Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Shimla is one of India’s best hill stations located in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most popular honeymoon and summer vacation destinations in India. It was the summer capital of India during the British Era. The Kalka-Shimla Trains were established by the British among other mountain railways in India. In 2007, the Himachal Pradesh State Government declared the toy trains in Shimla as a heritage site. Soon after in 2008, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The rail route is spread across 96 km from Kalka to Shimla. There are various trains like the Shivalik Deluxe, Rail Motor, Himalayan Queen and Shimla Kalka Express. While the first train departing from Kalka is at 4 am, the last one is at 12.30 pm. Whereas from Shimla, the first train leaves at 10.30 am and the last one at  3.50 pm. Here is how you can book tickets for the Shimla toy train.

The best way to book tickets for the Shimla Toy Train is via the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.

Step 1: Register yourself on the website which is free of cost and then log in to the website

Step 2: Click on ‘Plan My Travels’

Step 3: Select railway stations from and to the destination you’re traveling. In this case, it’ll either be Kalka (KLK) or Shimla (SML)

Step 4: Fill in other details like the date of travel, class and type of ticket you want. There are two options for this, i-ticket will be delivered to an address you submit and e-ticket of which you’ll have to take a print out.

Step 5: After you have examined the number of hours of commute, availability of the desired coach and train, click on ‘Book Ticket’

Step 6: The ticket reservation page will appear where you will have to check if the train details are the same as you opted for. Then feed in details like the number of passengers, age, gender and seat preferences. *Senior Citizens can avail a 30 per cent discount on the base fare.

Step 7: After you’ve filled in all the details, click on the ‘Make Payment’ option which enables you to make payments via credit, debit and ATM cards, net banking and lets you pay with a credit card on EMI basis too.

Step 8: After you make the payment, you will receive an SMS and/or an email with all the ticket details which you will have to take a print out of (provided you’ve opted for e-ticket option)

You can also book your tickets through travel agents and various other trip planning websites. The procedure for most will be similar.