GUWAHATI: A new train namely Steam Jungle Tea Safari has been started by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) between Siliguri Junction and Rongtong station section on the UNESCO World Heritage site – Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
The safari (toy train service) was started on August 30 by the NFR with the objective to fulfil the demands of tourists and to also provide a fillip to the local tourism scenario.
As per reports, the railway department has planned to run the toy train service on a regular basis depending on demand. The train has various modern facilities like a Vistadome coach and a heritage-style steam engine among others. The train travels through picturesque locations of tea gardens apart from breathtaking landscapes of the lower Himalayan hills. The Vistadome coach of the train can accomodate 14 commuters, however, additional coaches can be added depending on demands.
The train (No. 52556) provides up – down evening services leaving from Siliguri junction at 14-45 hours to reach Rongtong at 16-20 hours. In return journey, the train departs from Rongtong at 16-40 hours to reach Siliguri junction at 18-05 hours.
It may be mentioned that Silchar BJP MP Rajdeep Roy had urged Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw last month for necessary steps so that trains with Vistadome coaches are introduced in Barak Valley in southern Assam.
Vistadome coaches are luxurious, air-conditioned coaches with see-through glass windows and swanky glass roofs. India got its first full-fledged Vistadome train in December 2019. It has a seating capacity of 100 passengers and operates on the Kalka-Shimla route.