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DHR stops toy train service from New Jalpaiguri to Sukna, to resume Jungle Safari

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Siliguri: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway authorities have stopped regular toy train service from New Jalpaiguri to Sukna because of lack of passengers and will attract tourists by resuming the "Jungle Safari," a chartered tide to Rongtong from the NJP.
With the halt in this service, only the joy rides between Darjeeling and Ghoom are available for toy train enthusiasts now.
Train services along the entire 87km stretch between the NJP and Darjeeling are yet to start as repairs are in progress on tracks.
"We had started the service between Siliguri and Sukna after the recent statehood agitation to send a message to tourists and local people. But there is paucity of passengers and hence, we have stopped running the service on October 25," M.K. Narzary, the director of the DHR, said on Tuesday.

The DHR had resumed the toy train service from October 15.
The DHR, a Unesco heritage property, is one of the major attractions for tourists visiting the hills.
But since June 12, train services in the hills had been halted by the railways because of the agitation launched by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
"Last month, we could only partially start some of the services. But we cannot confirm when the service along the entire route will resume as some maintenance and repair works are needed to be completed," said a railway official.
While weeds have covered the tracks at some places, the tracks have been affected by minor landslips in certain stretches. Also, guard walls beside the tracks have collapsed at some locations, he said.
"However, we will resume the Jungle Safari. Tourists and even local people can charter a train from the NJP to Rongtong and return on the same day. We feel it would attract more people than the NJP-Sukna service," said Narzary.
He said two coaches hauled by a diesel loco would be provided to groups or individuals against a charge of Rs 26,000.
"Educational institutes can avail themselves of the charter service with a concession" said the official.
In Darjeeling, a joy ride between Darjeeling and Ghoom costs Rs 1,300 for a passenger if it is a steam loco and Rs 800 if a diesel loco is used in the ride.
"We want to restore the service between the NJP and Darjeeling by December as several tourists would pour in during the Christmas and New Year, the DHR director said.

The Telegraph

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