thank you for uploading all the relevant stuff regarding the travel to Darjeeling. It's because of this I am able to understand and make an itinerary for my family to make a visit to Darjeeling. I am planning to come down to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in the month of September. My train (Dibrugarh Rajdhani Exp) reaches NJP at around 10:45 AM. I want to take the RED PANDA train from kurseong to Darjeeling which leaves at 02:00 PM from Kurseong. I have like a 3 hour window, will it be sufficient for me to make it on time? Thanks. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2016 
    If your train reaches on time, you can easily reach Kurseong by taxi before Red Panda leaves. It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to reach Kurseong from NJP. 
    Manish Mote (May 2016) 
    Sir, I along with my 8 family members are schedule to visit Kurseong. And then we will move to Darjeeling. I get to know that Toy train is running from Kurseong to Darjeeling. Also joyride is there in Darjeeling. Joy ride is costlier than toy train ride. So, what are the main differences between these rides, whether the train appearance is different? Or we will get the different experience in joy ride? Main motto of our journey will be surrounding nature. But, if we got some special experience in joyride train, then I can go for its booking. Thank you sir. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2016 
    Kurseong to Darjeeling train is a regular commuter train pulled by diesel engine and mostly availed by the locals. It makes several stops at the stations in between. However goes along the same track as the joy ride from Ghum onwards. So you will pass by the same places. The Joy Ride is meant for tourists, has only first class coaches and all services (except the first one in the morning) are hauled by original steam engines. It stops at Batasia for views and also at Ghum station for visit to the DHR museum (entry included in ticket price). 
    Arundhati Sawant (April 2016) 
    Hello Raj, Thank you for your valuable information. Please can you let me know what is the best time of the day to take the train. I know it would be dependent on lots of variable factors like weather, etc but assuming ideal conditions, what would be the best time to take the 2 hr joy ride? We will be there in the first or second week of May 2016. On the railways website I see steam or diesel options. The earliest steam engine option is at 10:40am. There is another steam engine journey in the evening. The one that starts at 8am is the diesel engine. Thank you. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2016 
    The earliest train is usually best for the views. If steam engine is a must do for you, then the one at 10:40am should be the choice. 
    Nitesh Jain (April 2016) 
    Hi Raj, I am planning to come to Darjelling in last week of April. My toy train tickets are already booked from NJP to Darjeeling. I would like to know that "Toy Train Joyride - Darjeeling to Ghum & Back " is a worthy trip? As we are already travelling on this route from NJP to DJ. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2016 
    Since you are already taking the regular toy train, you need not take the joy ride again as you will also go by the places which the joy ride covers. 
    Sathya Dev (February 2016) 
    Hi Raj, If I take the Darjeeling Mail 12343 from Kolkata to NJP which arrives at New Jalpaiguri by 8:00 am, is it practically possible to catch the Darjeeling Toy Train #52541 that leaves NJP to Darjeeling by 8:30am ? Also do we get enough luggage space in the Toy Train for a comfortable journey that lasts 7.5 hours. If your response is encouraging I prefer to take this option rather than a taxi from NJP to Darjeeling. Really appreciate your time and expert advice. Best regards. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2016 
    Usually a luggage van is attached to the toy train between NJP and Darjeeling, so luggage won't be an issue. The time could be short unless Darjeeling Mail reaches on or before time, and all of you have able legs to walk fast or even run. 
    Nitin L (February 2016) 
    Dear Raj, Not seen a better travel website than yours. Simple, Easy to read, very informative. Can't stop from asking the below query. I am traveling with my parents around end of March. After taking the jungle safari from Siliguri, will it be possible to cover Mirik site seeing and then go to Darjeeling. If so, what is the latest time by which one should leave Mirik for Darjeeling. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2016 
    During Jungle Safari, get off at Sukna on your return instead of going all the way back to Siliguri Junction. You will pass by Sukna anyway on your way to Mirik. Leave Mirik by 3:30pm if you like to travel in daylight and spend a few minutes at Simana. 
