Kangra Valley Railway
The 164 kilometre distance between Pathankot and Jogindernagar in the sub-Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh is covered by the Kangra valley railway. This railway line is one of the two mountain railways that runs in the state of Himachal and is managed by the Fiozpur division of the Northern railways. The Kangra valley railway is under consideration to be listed for an UNESCO world heritage site like its counterpart the Kalka-Shimla railway which has already been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Kangra valley railway like many other mountain railways built by the British during their colonial rule is a small gauge railway. The engineering genius of the British made the laying of the tracks possible on the hilly regions of Kangra. The planning of the railway line was done in the early months of May 1926 and was finally put into action 3 years later i.e. 1929. The plan that was put into action used the concepts of previously successful mountain region trains. The railway track design uses Darjeeling toy trains zig zag running spirals, the Matheran hill railways’ floating axels, tunnelling like that of the Kalka Shimla railways and the pinion rack technique of the Nilgiri tracks. For More Click Here...http://globalvisiontours.com/Darjeeling.aspx .
The valley is quite a large one and it includes the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas to the north till the last foothills towards the south. The railways tracks lay out has been so well planned, so well thought that each and every moment of the journey is a joy to the eyes owing to the postcard perfect sceneries one gets to witness. The engineer has executed the lay out perfectly by avoiding the sharp curves and tunnels that one would usually would have employed to climb the hills. Though the engineer has avoided the sharp curves and many tunnels, the time taken to reach the destination has been extended as compared to that of the roadways. The train also passes through two tunnels but they are quite small in size therefore one does not miss out a significant scenery when passing through it.
This extension in time however comes as a blessing for the travellers as the breathtaking scenery can be enjoyed for a longer time. Some of the most picturesque views that on comes across is on the Mangwal-Kangra stretch of 18 miles where one passes through the serene country side, the Ban Ganga gorge and the Kangra chasm. One can even see the majestic snow clad peaks with grand heights of 15000-16000 feet that lies at a mere distance of 10 miles as one approaches Palampur. As Palampur is crossed the railway line runs parallel to the Dhauladhar range thus making it one of the most beautiful rides ever.
The other amazing feature about this railway line is that even in the hi-tech age India has not been able to get a railway line to achieve an altitude of 800.340 metres with a span of 163 kilometres in length. However in the recent years the people have been trying to get to the railway ministry’s notice the negligence of the Kangra valley railway. It seems that they do not want it to be named a UNESCO world heritage site for this would mean that development and extension of the railways cannot be done in the name of preservation of the route. The people feel that this railway line has the potential to be linked to Leh via Manali making it a great military strategy point.
Be what the consequences of the railway ministry on expansion of the route or its preservation this is train journey to be taken.