Darjeeling Himalayan staff on Ffestiniog fact-finding trip

THE Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society has hosted a visit by four DHR staff, led by director M K Nazary.

The visit was organised at the request of Indian Railways.

The DHR has now realised it is in transition from being part of the transport infrastructure to being a tourist attraction, and that realisation has led to an appreciation the quality of their offering to potential travellers must improve.

This visit has allowed them to see how a modern tourist railway has to adapt in the competitive tourist industry.

The four DHR staff at Porthmadog. PETER JORDAN

The delegates comprised Uraj Pradhan, a locomotive rebuilding supervisor from Tindharia Works; Shankar Mandal, a track maintenance engineer; and Tapan Malakar, the Sukna stationmaster, with marketing responsibilities.

As well as a general introduction to the facilities at Porthmadog, Boston Lodge and Minffordd, all four rode the full length of both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, and spent two days talking to their ‘opposite numbers’ in the Ffestiniog organisation.

They also visited Adrian Shooter, who kindly steamed his ‘B’ class number 19 to
show what a well-maintained ‘B’ could do.

After the tour, Mr Nazary said: “We anticipate this will lead to big improvements on the DHR itself.”

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