Darjeeling toy train resumes operations after 188 days of service suspension due to Gorkhaland protests

Jalpaiguri (West Bengal): The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), popularly known as the toy train, resumed its full operations on Friday, chugging its way to the Queen of the Hills from the New Jalpaiguri station, after 188 days of service suspension due to Gorkhaland agitation.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The toy train covered the entire route, spanning 90 kilometre, on Friday but there were barely any passengers, the traffic in-charge of DHR, SK Ghosh, said.

He hoped that in the coming days, the service will pick up pace and make up for the losses it incurred during the Gorkha unrest.

"People are still skeptical about visiting the hill town. Only a few passengers had boarded the train today. I hope the crisis will be over in a few days and the service will make up for the losses it incurred in the past few months," he said.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had called for an indefinite shutdown in the hills in June, demanding a separate state. The bandh that lasted for 104 days was lifted after home minister Rajnath Singh made an appeal to the Bimal-Gurung-led party to end the agitation.

A part of the hill track, between Siliguri and Darjeeling, was made operational on 15 October but the trains could not run the full distance back then as landslides triggered by heavy showers had blocked the route, New Jalpaiguri station manager Tapan Saha said.

The 'toy train' service, which earned UNESCO World Heritage tag in 1999, has always been a big attraction for tourists visiting this eastern hill town.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Dec 15, 2017 21:28 PM