Shivalik Deluxe vs. other trains from Kalka to Shimla - Need advice

#16 Jan 23rd, 2012, 12:17
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#16
I took the train in the otehr direction, from Shimla to Kalka. It was called the "himalayan Queen" this was not the Shivalik train with its lovely tables. It was chair class, verrryyy loooonnnngggg day, and I would never do it again for trip between Shimla and Delhi. The scenery in Shimla is worth the trip, but the scenery along the train route pales by comparison. The train was slow and uncomfortable, and Kalka is not a comfortable station to be stuck for the time between connecting trains
#17 Jan 23rd, 2012, 17:08
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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by joy15 View Post ohk... np. I have myself not seen any. Any idea if it waits for kalka mail from delhi to arrive?
I have seen reports that the Shivalik will wait as long as the delays are not too severe. I haven't seen a precise figure like it will wait for a maximum of 2 hours or the like. When the fog is bad I think that the kalka Mail can be many hours late.

I am taking the trip from Delhi myself next month and have booked back up seats on a later train up to Shimla just in case.

Rebeccam - I guess that you are not a train fan. I just know that the journey you describe is going to be one of the highlights of my next trip to India.
#18 Jan 23rd, 2012, 23:57
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#18
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Originally Posted by joy15 View Post hi bhaswaran,
how is First Class of Kalka-Shimla Express? Does it wait for Howrah Delhi Kalka Mail to arrive? do u have any pic of First Class cabin of this train? any pantry available?
Normally, all toy trains in this route wait for the Kalka Mail (12311) as it is the only train that can bring in the bulk of passengers .... unless 12311 is abnormally late, Shivalik Delux as well as KLK-SML Express will wait... the First Class is spacious with comfortable seats ..... I have travelled on both ... in the Express, no food will be provided. However, the train will halt at Barog station for 10 minutes where you will find good basic food served by the railway canteen... I stayed at Barog Station for two nights and the canteen was really good for me
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#19 Jan 24th, 2012, 00:21
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#19
Bhaswaran. Thanks for the information.
#20 Jan 24th, 2012, 03:55
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#20
Dave W,

Actually, i enjoy most trains!

Am about to take first overnight train in India...between Ludhiana and Jaipur.

And i LOVED the Nilgiri Toy train; it was a highlight of trip in South India. If you've not yet been on that...put it on your list.

BUt the seats were small and uncomfortable,s and a long journey with scenery that wasnt spectacular, at least IMHO.But we were spoiled, having come from the beauty of Shimla, a place we (my daughter and I ) loved. ON the train from Shimla were many other folks, all from Delhi, who were returning to work/school after holidays in Shimla. So the mood was fairly subdued!
#21 Jan 24th, 2012, 04:07
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#21
Rebeccam

Sadly the Nilgiri will have to wait for another year. But at least I have a very good reason up my sleeve for going back to India.

Enjoy your Ludhiana - Jaipur trip. There is nothing quite like that first sip of chai in the morning.
#22 Jan 24th, 2012, 04:22
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#22
Thanks Dave. Yummmy... morning chai!!
#23 Oct 28th, 2016, 22:57
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#23
Friends,
I am planning to simla in 2nd week of december. I glanced through IM and mostly all are going by morning trains from simla to kalka (either shivalik or simla express). What about himalayan queen that starts at noon (starts at 12:10 and reaches simla t 17:30 hrs). I am reacing chandigarh previous night and starting early morning with two children may spoil the spirit. We may not enjoy the ride. And also i feel it will be very chilling on the way.
Whether noon train has any disadvantages?
Thanks in advance.
#24 Oct 28th, 2016, 23:30
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#24
The Himalayan queen is actually a passenger like train with multiple halts. It would be a rather slow journey. If that is okay then make sure to book in the CC, the other option being to travel in the general bogie - too crowded.
To really enjoy the trip either of the two - rail motor car or shivalik deluxe preferred.
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#25 Oct 29th, 2016, 00:09
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#25
Also your other requirement of food included will not be fulfilled.
#26 Oct 29th, 2016, 00:25
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#26
Actually we didn't get food in rail motor car either, but my dad got it in shivalik deluxe.
#27 Oct 29th, 2016, 17:05
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#27
The Himalayan Queen is a perfectly suitable train to reach Simla. I believe that all trains stop at Barog to allow purchase of food there, if it is not included in the fare, as with the Shivalik.
Booking opens for most trains only a month in advance, but with Shivalik, you can book earlier.
I saw many happy passengers arrive at Shimla on the Himalayan Queen as I waited for my down train to Kalka to depart in the evening.

Edwin
#28 Jan 31st, 2018, 18:29
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#28
Howrah Kalka Mail and Kalka Shimla Shivalik express is no longer an official connection. Its just a joke.
I reached Kalka on 21st jan 2018. The Howrah Kalka Mail was 8 hours late. The Shivalik express did not wait a minute for Kalka mail and left on time.
When Kalka Mail reached Kalka we came to know there was no extra coaches or arrangements were available for Shivalik passengers. We had to board in general class for 50 rupees a ticket in the himalayan queen and had to travel standing for 4-5 hours due to huge crowd of Kalka Mail passengers suffering like us. Himalayan queen reached at around 6 PM and we were all exhausted. We also came to know that the TTE sold our Shivalik seats to the Delhi-Shimla Shatabdi passengers on black for 500 bucks each.

This is happening on regular basis as Howrah Kalka Mail is late 70% of the time. If you are thinking you are safe that railways will provide you an alternative they will not. They simply dont care. The official connection is nothing but a joke, so better take taxi from Chandigarh to Shimla which will cost you 1500 for 4 people or book a later train. Forget Shivalik if you are looking to travel on Howrah Kalka mail.
#29 Feb 1st, 2018, 08:12
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#29
I assume that if the Kalka Mail is a few hours late, the Shivalik will be held, but if it was held for 8 hours, then the "down" connection too from Shimla would have been compromised to connect to the Kalka Mail in the evening.

I guess there are limited replacement train options on a narrow guage railway with specialist train coaches, but I do sympathise with poor service received.

If the Shivalik departed Kalka on time, as you say, I don't see how the same seats could be sold to passengers arriving into Kalka via a much later train?

Ed.

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