The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society is an International group, based in the UK, dedicated to promoting awareness of, interest in, and support for, The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India. - - - - - - - - - -
Other outline timings are:
Train Number - Locomotive - Notes
52540 Diesel; Darjeeling 0800; New Jalaiguri 1515; Ex 2D
52588 Diesel; Darjeeling 1610; Kurseong 1840; Ex School Train
52541 Diesel; New Jalpaiguri 1000; Darjeeling 1720; Ex 1D
52587 Diesel; Kurseong 0630; Darjeeling 0905; Ex School Train
The ‘Red Panda’ steam-hauled service Darjeeling-Kurseong runs occasionally as required.
From 15 July slightly revised timings for Train 52556 (Evening Safari) also came into
effect. The train now departs Siliguri Junction 1445, arrives Rangtong 1600 and arrives
back at Siliguri Junction at 1745.
For the approaching annual festival season the DHR will be introducing several extra
services from the end of September. At Darjeeling the present service of nine Joy Trains
will be augmented to eleven (a new record for these very popular tourist services). At the
lower end of the line newly built air-conditioned carriages will operate a luxury Siliguri-
Kurseong service during Durga Puja, along with two other daily services.
News from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society – 15 July 2019
Heritage at Risk – UNESCO intervenes over DHR Conservation Issues
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) has expressed its concern at Indian Railways’ guardianship of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) since its inscription as a World Heritage Site in 1999.
A report submitted to the WHC by UNESCO, India identifies a wide range of problems including poor maintenance, encroachments by illegal construction, and the lack of an agreed conservation ‘buffer zone’ along the 55-mile route. Two stations damaged by riots in 2017 have not been repaired. UNESCO adds that it has had no replies to its four official requests for updates and information.
In its response, the WHC accepts and endorses these concerns, but also acknowledges the action of Indian Railways in funding a DHR Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) now nearing completion. The WHC also requests the Indian Government to invite a WHC/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission which would assist Indian Railways in determining the DHR’s exact current state of conservation and priorities for early corrective action.
Said; Paul Whittle, Vice Chairman DHRS “ The DHR presents Indian Railways with all manner of challenges from unstable terrain, monsoon washouts, periodic political unrest, and a lack of planning controls along its boundaries. In recent years much money and effort has resulted in more tourist services, better quality carriages and an improved financial performance: however, the lack of clearly defined conservation standards has resulted in a loss of, or deterioration in some of the line’s unique features. We are currently actively engaged with both Indian Railways (e.g. our facilitation of a recent DHR engineering workshop) and UNESCO (with documentation relating to the CCMP), providing whatever help is requested to preserve the long-term future of this outstanding World Heritage railway”.
David Charlesworth (DHRS Editor) and Prabhakar Thapa from the DHR Preservation Society flagging off the service from Darjeeling station, November 2018