    Beth Ann Klink (January 2016) 
    Greetings Mr. Bhattacharya! I have read almost every word of your website in preparation for a trip to West Bengal and, specifically, Darjeeling district; and I have found it to be incredibly helpful. Thank you for this labor of love. We are being asked to provide scanned and e-mailed copies of our passports to a tour operator (Nature Beyond) we have engaged in order to secure room reservations at Jaldapara Tourist Lodge and toy train tickets from Kurseong to Darjeeling (among other services). Please forgive us, but his is our first trip to India, and we are wondering if this is usual practice as we are somewhat concerned given we have never been asked to provide this information to tour operators in other countries. Many thanks for any guidance you can provide. Sincerely. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2016 
    Good day, while booking toy train tickets across the counter, a valid photo Id (photocopy of passport for foreigners) is required. This is however not a requirement for hotel booking. Some government hotels may ask for photo id number (like driving license number) at the time of booking, but not the private hotels. At the time of check in, it is mandatory to show your photo Id though (like passport) at all hotels in India. 
    For Toy Train booking, the easiest is to book online through irctc.co.in website (Indian Railways). While registering for a user account, it will however ask for an Indian mobile phone number where confirmation and other SMSs would be sent. That is the only problem for foreigners. Tour operators can also do your online train booking through their own irctc registered account. Not sure why they are not doing it for your toy train booking in this case and instead proposing to do it manually across the counter and asking for passport copy. You can get into a dialogue with them on this. 
    Beth Ann Klink (January 2016) 
    Dear Raj: Thank you so very much for your timely reply! The information you provide is not only helpful in regard to my initial question but also explains why I have been unable to set up an irctc account (I have been providing a USA, rather than an Indian, cell phone number), which led to my seeking assistance from a tour operator. I will proceed as you suggest in every regard. Again, many thanks, and we are very excited to experience Darjeeling! Sincerely, Beth Klink 
    B Mondal (December 2015) 
    Hi! I want to know whether I need to carry food while travelling in the Toy Train from NJP to Darjeeling? Its 7.5Hrs journey so food and toilet is essential for such a long time. Thank you 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2015 
    Carry food if you need. No food or water is served on the train. Neither there are any toilets in most Toy Train coaches. 
    Jürgen Heckmann (December 2015) 
    Hello Raj, in March 2016 we would like ride Toy Train to Darjeeling. What is the better railway station for tourists Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri ? New Jalpaiguri is a very big junction and perhaps it's not so easy to find the right train, but the train starts in the morning and we have a lot of time. What station would you prefer ? Many thanks for your help. Best wishes and warm regards from Germany. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2015 
    Hi, I personally prefer the station Siliguri Junction to board the toy train for Darjeeling. The main reason being the train comes from NJP and waits here for 35 minutes (from 8.55am to 9:30am). You can avoid wasting time if you board from Siliguri (note the station is Siliguri Junction and not Siliguri Town, they are 3kms apart). This part of the ride (i.e. on the lower plains of Siliguri) is not very interesting either. However if you have reached NJP by train and want to connect to the Toy Train, then NJP would be a convenient option. 
    Arijit Gangooly (September 2015) 
    Hi, Your site is super duper informative. So thought of seeking clarity from you. We have some tickets confirmed in first class in the morning train from Kurseong to Darj, and some unconfirmed. Can the waitlisted board the train? Having a seat is not an issue, as I want to enjoy the experience. Are there any unreserved compartments available, or can he board the 2S? Regards, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2015 
    Hi, wait-listed passengers can not board the train. There is no unreserved compartment, all seats are allocated. 
    Richard Le Mare (August 2015) 
    Hello Raj, Your website is fantastic and so full of very useful information. Thank you. We are visiting your beautiful corner of the world in mid-October, from UK. Of course we want to travel on the toy train. Is it possible to get on it in Siliguri? have heard that there has been a landslide and a section of the line is closed. Is this true? If it is closed, where is the first station that we can get on the train after Siliguri? Many many thanks for your help. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2015 
    Hi, NJP-Darjeeling toy train re-started in June but had to be suspended again due to further damages to the track in monsoon. However it's operational between Kurseong and Darjeeling (daily two services). You can either board from Kurseong, or take a 2-hour joy ride from Darjeeling. 
