Established in 1853 India’s railway system is vast, carrying over 11 million people daily. In an immense and geographically varied land it plays a key role in the transportation of goods and people. Trains are a mode of transport that often suits the logistics of a holiday itinerary. Among the opportunities to experience this ubiquitous network are comfortable express trains, the famous Toy Trains and prestigious Travelling Palaces.
Including a train journey as part of your holiday itinerary can be a convenient way to cover long distances and to experience India’s incredible rail network first hand. In the case of the Toy Trains and luxurious Travelling Palaces, the journey itself is a very special experience.
The charismatic “Toy Trains” that have long served such hill stations as Darjeeling, Ghoom, Shimla and Ooty still evoke romantic images of India’s railway system and times past. These narrow gauge trains were introduced during the days of the British Raj to access remote locations in hilly or mountainous terrain, where roads were poor or non-existent. They were key to the commercial development of tea, coffee and spice plantations. Toy Trains are unique, have character and make a worthy inclusion in an India holiday.
A concept taken from Royal Coaches, the personal railway carriages of the erstwhile rulers of northwest India’s princely states, numerous ‘Travelling Palaces” are now available. When you climb onboard one of these opulent trains you step back in time to when trains became extensions of the royal palaces, and Maharajas travelled in regal luxury. While retaining the exclusive ambience of the original coaches in style and decor, trains such as the Palace on Wheels, Golden Chariot and Maharajas’ Express combine this with modern convenience, superb personal service and fine cuisine.
For those with limited time, the Travelling Palaces cover large distances and include many of India’s major attractions in a relatively short duration. They can be considered as a complete journey in their own right or as part of a longer holiday program. For further details about Train Travel, see brochure link below left.