Monday, May 17, 2010

Rent or Charter a Train to Shimla

On Feb 13 this year, I along with most of my family got late for the train. When one of my older relatives said - “If you get late for the train, it doesn’t wait for you”. We all smiled and said - “Well, this one does!”.

We had chartered the train from Kalka to Shimla. It was a party for family and friends after our marriage. It turned out extremely well, and a lot of people have asked me about this, so I’ll put in details here.

The coaches are fabulous !

18 Train Journey

Chartered the train – ermm … What exactly do you mean? 

Thanks to the Indian Railways, you can now OWN a UNESCO world heritage train for a ride through the hills. Its only for 5 hours, but for that time you are on top of the world. The train goes through the beautiful hills, and 102 tunnels where you can scream our heart out. You can stop the train when you want, and walk into the hills. It has luxurious palace kind of coaches.

How much does it cost ?

The pricing starts from just Rs. 25000! There were 50 of us, so we had 6 coaches of varying capacity and it came to about Rs 40,000 and there was a refundable deposit for around Rs. 40,000. The IRCTC people were extremely professional all through and for a fee even arranged a lunch in Barog.

You can get the details from the Indian Railways website -

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in a comment, and I’ll update this post.

Why not just book tickets for 50 people ?

I thought about this initially, but the cost of getting the complete train was pretty reasonable, and the heritage coaches you get are worth checking out. You don’t get them in a normal train.

The ability to stop the train and walk up the mountain to the next station and have the train waiting for you was incredible.

19 trek 2



19 train trek

Nowadays we rarely get to sit down and spend a few hours talking to each other. A train journey is a special experience. I had one of the most meaningful conversations of my life with one of my relatives I had never before spent more than a few minutes talking.

As we got down from the train, my 70 year old well traveled aunt made a comment that I will remember for a long time. She came up to me, and told me this train was one of the most amazing things she had ever seen. She said she had seen a lot, but never thought she would travel in her own train with relatives through the hills. For a few hours we all lived that dream!


My cousins had a load of fun, they truly made the train their own! It was all in good humor! I am sure their pictures below will make you smile :)


19 sang and danced