HISTORY was made on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) when German rail tour operator Tanago organised several steam-hauled freight photographic charters during late November 2016 – just after the entire line had reopened following repairs to monsoon weather damage.
This was the first freight working in more than 25 years and attracted intense local interest. Stock used was three covered four-wheel vans that had been restored to use following proposals by the UK-based Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society.
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‘B’ class loco No. 01 Tindharia (ex No.1001) was provided to haul them.
The fleet of four NDM6 diesel locos has been strengthened by the recent transfer of two further locos from the Matheran Light Railway. After a number of modifications both will enter service shortly and will add robustness to the timetable rather than displace any of the 14-strong steam locos.
From late 2016 Indian Railways increased the number of ‘Joy Trains’ operating between Darjeeling and Ghum to nine daily, six of which are steam operated.
Read more World News in February’s issue of The RM – out now!