You could literally get a 360 degree view at the beautiful Himalayan landscape around you while sitting inside the Kalka-Shimla train from now on. The train has been revamped with some brand new features that is going to take the experience a notch higher. Imagine being able to look up and see the night sky lit with thousands of twinkling stars. That and more has been brought to you through the 115-year-old train from Kalka to Shimla. It takes five hours to travel from Shimla to Kalka by train.
In a new initiative by the Indian Railways, the train has gotten a new upgrade where the coach is equipped with a see-through glass roof. It’s known as the Vistadome Coach; providing not just mesmerising views of the beauty outside but also giving an interesting glimpse of a narrow gauge railway section of Indian Railways. The train recently concluded its trial run and the success it garnered will ensure passengers get to soak in the experience soon.
The coach will come with a seating capacity of 36 passengers and a handful of other upgraded features. Those will include cushioned wooden interiors, LED lights and window blinds to make the journey as comfortable as possible for the passengers. The cost of the glass Vistadome coach is Rs 10 lakh, and is perhaps the first-of-its-kind aesthetically designed coach on the Kalka-Shimla railway section.
The timing, fare and the number of coaches are yet to be decided; the railway authorities are however, working to reduce the journey time to four hours, so that more and more people avail the service. In 2009, the Kalka-Shimla rail track was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. And now with the Vistadome coach it is being said to be giving a European feel.