Ghum Railway Station
AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE By Katyayini Kesharwani
Located in West Bengal, “Ghum” is India’s highest railway station which is at an altitude of 2,258 metres. It is also counted as the 14th highest railway station in the world.
The UNESCO accepted Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train that passes from here as a world heritage site. The train makes steep climbs through a number of reverses and loops promising an enthralling view. One of the most heart-stirring being the Batasia Loop between Ghum and Darjeeling.
Construction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway began in 1879 and the railway track reached Ghum on 4 April 1881. Until 1878, the journey from Kolkata to Darjeeling took a week’s time. When Siliguri was put on the railway map of India the journey time reduced to two days. Thereafter, it became a 3–4 hours journey to Ghum by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
This station is nothing less than a beauty personified! A decade of painstaking hard work that flaunts one of the most exemplified architectures of Indian history. No wonder UNESCO was wowed by it and bestowed it with a heritage status. It is India’s busiest railway station.
Ghum is a rather small railway station. It lies on one of the most beautiful railway tracks in the world.
The station has an in-house museum that displays some magnificent relics. Situated beside the Ghum Railway Station, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum emblazons the history of the iconic Himalayan railways over a period of two centuries. From tickets dating back to 1883, when a trip from Darjeeling to Ghum used to cost only 66 paise, to the implementation of the steam engine, everything is up for display.
The main attraction here is the oldest toy train engine – The Baby Sivok. A baby child is always dear to parents because even in their old age it reminds and reverts them to most cherished childhood memories. It reminds one of the British colonial histories.