Kalka-Shimla rail service incurring huge losses

The celebrated Kalka-Shimla rail link, a UNESCO world heritage site, is incurring huge losses to the railways amounting to as much as Rs 18 crore per year, a senior railway official said.

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2011, 15:19 PM IST

Shimla: The celebrated Kalka-Shimla rail link, a UNESCO world heritage site, is incurring huge losses to the railways amounting to as much as Rs 18 crore per year, a senior railway official said.

Attributing the loss to huge margin between income and expenditure, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Ambala Division PK Sanghi said that the earnings from the toy train service is around Rs 12 crore per year, falling well short of
the maintenance expenses that mount to as much as Rs 30 crore per year.

"Railways` main source of income is freight carriage, which does not take place on this track. This is one of the main reasons for the low income," Sanghi said.

"As part of security and maintenance measures, we need to inspect all 102 tunnels and 891 bridges that come under the rail link apart from the range of mountains and forests around it. This proves to be a costly affair," he added.

Sanghi, however, said that given the international importance of the heritage site, railways does not consider the service from commercial point of view and it will continue to introduce new measures to attract more and more tourists.

Sanghi also gave information about the range of initiatives proposed by the railways in a bid to increase popularity of the toy train service and attract more tourists.

"Apart from availing special coaches to the tourists on booking basis, we are also planning to introduce music and other recreation facilities for the passengers," Sanghi said.

PTI