    Richard Le Mare (August 2015) 
    Raj, Thanks a million times for your really helpful response. I think what we will do is get to Darjeeling by bus / taxi from Bagdogra when we arrive, and then leave Darjeeling by train to Kurseong, picking up a taxi / bus in Kurseong to get us to Bagdogra for our flight home, at the end of our holiday. Thanks so much for your help. 
    Balaji Balasubramani (August 2015) 
    Hi Raj, I looked at your site, and I found all the information very helpful. Thanks for providing those. I have one doubt... I am planning to take the Jungle Safari 10am train from Siliguri Jn and get down at Tindharia(12.20pm) or Gayabari(12.43 Pm). Is is possible to get down at Tindharia or Gayabari, if it's possible please suggest which is the best place to get down, since I plan to reach Kurseong from there, but I am not sure whether I can reach Kurseong from Tindharia or Gayabari through any means like Jeep or bus. And from Kurseong, I am planning to catch 3.00pm toy train and reach Darjeeling. Could you please let me know is this possible and if so will I be missing any scenery or important things that I shouldn't be when the train goes back to siliguri. I will be booking the Jungle Safari tickets for full length but if it's possible I will get down and move to Darjeeling via Kurseong. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2015 
    Hi, you can not go beyond Gayabari towards Kurseong by road as the road is damaged since 2010. You need to return to Sukna and take a taxi to reach Kurseong via Rohini. 
    Sumanta Nandi (June 2015) 
    Hi Raj, You mentioned that NJP to DJ Toy Train Service has resumed. However I am unable to make a booking on IRCTC as it says 'No direct train found'. Do you have any update on this? Thanks & Regards 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2015 
    IRCTC takes time to incorporate into their database. However the NJP-Darjeeling train has been suspended temporarily because of rains and some large boulders falling on the track. 
    Noaman Rasheed (June 2015) 
    Dear Raj, I hav gone through ur website and have found it very informative and helpful. Still I have got few queries for my plan. It would be very kind if u could clarify them to me. 
    1) instead of taking the 2hr joyride trip from darjeeling to ghum I opt for darjeeling to kurseong regular morning train will it halt at batasia loop and ghum for sigh viewing as in case of joy ride train. 
    2) I am planing of having the jungle safari trip as well. Can u help me plan it so that I can have a halt at batasia loop, ghum and den go forward and enjoy the ride. 
    Kindly suggest. I would be waiting for your kind assistance. Do email me your reply. Regards 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2015 
    Hi, regular toy trains don't stop at Batasia, but they stop at Ghum for couple of minutes. Jungle Safari train operates from Siliguri up to Gayabari and doesn't come up to Batasia or Ghum. 
    Amit Arora (April 2015) 
    Hi Raj, I was to travel by the 52547 Joyride at 4:05pm on 12th May, but the steep increase in fare has made me change my mind. Instead, I have booked First Class seats (Rs.140 per person) in the regular train service number 52588 departing Darjeeling at 4pm and reaching Ghum at 4:30pm. For returning from Ghum, I have booked the service 52545 departing Ghum at 5:08pm and reaching Darjeeling at 5:50pm. The downside of taking this option will be that there will be no 10 minute halt at Batasia loop and the engine will be diesel rather than steam. However, the saving will be substantial without much decrease in comfort and enjoyment, as I assume that the First Class coaches in the regular train will be the same as that in the Joyride. What do you think of this change in plan? I have not yet cancelled my Joyride tickets and waiting for your advice. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2015 
    Hi Amit, Overall a great move! If everybody starts thinking the same way, I imagine DHR would seriously start thinking of reverting their joyride fare. You can always cover Batasia separately if you are taking tour of Tiger Hill sunrise. It's covered under the standard 3-point tour. Otherwise on your way back from Darjeeling to NJP/Bagdogra, you can ask the taxi to stop at Batasia for 10 minutes. It's on the same route. I guess looking at a steam engine moving and taking its picture is arguably a better experience than riding it. You are right, first class coaches are all the same. However there could be one more downside to your move though... morning trains are usually better for views, chances of sky remaining clear in the morning half is higher than in the afternoon. This is where DHR may look at your move with a subtle smile at the corner of its lips ;) 
    Arijit Banerjee (April 2015) 
    Dear Raj, How are you? I am from Kolkata and would be reaching Darjeeling on 12th of April. We have booked the joy ride vide irctc but unfortunately we have got the 4 O'clock slot. There was no morning slot available at the time of booking. How is this time for the ride? I have read in the blog that you prefer morning ride but will this slot be worthwhile considering the fact that the sun would go down in sometime. Can we expect some visibility or should we consider it bad luck and let go off the ride and do something else. Need your suggestion. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2015 
    Hi, Suggest you go ahead with the ride and hope to get good views. In the morning you get bright lights and usually great view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks from Batasia loop.... ideal for photo shoots. The last train (at 4.05pm) will reach Batasia around 4:45pm. There will still be daylights for taking pictures. But in the afternoon, the peaks are not always visible as they get covered with cloud. But you may be lucky. However the flowering gardens of Batasia and the scenes on your journey will be equally enjoyable. 
