Rebecca (July 2023)
Very helpful and detailed information about booking the Darjeeling Joyride. The tip about how to make a return booking with DJ - DJRZ was very helpful as nowhere else did I see that and irctc definitely did not have that information.
The tip about the vista option having bigger windows also was helpful and helped me make the best booking for my needs. Just wanted to say thank you and I look forward to the trip.
Sherley (May 2023)
Thanks for helping with the station code tip, till then I was struggling to figure out how to book in irctc
Vijay (May 2023)
I made use of information provided on your site to book Darjeeling joyride tickets on Paytm. Most helpful. Thank you.
Rajiv (January 2023)
Hello Raj, IRCTC website indicates only First Class on both the 52544 and 52598 Joyridevista trains for Feb 2023. Does that mean all coaches in this train are vistadomes or only FC is available and the vistadome coach is booked out. Thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2023
The joyride trains that you mentioned are named STMJOYRIDEVISTA which are Steam Engine hauled trains with all Vistadome Coaches. Note that Vistadome coaches are also shown as First Class (FC) coaches.
Jinia Halder (January 2023)
Hello, I have booked 'Joy Ride', Darjeeling, in May 2023. The ticket shows the ride from Darjeeling to Ghum. The ticket fare is 1000/-. Do I need to book the return from Ghum to Darjeeling? Kindly advise.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2023
Hello, The joyrides are always a Darjeeling- Ghum- Darjeeling return trips, you don't need to buy a separate return ticket.
Satrajit (December 2021)
Hi - I'm trying to book our ride tickets on IRCTC site. The site is not accepting DJ and DJRZ as from/to - says the route is not operating due to COVID19. However, I see DJ GHUM as an option. It shows Joyride roundtrip 52590. But this is a 50 minute ride and route shows its just Darjeeling to Ghum. So I tried a return ticket but then the site says that route is not operational. The whole point is to do the ride including Batasia loop. Can you advise? Am I doing something wrong?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2021
Hi, you are not doing anything wrong. It appears there is a glitch in the IRCTC system and I have been noticing this for a while... I know that the railway operators who define the trains in the backend database, commit mistakes at times (for example, giving incorrect station codes for a train) and that can go unnoticed.
You will see that the system is accepting DJ and DJRZ as the station combination for nearer dates (for example 4th December 2021) and showing a few trains with the correct trip duration (which is 1 hour 50 minutes round trip). For dates beyond 10th December, it is only accepting DJ and GHUM as the station combination and showing an incorrect trip duration of 40 or 50 minutes. However, the fare shown in the second case is the same as the original round trip. Actually, there is no one-way trip in toy train joyrides... it's always a round trip with stoppages at Ghum and Batasia. So I guess if you purchase a ticket with the DJ/GHUM combination, you should be okay... but who knows?
The Covid-19 message it displays is a generic one and the same message pops up for any invalid pair of stations you enter. Unfortunately, we have to wait until the Railways notices this glitch and rectifies the problem. In reality, the toy train joyrides from Darjeeling are operating in full swing and there are no Covid related issues as of now.
BKA Chowdhury (October 2021)
Dear Mr Raj, Many thanks for your feedback and much appreciated. I followed your blog on the Toy train booking, the registration process on IRTC is not going through which is mandatory for the booking. Is there any travel agent at Darjeeling who I could contact?
I have noted your blog listing a few travel agents but none have published that they could do the Toy train booking to and fro from Darjeeling. Shall appreciate your kind advisory in this regard. With Best Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021
Hello, Tour operators usually agree to buy toy train tickets when you also take a tour package through them. They are unlikely to show interest in buying just the train tickets. Your only other option is to request your hotel, sometimes they do take such requests, but not always.
Eileen (April 2021)
Hi Raj, Great insights! Is it possible to book 2 separate toy train tickets, one from Darjeeling to Ghoom and then from Ghoom to Dareeling? We are planning to take the toy train from Darjeeling to Ghoom and do some sight seeing there. We would like to take the train back from Ghoom to Darj later in the day. We will visit in end April. Would highly appreciate your reply.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2021
Hi, the toy train joy ride fares are based on round-trip tickets from Darjeeling and you can not purchase a one-way ticket. There are other toy trains also that run between Darjeeling and Kurseong as well as Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri that have stops at Ghum, and you can buy one-way tickets on those trains (they follow the same route as the joy rides), but currently, they are suspended due to the pandemic situation. Only joy rides are operational at present.
