Trains to Darjeeling & Sikkim

 
 
There are two railway stations near Darjeeling &áSikkim that have broad gauge connections with various destinations all around India. Out of the two, NJP (New Jalpaiguri) is the major railway junction located 88-kms from Darjeeling and 124kms from Gangtok. Numerous long distance trains have stoppages at NJP. Some terminate here, while others pass through NJP. 
 
The other station is Siliguri Junction which is 80-kms from Darjeeling. However only few trains have stoppages here. NJP and Siliguri are twin cities located close to each other having a distance of 8-kms between them. Both provide ample options for onward transport to Darjeeling and Sikkim.  
 
 
 
From NJP and Siliguri, while there are plenty of road transports available for both Darjeeling and Sikkim, You can also avail the narrow gauge toy train to reach Darjeeling. From NJP/Siliguri, it takes about 3.5 hours to reach Darjeeling hill town by road, and about 7 hours by the diesel engine hauled toy train. 
 
Although the toy train takes far longer to reach, in return you get magnificent views of the mountains and village life on the way. It is considered one of the most beautiful mountain train rides in the world. 
 
In the sections below, I have listed the main trains running between the major cities in India and NJP/Siliguri along with some details including timings, classes etc. I have also included a brief analysis of which would be the better trains to catch. In the last section, you will also find the toy trains that run between NJP/Siliguri and Darjeeling, the last mountain stretch. 
 

Kolkata to Darjeeling Trains

 
There are two stations in Kolkata from where the long distance trains leave - Howrah and Sealdah. The rail distance between Kolkata and NJP/Siliguri is approximately 570-kms and it takes less than 12 hours to complete the journey by train. 
 
One of the most popular trains from Kolkata is the Darjeeling Mail. It leaves at night and reaches NJP next morning at a convenient time. It's a comfortable overnight journey and you save all your day time. But this train is in great demand and you should book your tickets in advance. 
 
A couple of great trains from the timing perspective are Uttar Banga Express and Kamrup Express that leave earlier and reach NJP earlier in the morning. These trains will, in fact, give you more time once you reach, let you have your breakfast at NJP/Siliguri more peacefully before the passengers of Darjeeling Mail arrive, and let you get comfortable seats for your onward journey to Darjeeling. However, Kamrup is a popular train for passengers travelling to Guwahati, so expect rush even in this train. 
 
If you plan to take a bus from Siliguri to Darjeeling, then you can take Kanchankanya Express which leaves Kolkata in the evening, runs over-night and reaches Siliguri Junction in the morning. Right across the Siliguri Junction station you will get NBSTC buses for Darjeeling from the main bus terminus (Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus). Close to it (3-minute walk) is the SNT (Sikkim National Transport) bus station where you will get buses for various places in Sikkim including Gangtok, Namchi, Geyzing etc. 
 
PRO TIP: You can pre-book your meals at the trains through this IRCTC eCatering website. You will need your PNR number (given on your train ticket) in order to book the meals in advance. You can get much better meals such as your dinner or lunch compared to what might be available at the trains. For example, the Egg Thali or the Chicken Thali from Neelam Food Stall at Sealdah Station are quite good. You can also order for snacks such as egg/chicken rolls. 
 
Here are all the main trains from Kolkata for Darjeeling (Note: Timings are subject to change): 
 
