Kalka Shimla Railway
Estd. 1903

Kalka Shimla Railway

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rolling Stock

The first carriages built for Kalka Shimla Railway in 1903 were small four wheelers that were 17 ft long. These were very much prone to derailments leading to experimentation in the initial years, to modify its wheel base, though with limited success. In 1910, timber frame carriages on imported steel underframes and bogies were introduced. This was effective in reducing derailments. Earlier Kalka Shimla Railway had 4 classes of travel (1 st , 2 nd , Inter and 4 th class). In addition, saloon car could be hired. Later on, coaches were improved with lightweight aluminium alloy panels and roof that were successful in withstanding the corrosive effects of heavy rainfall/snow. In 1932, luxurious chair-car with reclining seats were introduced on Kalka Shimla railway and these are continuing with improvement in design and carrying capacity.

Time has changed a lot. With the passage of time, train journey between Kalka Shimla has become more convenient. Luxurious coaches CT-12 and 13 (twin vestibule coaches), CT-14 (Jharokha), CT-15 (Nihar), RA-100(Lounge Car), RA-200(Shivalik Palace) and 156FCQ(Shivalik Queen) decorated with plush interiors have been introduced on this section making Kalka Shimla rail journey more memorable. Shivalik deluxe express in dazzling red colour is one of the prestigious trains of this section, the fare includes meal on board.


The first locomotives on the Kalka Shimla railway were two 4-wheeled steam locomotives (built 1900), and ten 6-wheeled steam locomotives (built 1902), all with side water tanks, supplied by M/s. Stewart and Co. Ltd., Glasgow. This design was modified version of the locomotives in use on Darjeeling Hill Railway. Larger 10-wheeled locomotives were ordered in 1904, that remained the most powerful locomotives on Kalka Shimla Railway.

Steam locomotives remained in active use till 1980. One of the original steam locomotives KC-520 built in 1905 by North British Locomotive Company is still surviving and can be seen working between Shimla- Kathlighat.

The ultimate in luxury travel reached Kalka Shimla Railway when Rail Motor Car (RMC) was introduced on this section. The earliest Rail Motor Car on Kalka Shimla section were petrol driven,, supplied by Drewery Car Co. Ltd. Of London, used for mail duties only. The rail motor cars were gradually improved with diesel electric version (from 1932), large windows to give a panoramic view of magnificent scenery. Rail motor cars are still preserved in service and working on this section. In 1955, Diesel locomotives were introduced on Kalka Shimla Rail section.