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Featured Image: File photo of a Toy Train in Darjeeling. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 07 January: UPSETTING the on-going tourist season, the railway authorities have curtailed the Toy Train service between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Darjeeling.

According to a notice issued by Northeast Frontier Railway, with effect from 06 January, the Toy Train between NJP and Darjeeling will now ply only three days a week, instead of daily.

From NJP to Darjeeling, the train will now only operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; from Darjeeling to NJP the train will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

The train’s starting time from NJP station is 8.30 am and it is scheduled to reach Darjeeling at 4 pm. On the return leg, the starting time from Darjeeling is 10.15 am and the scheduled arrival time in NJP is 5.45 pm.

NF Railway’s New Jalpaiguri area manager, Partha Sarathi Sil, said that the decision has been taken in view of the malfunctioning of a Toy Train rake.

“We have two rakes to operate the service between NJP and Darjeeling. Since the service remained suspended for about five years, one of the rakes has developed some problems and needs urgent repair. To facilitate the maintenance work, we have been compelled to curtail the days of run for the Toy Train,” he said.

Sil said that the maintenance was being carried out at NJP and Kurseong; and the job is likely to be over by February-end. “The daily service will be restored once the rake returns from the maintenance.”

After remaining suspended for about five years due to damage to the train tracks, the Toy Train service between NJP and Darjeeling had resumed on 02 December last year.

But ever since, the train from NJP was taking up to near 10 hours to reach Darjeeling, instead of the scheduled seven-and-a-half hours due to problems in the rake. In fact, on 01 January, the train had to return to NJP from midway after the engine broke down at Tindharia.