    Kalpak Doshi (March 2015) 
    Dear Mr. Raj, During the last week I have read your website with great interest and resultant appreciation. The only inference one can draw is that such a website can be created only out of passion. I will also be subscribing to the tourism card once my train booking formalities are completed. 
    I am planning to visit Darjeeling probably in the first week of May. We are a family of four (3 Adults & 1 Child). Right now I am focused only on my reservations and I will get back to you on subsequent questions later. 
    My reservation related issues are for the Toy-train. These are as follows: 
    1. The Railway Timetable shows the following trains: 
    Train No. - From – Class – Timings, 
    52541 - New Jalpaiguri- FC & II- 9.00 AM, 
    52545 - Kurseong - FC & II- 3.00 PM, 
    52546 - Ghum - FC - 9.20 AM. 
    2. On personal visit to the Railways, I have found the following: 
    - No Toy-train starts from New Jalpaiguri 
    - Train No. 52541 starts only from Kurseong which is at 1.25 PM 
    - One more Toy-train i.e. Train No. 52585 from Kurseong at 7.00 AM is there. 
    Based on the above, I want your help in the following questions: 
    1. Whether any of these trains start from New Jalpaiguri now? If yes then is the journey from New Jalpaiguri to Kurseong interesting because this train takes 7 hours which is quite long although time is not a constraint for us 
    2. We would prefer to travel by a Steam Engine train. Out of the above four which is a Steam Engine train? 
    3. Is Train No. 52546 from Ghum the train that offers joy ride. Is the Ist Class ticket for this train above Rs. 1,000/-? How does this train offer greater joy as compared to other 3 trains? 
    4. Which train would you recommend we should take? 
    5. Would enjoying the views be better in the morning 7 AM train or afternoon 3 PM train? 
    I would highly appreciate your response and thank you very much for having spared time for reading this long mail. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2015 
    Good day, There is no toy train yet from NJP. Although there is a commuter train between Kurseong and Darjeeling which makes two round trips in a day, the best option for tourists is to take a 2-hour round trip joyride from Darjeeling. 4 round trips are offered, two in the first half and two in the afternoon. The first one (at 8am) is a diesel engine hauled toy train while the others are steam engine pulled. A morning train is usually better for views. 
    Bhaswati Bose (February 2015) 
    I booked online in January for 1st April for Rs.400/-. Now the fare has shot up to Rs.1,090/-. Will we have to pay the difference? This is very upsetting. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2015 
    Yes, you need to pay the difference when you board the train. This is an unexpected fare hike by DHR & Indian railways. There is a lot of furor going over it. They had already revised it from initially announced fare of Rs. 1,165 to 1,090. However the diesel engine pulled toy train joyride fare is 625/- (it starts at 8am). You may also consider another option ... take the regular commuter toy train that starts from Darjeeling at 10:15am, buy ticket up to Ghum (Rs. 140/- in first class, Rs. 30 in second class). It's a diesel engine hauled train and goes up to Kurseong. You will get off at Ghum and get back by a road transport like a jeep. Similar route and experience as the joyride. If you get the tickets, you can cancel the earlier ones. You can buy this online as well. But it's entirely up to you what you may like to do under the circumstances. 
