Travel

Trains of India – The luxury edition

6 Darjeeling Railway crossing from a Hill Top India CelebrateLife 1 - Trains of India - The luxury edition

Palace on wheels

The exquisite and exclusive ‘Palace On Wheels India’ has luxurious cabins, wall to wall carpeting, a well stocked bar, two dining cars and a very personalized service… in fact, almost everything that could compromise of heaven on earth for seven days.

The Palace on Wheels comprises of 14 fully air-conditioned deluxe saloons, equipped with world class amenities to enhance the pleasure of traveling.

1 Picture of “Palace on Wheels” from Thar Desert India CelebrateLife 1024x453 - Trains of India - The luxury edition
Picture of “Palace on Wheels” from Thar Desert, India

14 fully air-conditioned deluxe saloons, each a combination of 4 twin bedded chambers with channel music, intercom, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, shower, wall to wall carpeting and other amenities. The furniture with its inlaid motifs has been specially created for the Palace on Wheels. In 1991, a new air-conditioned meter gauge Palace on Wheels on the lines of the old heritage train was launched, which has 14 saloons, 2 restaurants cum kitchen cars, one bar cum lounge and 4 service cars. Each saloon boasts 4 cabins, equipped with bath and shower facilities. The Palace on Wheels also has a well-maintained library.

The Palace on Wheels arrives at Delhi Cantt. Railway station early in the morning. Enjoy your breakfast on board the train and leave the train with sweet memories of the past week. And here your unforgettable journey comes to its conclusion.

 Facilities

The Palace on Wheels is one of the most luxurious trains in the world. The onboard facilities available on the Palace on Wheels are unrivalled and difficult to be found in any other trains all over the world. Completely royal in nature, the facilities on the Palace on wheels are comparable to the best of the 5-star hotel facilities. Traveling in the royal comforts of the Palace on Wheels would surely be a unique and rewarding experience for you.

The onboard facilities on the Palace on Wheels can be divided into the following categories.

Accommodations: The Palace on Wheels boasts 14 fully air-conditioned deluxe coaches or saloons. All the coaches are well appointed and beautifully decorated with traditional paintings. Each coach has 4 cabins attached to it. The facilities available in coaches of the Palace on Wheels include bath and shower, H/C water supply, attached modern toilets, channel music, intercom, satellite phones, wall to wall carpeting and many more.

2 Inside Restaurant view of Palace on Wheels India CelebrateLife 1024x768 - Trains of India - The luxury edition
Inside Restaurant view of Palace on Wheels, India

Dining: The Palace on Wheels has two well-maintained restaurants cum kitchen cars- the Maharaja and the Maharani- offering delicious and mouth-watering traditional Rajasthani, Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine.

Lounge: A separate beautiful lounge car is attached to the Palace on Wheels, providing peaceful ambience to passengers to relax. In lounge, the tourists get an opportunity to interact with each other. The lounge also offers a good collection of books to choose from. The lounge is also equipped with a color television and a CD player. The lounge also provides you an enchanting view of the great Indian countryside during the daytime. In addition, you can enjoy reading the famous newspapers and journals in the lounge, available at your disposal.

The Bar: The Palace on Wheels has a 24 hr well-maintained bar to take care of your drinking pleasures. The well stocked bar offers a wide variety of scotches, wines and cocktails of Indian and international brands.

The Bazaar: The Palace on Wheels also boasts a beautiful gift shop called ‘The Bazaar’. Tourists can purchase exotic handicrafts and gift items from the Bazaar.

The other major facilities available on the Palace on Wheels include beauty saloons, luggage collection, mineral water and laundry services (on request). The onboard mailbox facility is also available for posting your mails. In addition, an attendant or ‘ Khidmatgar‘ is always there at your service, to cater all your travel needs.

Many facilities like Internet, ATM facility and E-commerce are being planned for the Palace on wheels, to take care of the very modern requirements of the valued guests of the Palace on Wheels.