TRAIN
DEPARTS
ARRIVES
INFO
Darjeeling Mail (12343)
SEALDAH at 10:05pm
NJP at 8:15am next day
Runs daily. Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper, Second Sitting
Uttar Banga Express (13147)
SEALDAH at 7:40pm
NJP at 6:35am next day
Runs Daily. Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
Kamrup Express (15959)
HOWRAH at 6:30pm
NJP at 5:50am next day
Runs Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper
Kanchankanya Express (13149)
SEALDAH at 8:35pm
SILIGURI JN at 8:00am next day
Runs daily. Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper
Kanchanjunga Express (15657)
SEALDAH at 6:35am
NJP at 6:05pm same day
Runs Mon, Wed, Sat. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper
Teesta Torsa Express (13141)
SEALDAH at 2:45pm
NJP at 2:20am next day
Runs daily. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper, Second Sitting
Padatik Express (12377)
SEALDAH at 11:20pm
NJP at 9:15am next day
Runs daily. Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper
Shatabdi Express (12041)
HOWRAH at 2:15pm
NJP at 10:35pm same day
Runs Mon to Sat. Classes: AC Chair, Exec Chair
Saraighat Express (12345)
HOWRAH at 3:55pm
NJP at 1:20am in the morning
Runs daily. Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper
Vande Bharat Express (22301)
HOWRAH at 5:55am
NJP at 13:25pm same day
Runs all days except Wed. Classes: AC Chair, Exec Chair
 
 
 
 
 
Check out Kolkata to Darjeeling to know about all other transport options of reaching Darjeeling from Kolkata. 
 

Delhi to Darjeeling Trains

 
Distance between Delhi and NJP/Siliguri is over 1400kms. My selection of trains below are based on factors like shorter time of travel and convenient time of arrival at NJP. 
 
  • DBRT Rajdhani Express (12424) 
  • Departs NEW DELHI (NDLS) at 4:20pm 
    Arrives NJP at 12:20pm next day 
    Runs daily. Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier 
     
  • Mahananda Express (14084) 
  • Departs DELHI (DLI) at 7:35am 
    Arrives NJP at 2:45pm next day 
    Runs all days of the week. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     
  • North East Express (12506) 
  • Departs NEW DELHI (NDLS) at 7:40am 
    Arrives NJP at 8:10am next day 
    Runs all days of the week. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     
  • Brahmputra Express (15657) 
  • Departs DELHI (DLI) at 11:40pm 
    Arrives NJP at 04:05am next day 
    Runs daily Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper. 
     
  • Mahananda Express (15484) 
  • Departs DELHI (DLI) at 7:35am 
    Arrives Siliguri Jn at 2:45pm next day 
    Runs daily Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper. 
     
  • AVADH Assam Express (15910) 
  • Departs DELHI (DLI) at 7:22am 
    Arrives NJP at 4:50pm next day 
    Runs daily Classes: AC-1st, AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper. 
     

    Mumbai (Bombay) to Darjeeling Trains

     
    Rail distance of NJP/Siliguri from Mumbai is over 2,000 kilometers. Average time to travel from Mumbai to NJP would be over 40 hours. Here are some of the main trains from Mumbai for Darjeeling. 
     
  • LTT DBRG EXP (15645) 
  • Departs Lokmanyatilak (LTT) at 8:05am 
    Arrives NJP at 23:40pm (Duration 39 hours 35 minutes) 
    Runs Wed, Sat. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     
  • LTT KYQ AC EXP (12519) 
  • Departs Mumbai Lokomanyatilak at 07:50am 
    Arrives NJP at 19:40pm (Duration 35 hours 50 minutes) 
    Runs Sun. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     
  • LTT Guwahati Express (15647) 
  • Departs Lokmanyatilak (LTT) at 8:05am 
    Arrives NJP at 3:10am (Duration 43 hours 5 minutes) 
    Runs Fri. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper, Second Sitting 
     
  • KARMABHOOMI EXP (22511) 
  • Departs Lokmanyatilak (LTT) at 1:15pm 
    Arrives NJP at 5:05am (Duration 39 hours 50 minutes) 
    Runs Tue. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper, Second Sitting 
     

    Other Trains For Darjeeling

     
     