    Bhaswati Bose (October 2014) 
    Hi Raj, This is my second mail query to you. Thanks for replying to my first query about hotel booking for our group of 20 senior citizens in Darjeeling and Gangtok. Your advise was of great help. We will be in Darjeeling in 1st week April 2015. We all want to take the Toy Train ride from Darjeeling to Ghum. We want to take the afternoon ride. My query is : 
    1. How early should we book the tickets (for 20 people)? 
    2. Should we book online or ask our tour operator to book? 
    3. What will be the cost per ticket? will it change in April 2015? 
    Thanks in advance 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2014 
    Hi, while all your questions should be directed to Indian Railway Inquiry, I'll try to answer some of them. Book online and well in advance. April is in high season. You can book up to 60 days in advance. Since you are a large group, book as soon as your date gets into reservation period. Current fare is Rs. 400/- per person. Will fare change in future?? Only a railway authority can answer that question, but I doubt even if they would respond to such query. Having said that, your time of visit is in the beginning of next financial year and that's the time when railway budgets are revised. So from that perspective there is a possibility of fare change. However having steeply revised it for Darjeeling toy train this year, it's unlikely that there will be any significant changes next year. Good luck! 
    Abhishek Gupta (October 2014) 
    Hi Raj, Me and my wife are coming Darjeeling on 9th of Nov'14, and will stay there till 14th Nov'14. We want to take a ride of toy train and planning to take it while we will be coming back. I checked the fare for Darjeeling-Ghum-Darjeeling (400/- Rs), and Darjeeling-Kurseong (210/-Rs) for first class ticket. Can you please tell me the possible reason of higher fare for joy ride?? Will I miss something if I book tickets for Darjeeling-Kerseong??? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2014 
    Hi, Darjeeling Kurseong toy train is a regular commuters' train and diesel engine hauled, while the joy ride is original steam engine hauled train mainly targeted for tourists who want to experience the old heritage and ride. The joy ride also includes entry fee to Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum at Ghum where the train stops for sometime. So if you take Darjeeling Kurseong train, while you can enjoy the scenery including Batasia loop, you will miss the sights and sound of steams blowing out of the original engines designed by the British and also a visit to the DHR Museum. 
    Sayantan Chatterjee (October 2014) 
    I have a query. Joyride covers only from Darjeeling to Ghum, whether other two trains (DJ KGN NG TRAIN) goes (one way though) going upto KURSEONG. So which will be better, Joyride (covering up to Ghum) or the later one which covers up to KURSEONG? What about the scenic beauty between KURSEONG to GHUM? I mean, will I miss something worth seeing partly if I choose Joyride instead of the later? Please Suggest. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2014 
    A great viewing area is Batasia Loop where you get sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range and Darjeeling town. This and the highest station Ghum are anyway covered in the round trip joy ride. Beyond Ghum, there are only two stations ... Sonada and Tung. While Sonada is quite crowded, but the Tung is a sleepy small village. Every time I pass by Tung and look at the tiny station shed, I imagine siting there some day... but never made it so far. 
    Just before Tung you can see the lovely landscape of Margaret Hope Tea Estate and after Tung the Singell tea estate. You pass by forests of maple and chestnuts and then see the lovely views of Kurseong hills. However one way to Kurseong by toy train takes about 3 hours. So considering time involved, 2-hour round trip joy ride from Darjeeling satisfies most, but is it the same as a journey all the way to Kurseong? Well no, there is more to explore further down towards Kurseong. 
    Aishwarya (August 2014) 
    Thank you for a wonderful and informative site. My husband and I will be travelling to Darjeeling in the 1st week of September 2014. The Following are some of the queries which I could not find answers to. We would be grateful for your views regarding these issues. 
    1. Please let us know the difference between cabin and coupe in the toy train from Kurseong to Darjeeling? The IRCTC site is asking for option in berth as Lower/ Upper/ Cabin/ Coupe in FC. 
    2. What is the difference between 2S and FC? The cost of FC is significantly higher. Are there any additional features/services in keeping with the cost? 
