Darjeeling Himalayan Railway to get three new diesel engines soon

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The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) will soon receive three new diesel engines manufactured by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) at its workshops in New Bongaigaon, Assam, and Tindharia in the hills.

The announcement was made by DHR director Priyanshu, who stated that the new engines would be commissioned within six to eight months.

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Currently, there are six operational diesel engines in the DHR. Besides this, there are also 13 steam locos that are operational for the 12km Joy Ride between Darjeeling and Ghoom.

The addition of new diesel engines will improve DHR’s operational capabilities, enabling it to cater to the growing demand for tourist services and accommodate more visitors to the Darjeeling hills.

There is also a plan to introduce eco-friendly hydrogen-fueled trains to reduce pollution in the region. In fact, all heritage routes across the country have been waiting for the hydrogen-fueled trains. A prototype is being developed at the Northern Railway workshop which will undergo testing on the Sonipat-Jind section in Haryana.

The DHR, a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge railway, is a major tourist attraction in Darjeeling, generating good revenue for the state. The DHR is known for its scenic beauty, challenging engineering feats, and historic locomotives. The DHR was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Stie in 1999.

The new diesel locomotives will be manufactured at a cost of Rs 6 crore each and will be based on the NDM6 design, previously introduced to the DHR in 2000.

These engines manufactured by San Engineering in Bangalore are known for their reliability and fuel efficiency, making them well-suited for the challenging terrain of the DHR.

To promote tourism and toy train services of DHR among railway enthusiasts and tourists, 15-day long Ghoom Festival is currently going on in Ghoom. The festival which began on November 25 will provide a platform for artists, performers, craftsmen, engineers and workers to showcase their creativity to the world and increase their earnings.

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