Shria Majumdar (November 2020)
I would like to know that what is the toy train timing from siliguri to ghum? the main query is whether I am allowed to buy regular tickets from siliguri station for toy train and at present days toy train is running in this pandemic situation or not? kindly let me know as soon as possible.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2020
Toy train schedules and timings are published in Indian Railways website (irctc.co.in). Currently, the toy train is suspended until further notice.
Sumit S (March 2019)
Thanks a lot for such wonderful guidance which are helping thousands of tourists from across the world on a daily basis. I wish to know if there is any way to book the cheaper rate ticket (RS.30) online for DJ-Ghum-DJ route. I had tried to book tickets via IRCTC website but it is showing only First class.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2019
The toy train joy ride (Darj-Ghum-Darj) only has First Class coaches.
Shannon Tribe (October 2017)
I am enquiring about making a booking on the NJP DJ 52541 from New Jalpaiguri Jn. to Darjeeling on either the 22nd, 23rd or 24th of December. I am a foreign tourist so it says there is no availability. Is that because the booking for that time is not open yet for foreign tourists or is there only a general quota on that train. It appears that there is space under general quota. Can I book under this quota as a single female foreign tourist.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2017
Hi, when booking opens, it opens for all including Indians and foreigners. You can also book against general quota seats as a foreigner. Foreign Tourist quota is a small number of seats which are kept aside for foreigners and not available for Indians. If Foreign Tourist Quota is not available, a foreigner can book on general quota.
Farha Noor Rahman (January 2017)
Hello, I am from Bangladesh and me along with my two friends are planning for Darjeeling this March. I am a little bit confused about booking/ buying tickets for the toy train by using my international credit card from Bangladesh. I mean, is it possible to book the tickets from Bangladesh? Otherwise we would miss this amazing historical ride as we have no friends or relatives in India who could book the tickets on behalf of us. Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2017
You can now book the toy train online through the website irctc.co.in using international credit cards. There is a separate option for international cards.
Avijite Ghosh (March 2016)
I am from Bangladesh. I have already traveled to Darjeeling last year. I am planning to go Darjeeling in next May. Last time I missed taking a ride on Toy train. Now I want to know how can I book tickets before arriving in Darjeeling as a foreigner. Please help on this. By the way you have a wonderful website on Darjeeling I have ever seen. Thanks a lot for such a website.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2016
Unfortunately foreigners can not book train tickets online any longer through Indian Railway site due to requirement of payment using card issued in India and an Indian mobile number. You can engage a tour operator in Darjeeling. They can book across the counter. However they will ask for a scanned copy of your passport.
Jon Strachan (February 2016)
Hi Raj, Our trip is all but organised. We still cannot get tickets for toy train Darjeeling to NJP via Cleartrip. Is it running at the moment? Maybe I just have to buy them in Darjeeling?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2016
Hi, Yes it's running. Get hold of a tour operator to help. They would need copy of your passport. Indian railway site IRCTC now requires Indian mobile number as well as credit/debit card issued in India to do the bookings. Otherwise take a chance on arrival.
Steve Kenyon (February 2016)
Hi mate, thanks for the very extensive, and super helpful advice. I've been to over 60 countries, but still got totally bamboozled trying to book the toy train. The Travel Agent sent me to Reservations - after a long line up they sent
me to the Ticket Office - who sent me back to Reservations - only, after another long line up to be given a form to fill out .. agggh ! .. but yes mate, any more details on the Toy Train would be great. Keep up the good work.
Partha Roy (February 2016)
I wish to thank you. It becomes so easy to book Joyride ticket because of your nice and well documented info.
Rajesh (May 2015)
Hello Raj, Greetings. I need an info on Joy ride train. We are travelling on 28th May to darjeeling. I would like to book Joy ride train in the evening slot. We are two in No. But there is only 1 available ticket. Is there any chance generally people canceling tickets for these trains. For any other train I would have booked because people cancel tickets. But is that same here. Are there chances people cancel ticket ?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2015
There are chances of cancellation as in any other trains, more so now because of steep fare hikes in joy rides. Nobody would like to waste that amount of money if one is unable to take the ride.