    Thank You so much for making it easy for us to plan. Regards 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2014 
    Hi, Berth, Cabin/Coupe options are not applicable for DHR toy trains. They are meant for regular first class coaches in regular express/mail trains. They should have defined the Class type of first class coach as CC (Chair Car) instead of First Class which could have avoided the confusion. Darjeeling toy trains do not have sleeping berths, cabins or coupes. So ignore the berth/cabin option and keep it at "No Preference". The First Class coaches have individual push back seats like in Shatabdi and lot more space. While 2S (stands for Second Seating) is a second class coach with lot more seats. Several persons sit together on a wider cushioned seat. 
    Dhruv (August 2014) 
    Is there any personal cabin for couples in the toy trains. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2014 
    Nope! You can charter the whole train though :) 
    Sandip Samaddar (November 2013) 
    Hello Raj, I am planning to visit darjeeling on 8th jan 2014. I will be going from NJP station availing any shared jeep/cars. I have booked 2 toy train tickets (Darjeeling-Kurseong) from irctc website in 2nd class. Just want to ask that if the journey in 2nd class would be comfortable or not in the sense will we be getting the seats or the local commuters would grab them first. Should I cancel them and make arrangements in 1st class. If you can highlight the difference between both the classes. From Kurseong station how much time it takes to reach NJP station and what would be the price like so that I get an estimate and not get cheated there. Thanks. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2013 
    Hi, First class coaches in toy trains have lesser seats (about 15) compared to Second class coaches (about 30 seats), and for obvious reasons they are more comfortable. But 2nd class coaches are also not bad and you will get seats. Kurseong to NJP takes about 1.5 hours by car/jeep. Shared jeep fare is about Rs 75-100/- per person, reserved small taxi about Rs. 1200/- 
    Dipayan Das (November 2013) 
    Hi Mr Raj, I'll be travelling in the toy train when returning from Darjeeling upto Kurseong. I'll be travelling with my parents nd will have 1 trolley bag and 1 medium size bag. I heard that there is not enough space to keep luggage. So should I book 1 extra ticket to keep my luggage? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2013 
    Hi, Darjeeling Kurseong toy train is a commuters train and you should not carry big luggage. But between few of you, you can have one or two bags or small suit cases ... in India how big is big in such situations is never defined. So sometimes you can get away even with large suitcases. Considering minimum inconvenience to fellow passengers, use your own discretion. 
    Gerry Rosenberg (October 2013) 
    I will be visiting Darjeeling with my family in early January. The Toy Train sounds amazing. Our travel agent only wants us to take the Joy Ride. From what I've read, some of the most amazing parts of the trip occur way before that. So, my questions are: 
    1. Is the train running the entire route (8 hours or so)? 
    2. Would you recommend taking it? 
    Thank you 
    P.S. we are Americans living in Bangalore for 1 year. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2013 
    Hi, The toy train is still not operational for the entire route. A part of the track is lying damaged just before Kurseong and there is no service up to this point. So you have couple of options ... either take the ride from Kurseong up to Darjeeling (takes about 3 hours ... the train leaves Kurseong at 3pm), or take the 2-hour round trip joy ride from Darjeeling. Unfortunately most of the amazing feats of track engineering (except one) are before Kurseong and you can't experience those until the the track is repaired ... I see slim chances of  that happening before Jan 2014. It's lying in the present state for the last 3 years.... it's another amazing story ... 
    However both Kurseong - Darjeeling train or the joy ride will pass through Batasia Loop, a double spiral loop where the train negotiates an altitude of about 1000 ft as it completes the loop ... probably the most amazing part in the entire trip .... added to it is the wonderful view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks from Batasia. I would recommend the Joy Ride out of the two because the train has first class coaches, while the other one is a commuters train and runs only with second class coaches. 
    Priyal Dmello (October 2013) 
    Hi Raj Sir, Thanks a lot for your efforts for helping tourists. I have some queries. How many joyrides of toytrain run in Darjeeling? If there are 4, then can I book evening joyride? Which is from 16.00 to 18.00 hrs. Will there be sufficient daylight to enjoy this joyride and visit DHR museum? I am planing to visit Darjeeling on 07 Nov. 13. I am reaching NJP station by 06.00 am by Abadh Assam Exp. Is it ok to book afternoon joyride.(01.20pm). What is maximum time required to reach Darjeeling from NJP station by private car? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2013 
    Hi, Usually four toy train joyride trips run everyday during high season. Whether it'll be reduced in November is something you can find out from the Indian Railway site (irctc.co.in) as you book your ticket. In November it gets dark around 5:30pm. If you reach NJP at 6am, you can take the afternoon ride. It takes about 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling from NJP provided there are no delays on the way. 