  • From Bangalore 
  • Guwahati Express (12509) 
    Departs SMVT Bengaluru at 11:40pm 
    Arrives NJP at 8:25am (Duration 44 hours 45 minutes) 
    Runs Wed, Thu, Fri. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     
  • From Bangalore 
  • New Tinsukia Express (22501) 
    Departs SMVT Bengaluru at 3:10am 
    Arrives NJP at 9:00pm (42 hours) 
    Runs Tue. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     
  • From Hyderabad 
  • SC Guwahati Express (12513) 
    Departs Secunderabad Jn at 4:35pm 
    Arrives NJP at 4:25am (Duration 36 hours) 
    Runs Sat. Classes: AC-2 Tier, AC-3 Tier, Sleeper 
     

    NJP/Siliguri to Darjeeling Toy Trains

     
    Darjeeling Himalayan Railway operated toy train leaves NJP in the morning for Darjeeling hill town. It goes via a scenic route offering great views of the mountains, valleys and village life on the way. This diesel loco hauled train starts from NJP in the morning and takes about 7 hours 15 minutes to complete the uphill journey. The train stops at several intermediate stations along the way. 
     
    Check out Darjeeling Toy Train Services and read the section under Regular DHR Toy Train Services for full details of the train, its timings, coach composition, route etc. 
     
     
     

    Related Articles

     
    1) Return to How to reach Darjeeling for complete information on reaching Darjeeling from various places in India and neighboring countries. 
     

    Visitors' Reviews/Comments

     
     
    Raymond Rees-Oliviereb (July 2022) 
    I wish to return to Kurseong and Darjeeling from the UK, via Kolkata. I am returning to visit my old boarding school (Goethals Memorial School) Kurseong and the church where my Mother was christened in Darjeeling. Could you please inform me as to the fastest train from Kolkata and if I can still take the 'Toy Train', just like I did many, many years ago, to Kurseong and Darjeeling. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2022 
    Hello, there are several daily trains between Kolkata and NJP, however, I find the most comfortable is the Darjeeling Mail... it starts from Sealdah station (SDAH) at 22:05 and reaches NJP at 8:15 am the next morning... you do not waste any daytime and the train has all classes in it. But, it has the highest demand and you must book well in advance. 
     
    The toy train (no. 52541) continues to run daily between NJP station and Darjeeling (via Kurseong). It starts from NJP at 10 am... the timing is aligned with the arrival of Darjeeling Mail. You can buy all train tickets of Indian Railways online through their website irctc.co.in including that of the toy train. You can go through Booking Darjeeling Toy Train Seat to know how to book a toy train ride online. 
     
    Rob Flack (February 2020) 
    Dear Raj, I am trying to find somewhere to book tickets for the Darjeeling Express. áAre there any websites that you would recommend? Kind regards, 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020 
    Hello, the official website of Indian Railways is irctc.co.in which you can use to book tickets online. 
     
    Gillian Ann Pearson (January 2019) 
    Hi My husband and I will be visiting Darjeeling in December this year. We will be travelling from Kolkatta and are wondering if some of the tip can be completed by train rather than flying into Bagdogra? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2019 
    There are plenty of trains from Kolkata to NJP (New Jalpaiguiri) and then you can take a taxi to Darjeeling (2.5 hours). Darjeeling Mail (leaving from Sealdah station) is one of the best trains on this route (it is an overnight journey). 
     
    Luciano Rebello (Jan 2013) 
    Sir, Want to reach Darjeeling from Mumbai by train by shortest route. Please guide how to reach Darjeeling as there is no straight rail line but via connecting to other destination. For booking rail tickets need to know connecting stations. Is via Kolkata the best option to start from Mumbai? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) Jan 2013 
    Hello, To reach Darjeeling by train, you will need to come to New Jalpaiguri (NJP). From there take a taxi/bus/shared jeep for Darjeeling (3.5 hours). Guwahati Express runs between Mumbai (LTT Terminal) and NJP and is the only direct train between the two stations. However, it doesn't run all days of the week and takes 2-nights journey. The other option is to come to Kolkata (Howrah or Sealdah station) and catch a train to NJP. One of the best trains from Kolkata to NJP is Darjeeling Mail which leaves Sealdah station at night and reaches NJP next morning. Regards.