After a long 127 days, the world-famous narrow gauge trains services were partially resumed in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway yesterday. A special train christened Paryavaran Parv Special train started running between Siliguri and Sukna forest following repair, maintenance and restoration of track lying unused in the section. Restoration of the rest of the 87-km line is going on fast and normal train running would be resumed in few days. The special train leaves Siliguri at 09.00 am to reach Sukna at 09.35 am. on the return journey, the train leaves Sukna at 10.05 am to arrive at Siliguri at 10.50 am. It would be a daily service with three first class coaches running up to 25th October catering mainly to tourists.
It may be mentioned that train services in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway had to be stopped after violence and arson break out in the hills following the indefinite strike call in Darjeeling Hills from 11th June 2017. During the strike two stations – Gayabari and Sonada - on the line were damaged. Suspension of train services alone entailed a loss of around Rs. 3.8 crore and the loss due to damages to the properties are yet to be quantified. As the strike was lifted on 27 September, N. F. Railway started inspection, repairing and restoration of the long unused track to make them safe for train operations.