    Ranjan Kumar Dey (July 2013) 
    Dear Raj, I have already booked for joyride on 16th Aug 2013. We are very much excited for the ride ( 7 member age 20 - 43yrs including 2 two-year old children). But is there any difficulties for the ride in monsoon season? I came to know from one of my friends, DHR provides food during the ride and it is included in fare. Is it right? Please help me. Regards 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2013 
    Hi Ranjan, There is no food in DHR (other than the Safari ride which takes place from NJP). The joyrides takes place in the monsoon season as well. You will often find a person standing in front of the engine sprinkling sand on the tracks. Due to the gradient the train often skids. The sand ensures that it moves on. 
    Patrick Brown (May 2013) 
    What is the current status of this train. I will be in the area in October 2013. Is it likely that the train will be fully operational or only partly in service and if so, what portion will be operational. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2013 
    Your question can be best answered by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR). The track is lying damaged for the past 3 years. So hoping that it'll be repaired in the next 3 months looks rather unlikely. While funding has been the main issue, the terrain of the damaged track also makes it difficult to repair. The landslide has almost completely washed away the landmass and the track here virtually hangs in a deep gorge. Currently the section between Kurseong and Darjeeling is operational and likely to remain so through this year. 
    Nitin K Aviral (May 2013) 
    Your website is very informative. One can plan his/her holiday with ease. Somebody misled me about the joyride train information but I came to know about its exact scenario from your site and booked my ticket for 14/06/2013. Thank you for your great work.   
    Marishaa Singh (May 2013) 
    I'll be visiting Darjeeling June 7th to 10th 2013. While we have booked tickets for the joy ride to Ghum we are unable to find any information on the railtourism or the irctc sites for the Safari rides or the timings. Can you help please? Will they run the train during the weekend? Or we just keep checking? Thanks 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2013 
    You need to keep checking the railtourism site time to time. There is no other way to know. Usually they come out with the packages by now. 
    Harleen Kaur (March 2013) 
    Hi, I am visiting Darjeeling and Gangtok from 24th March 2013 to 31st March (i.e. two days from now). I want to book tickets of toy train online but not available till 31st of March. Is there a general class for which I can buy the ticket on the spot. I don't want to miss this opportunity to travel in toy train. Please guide me what to do. Also, which place should I visit first Darjeeling or Gangtok. And is Nathula pass open at this time of year? Warm Regards, 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2013 
    Hi, There is no general class in the toy train that runs from Darjeeling for Ghum joy ride. It's all first class seats. Once you reach Darjeeling, you can ask a tour operator to see if they can help. Otherwise, you can take the regular toy train for Kurseong (starts around 10am). This is not a joyride, but all the same. Get off at Ghoom and return by shared jeep or taxi. You will have a similar experience. Not many know about this option, so you should get tickets. But this is a second class train... doesn't matter. It's nice. It doesn't matter which place you visit first, Darjeeling or Gangtok. 
    Judith Williams (February 2013) 
    Regarding the mountain railway, I note your comment to travellers that there is no space for large luggage on the train, we are on a round the world trip and a ride on the railway is an important part of the journey for my husband who is a railway enthusiast, is there anywhere to store luggage securely at NJP? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2013 
    Hi, Yes, there is a Cloak Room at NJP station where you can securely keep your luggage. Passenger and commercial luggage are kept in separate rooms. There is a nominal charge (Rs. 10 per bag) per day for passenger luggage. You must have valid inward or onward Indian railway ticket to avail this facility. Note that due to security reasons, all your bags in the cloak room must be individually locked. The station authority will not accept any luggage which is unlocked even if it is a backpack. For soft bags or backpacks, wrap it around with a chain that should pass through the flaps and then lock it. The service is often quite slow. So on your way back, do not come just 10 minutes before the train departs and expect to get your bags back in time. Regards, 
    Tom Hadley (February 2013) 
    Hi I like your site. It is very well set out and informative. I wonder could you assist with some up to date information about the toy train, do you know if it is running at the moment or if it only runs between certain places. I realise that you are not a travel agent. Thanks in anticipation of your assistance 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2013 
    Hi, There is no toy train from NJP all the way to Darjeeling yet. A section of the track just before Kurseong is still lying damaged since June 2010 due to landslides. They say there is no fund to repair ... amazing but true. You have two options... 
