When was the Kalka–Shimla Railway built?

The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a 2 feet 6 inch narrow-gauge railway in North India travelling along a mostly mountainous route from Kalka in Haryana to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. It is specially known for the dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages.

The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built in 1898, to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the rest of the Indian rail system. At the time of construction, 107 tunnels and 864 bridges were built throughout the course of the track.

Kalka Shimla railway is one of the major tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh. It’s not just a regular train journey which you do but it connects you to the heritage and rich past which connects you to nature also. The way this railway route is built is an epitome of engineering. On 8 July 2008, UNESCO added the Kalka–Shimla Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Mountain railways of India.

In the year 1898 the Kalka–Shimla Railway construction started on a 2 feet narrow gauge track by the Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Railway Company. The track was 96.6 km long. There is a height difference of 4,660 feet. Climbing from Kalka at 2,152 feet, the line terminates at an elevation of 6,811 feet at Shimla. The estimated cost for the project was estimated at Rs. 86,78,500 but the cost doubled during construction.

It was on 9th November 1903 that the line was first opened for the general public and was inaugurated by then Viceroy of India – Lord Curzon. In the year 1906 the line was re-gauged to 2 feet 6 inches to conform to standards set by the Indian War Department.


Find out about the legend of Bhalku Ram and his contribution to building this railway.

To Reflect Upon

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