Amit (April 2015)
Hi. Couldn't thank u enough for the various helpful tips u have given. We could enjoy the joyride only because of the online booking which was made easy by the info on dual codes.
Deshni Naidoo (March 2015)
Thanks for the advice. For international travellers I recommend using Cleartrip Bookings as opposed to IRCTC directly (you still need an IRCTC account though) as Cleartrip accepts international credit cards and IRCTC no longer does.
Denise Burchette (October 2014)
Instructions for booking the joyride that included the tip on getting around the Indian Railway website limitations by using two different codes for Darjeeling Station is VERY helpful. THANK YOU!
Sayantan Chatterjee (October 2014)
I fully agree with post by Denise Burchette (October 2014) cause while searching DJ to GHUM, irctc (for booking) showing "BOOKING NOT ALLOWED FOR GIVEN PAIR OF STATIONS ". I got a little bit confused whether it has an advance time period of less than 60 days or not. But after entering DJ to DJRZ, it's OK ... present fare shows INR 400/-
Ar. Imtiaz Farid Chowdhury (September 2013)
I am a Bangladeshi and planning to travel to Darjeeling from Oct 15 to Oct 20, 2013. I am not able to buy toy train ride tickets of Oct 19, 2013 (Morning 1/2 day tour) from IRCTC.COM web site due to some regulations of Indian railway for buying tickets by international credit cards as they have introduced some hard and fast rules. Due to peak season in October, is there any chance to buy 4 tickets from the station counter on the day before journey. Pls advice me accordingly.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2013
It'll be difficult to get tickets across the counter during high season. But you can try the morning (first) joyride. That's your best chances. Otherwise, contact a tour operator in Darjeeling and ask him to book the tickets for you. You can either do a bank transfer or pay him through paypal.
Niladri Sikhar Ghosh (June 2013)
Raj - Unfortunately planned for this Darjeeling trip pretty late in full season. Travelling with my 9 year old daughter and badly wanted her to experience the Darjeeling-Ghum Joy ride. However could not manage to secure any ticket using IRCTC. Is there any option of booking tickets on the spot?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2013
You can get spot booking at Darjeeling station if seats become available due to cancellations. Otherwise unfortunately there is no other way. But usually some seats are always available in the 8am train. You can always try that. But you should be at the Darjeeling station by 7am. Another way is to buy tickets for the Darjeeling-Kurseong train (all 2nd class seats) that leaves Darjeeling around 10am. It's not a joy ride but takes the same route and similar experience. Get off at Ghoom and come back by shared jeep or taxi. You will at least have one way (one hour ride) experience which is actually good enough. Good luck!
Prasanta Kumar Paul (May 2013)
Dear Sir, Good afternoon. I have booked the Rooms at Darjeeling Tourist Lodge for 3 days. Reaching NJP on 30.05.2013 by Padatik Express. Same day I have booked the Joy ride (16:00 - 18:00) for Ghum & back to Darjeeling. At the time of booking I have seen that The Joy Ride train starting it's journey from "Darjeeling" and coming to "To Darjeeling". What is the distance from DTL to Darjeeling & To Darjeeling Rly. Station? Thanks & Regards.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2013
Since the joyride is a round trip, therefore the source and destination stations are the same but with different codes (names) to solve a technical problem in the reservation system. Both stations are the same. From Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (Mall Area), the Darjeeling Station will be about 2kms.
Sarat Behera (March 2013)
Going to visit Darjeeling last week of mar 13. Found it completely informative. Thanks Raj for making such a website. Few queries could you please resolve:
1.Whether Siliguri Junction and Tindharia Station DHR Toy Train Heritage Safari (Jungle Safari, Holiday Specials) is running during march 13. I have checked it from IRCTC website but could not get any information in this regard.
2. When is holi-13 in Darjeeling.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, March 2013)
Hi, For the Heritage Safari, you will need to check the railtourismindia.com site from time to time. They announce the rides during summer time. I doubt it would be available in March. It may start from April/May. Date for Holi would be same all across West Bengal.