Coaches

In addition, there is a friendly and smiling attendant or ‘Khidmatgar‘ on each coach, to cater all your traveling requirements. The coaches of the Palace on Wheels derive their names from the erstwhile princely states of Rajasthan namely Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Alwar, Udaipur, Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Bharatpur, Sirohi, and Kishangarh. Each coach is decorated in accordance with the culture and characteristics of the respective places.

The two restaurants cum kitchen cars- the Maharaja and the Maharani– on the Palace on Wheels, offer traditional Indian, Rajasthani, Continental and Chinese cuisine. The separate lounge attached at the end of each coach, provides passengers a relaxing ambience and exotic views of the great Indian countryside

The luxurious Palace on Wheels starts its royal journey on every Wednesday from Delhi Cantonment Railway Station during the cooler months of September to April. Due to hot weather and the time required for renovation and maintenance of its coaches, the train doesn’t operate from May to August.

 

Toy trains of India

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Kalka- Shimala Railway on a Small Platform, India

KALKA- SHIMLA (SPECIAL TRAINS)

Shivalik Queen Express: cabins of 2 x 2 couples – meals, big windows, honeymoon market, Rs 750 per couple.

Shivalik Palace Tourist Coach241SP -(single coach attached to back of regular train) – 6 passengers only, couches, fridge, dining table, folding beds, meal at Barog, sound system Rs 4,850 for car.

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Crossing a Bridge Kalka- Shimla Railways, India

Shivalik Deluxe Express: 120 passengers, Rs 340 per person.
Shivalike Deluxe Rail Motor Car: single car – 14 passengers – glass roof – Rs 340 per person.

 

Matheran Light Railway (Mettupalaiyam- Ooty)

Main Feature    
The main feature of this line is the unique rack system and the equally unique and complicated locomotives. To quote from Sir Guilford L. Molesworth’s report of 1886: “The locomotive used for working on the Abt System has two distinct functions: first, that of traction by adhesion as in an ordinary loco and second, that of traction by pinions acting upon the rack bars.

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Matheran Toy Train, India

The brakes are four in number-two hand brakes action by friction and two acting by preventing the free escape of air from cylinder and thus using compressed air in retarding the progress of the engine. The former are used for shunting whilst the latter for descending steep gradients. One of the hand brakes acts on the tyres of the wheels in the ordinary manner and the second acts on grooved surfaces of the pinion axle but can be used in those places where the rack is laid. Even after hundred years, the brake system on Nilgiri locomotives is as intricate an cumbersome as it was in 1886.

The train journey from Chennai to Metupalaiyam then took just over 17 hours and cost Rs 20 first class and another 20 rupees to cover the remaining 33 miles up the steep mountain road to Coonoor and Ootacamund by the ‘Nilgiri carrying Company’s Mail and Express Tonga Service’ while heavy baggage had to be sent bullock cart. The only alternative was to hire a pony and arrange for luggage to be taken up by individual baggage carriers using the shorter but even steeper old road to Coonoor. Construction expenses were heavy because in addition to the tunnels, a big bridge over the river bhawani at the foothills was necessary. Besides this large bridge, 26 other bridges smaller in size, were constructed and heavy expenditure incurred in rock-cutting and blasting.
 

DARJELING HIMALYAN RAILWAY


A Wonder Of The Rail Tracks

The Darjeeling Himalayan railway is a marvel of sorts in what one would call non-engineering. It uses neither rack mechanism nor cable as other mountain railways do, but moves only on adhesion. It was the genius and vision of Franklin Prestage, which conceived of such a mechanism and executed it to perfection.

During its 87.48-kms journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling, the toy train as it is aptly and affectionately referred to, loops gracefully around those recalcitrant humps, much like a spiral and chugs its way up to Ghum, its highest point at 7,407 feet. It seems to be gentle persuasion all the way. The only other mountain railway in the world that reaches a higher altitude is in the Andes where Cusco station is located at 14,000 feet, but the mechanism used there is different.

– Dr. Siddharth Singh

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