The Little Fire Wagon

“The most enjoyable day I have spent on earth mixed ecstasy of deadly fright and unimaginable joy.”

— Mark Twain ,
describing his journey on Darjeeling’s “toy” train over a 100 years ago in 1895

LIKE all things British in India, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) too has a fund of anecdotes centred around the toy train that runs between New Jalpaiguri in the plains of north Bengal to the lofty heights of Darjeeling hills. Pashang Sherpa, who joined the DHR in 1962, has a favourite one that he recounts to anyone who cares to listen. Sherpa’s weather-beaten face breaks into a broad smile when he talks about an old British lady who came to Darjeeling in the summer of 1998.