    1) Come up to Kurseong by road (not the Hill Cart Road that runs side by side the toy train track. That road too is damaged at the same point. There is another alternative road used these days up to Kurseong). From there take the toy train up to Darjeeling. However you need to time it correctly with the departure time of the toy train, and also keep in mind that you can't carry heavy luggage in a toy train. 
    2) Take the two hour toy train joy ride from Darjeeling up to Ghoom and back. There are 4 such rides everyday during high season. Most prefer this option. But you should book your tickets well in advance.  
    P.S: The sections above provide all the details of Toy Train services, schedules and how to book the tickets. 
    Tanusree Hazra (February 2013) 
    There are only 4 tickets available in the toy train and we have 7 members. So is there any other option to take the ride? 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2013 
    From Darjeeling, take the toy train to Kurseong, get off at Ghoom and come back by car/shared jeep. It leaves Darjeeling in the morning (around 10am). Similar experience. 
    Rashmi Sahu (January 2013) 
    Sir, thought of taking the toy train from Darjeeling to Kurseong on May 2. Wanted to know if we could take our luggage along as we are planning for a stay in maikabari tea estate, and then take our train back from Silliguri. Thanks. (we can book one more ticket.for the luggage to keep ) 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2013 
    Hello, Luggage space in the passenger coaches of the toy train is very limited. If the train has a luggage van (which is usually a part of the second class coach), then carrying luggage won't be a problem. You will need to check the coach composition with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. If there is no luggage van (which is quite likely for Darjeeling to Kurseong section), then don't plan to carry heavy luggage. Note that May is high tourist season and the trains are likely to be full. 
    Marcus (October 2012) 
    Hello Raj, we (2 Persons) are travelling with an Indrail pass trough India and we want to visit Darjeeling at Christmas 2012. Is it necessary to reserve the train rides for the 24th from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling and for the 25th the train rides to Ghoom and Kurseong in advance? Do you have the timetables for the trains between this towns for the 25th of December? Greetings to India 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2012 
    Hi Marcus, There is no toy train from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) up to Darjeeling these days.. A section of the track between NJP to Kurseong is damaged and has remained this way for the last couple of years. So I doubt it would be repaired before Christmas. Yes, you should reserve all joy rides in advance as there would be lots of tourists during that time.  
    Linda Anderson (October 2012) 
    Hi Raj, Do you think there will be any problem getting a steam train journey from Kuresong to Darjeeling if we go to the station at Kurseong on the day of travel? Also do you just turn up on the day to take the joy ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back or should we try to book in advance? If we do, can you give me the name and e-mail details of a Darjeeling based travel agent who may be able to help. Thank you. 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) 
    Hi Linda, Usually there is no problem turning up and buying the tickets at the station. You can plan to do that for Kurseong to Darjeeling. End Nov is a low season, so I don't expect the coaches to get full, but you never know. Darjeeling to Ghoom joy ride is a far more popular trip with the tourists, and you can buy the tickets at Darjeeling station. Although it's unlikely to go full around that time, try to book this one in advance. I have mentioned some Darjeeling based Tour & Travel Agents here: Tours & Trek Operators. You can try contacting some of them, particularly 'AmigosTours & Treks' 
    Pande (September 2012) 
    Could you please tell me if the "toy" train is in operation for travel from NJP to Darjeeling during an early October visit to the area... I cannot find it available for booking through IRCTC. Thank you 
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) 
    A section of the toy train track between NJP and Kurseong was damaged in 2010 due to landslide. It has remained un-repaired until now apparently due to lack of funds. It's unlikely that it would be operational soon. However, if you want to take a joy ride, take the 2-hour toy train round trip ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back (operates twice daily). Try to book the ticket in advance. If you find it difficult to get the booking option online through IRCTC site, go to an online railway booking counter and inquire.