I just logged in and noticed that today one of the most common search terms for people landing here was on information for trains between Delhi and Shimla. So i decided to do a small write up on it while my wife waded through something called Melrose Place , a Tv show from the early 1990′s which became quite popular and featured a story line very similar to Beverly hills 90210 , which i guess half the word has heard about!
Coming back to the subject at hand – There is no direct train to Shimla from Delhi. The journey needs to be broken up, whether one likes it or not. There are lots of trains from Delhi to Shimla , but none is more convenient than the Shatabdi. The Shatabdi leaves at around 730 AM in the morning, hit Chandigarh at 1045 or so and then Kalka at 1130. Kalka being the start of the hills. The broad gauge track ends here – 2 options from this point – Road or the Toy Train. Numerous cabs are parked outside the station at Kalka , but they are expensive , anything between 1500-2000 is normal. You can also catch a bus which would be cheap but crowded and longer, time wise.
Before i forget , the shatabdi costs around 550 per head one way in the chaircar. They serve meals on the train which are included in the fare , as well as some amount of snacks, water, juices. The important stops are Soniapt , Panipat, Karnal (halfway point) , Ambala , Chandigarh and finally Kalka.
The other option is the toy train , now please note THIS IS THE SLOWEST WAY TO GET TO SHIMLA. The toy train takes close to 6 hours to get there, It has multiple stops along the way and the average speed is slower than an truck loaded with 40 tons of apples. But its definetely an experience and a very scenic ride… as long as you have the time. The train stops at the heart of Shimla , just below the mall. Its reasonable and the last time i travelled , around 2 years ago, the ticket was around 150. The train does have compartments i.e 1st class , 2nd class etc etc, but theres not too much difference. Just be careful… The train leaves dot on time from every station, so if you are told that xyz is a 4 minute stop, it wouldbe advisable to treat it as 2. The starting point for the T-Train is the same station where ther Shatabdi finishes its journey.
What i am not aware of is the current situation with respect to it. About a month ago , due to torrential rains one of the stations along the line was wiped out – I am not aware of the exact situation now , i can find out if any of you really need the info though..but only if its very important.
Hope that helped.
I have attached this timetable as of the latest info i.e 21stJune 2o09. FC, SC, CC means – first class, second class and chair car.
New Delhi to Kalka on AC Chaircar (Kalka Shatabdi) is at 465 INR and First AC at 885.