Darjeeling Toy Train Resumes Operations After 17 Months For A Magical Ride Through The Mountains

by Tania Tarafdar
Darjeeling Toy Train Resumes Operations After 17 Months For A Magical Ride Through The Mountains

Planning a trip to Darjeeling? The popular destinations in West Bengal are already brimming with tourists. The surge in visitors has forced the local administration to enforce new rules. The administrators are asking the local tourism stakeholders to ensure that only fully vaccinated travellers or those carrying RT-PCR test reports are allowed to book hotels, lodges, and homestays. Popular destinations in West Bengal like Darjeeling, Dooars, and Digha and its adjoining beaches have already implemented these new rules. According to the latest update, the Darjeeling Toy Train from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) to Darjeeling has resumed operations now to take travellers through spectacular mountains and lush green tea gardens.

The Train Services Were Stopped In March 2020 Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

The Darjeeling Toy Train, known as Darjeeling Himalayan Railway has restarted operations on August 25 after being halted for nearly 17 months. Operations on the Darjeeling-Ghoom-Darjeeling train route has also resumed on August 16. The train services were suspended after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in March 2020. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway services were stopped on March 22, 2020.

Travel Guidelines For Darjeeling Hills & Dooars

The local administration for the Darjeeling hills and the Dooars area has made vaccination certificates or negative RT-PCR reports mandatory for visitors arriving from outside West Bengal. The RT-PCR report should be no older than 48 hours when they arrive. The Darjeeling District Magistrate has informed the stakeholders about the rules and has asked to implement them strictly. As of now, the rules are valid for people arriving from outside the state and not for residents of West Bengal.

Also read: Rangaroon Near Darjeeling Surrounded By Kanchenjunga Is Perfect For A Tranquil Break Among Hills


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Rules For Mandarmani, Tajpur, And Shankarpur

On the other hand, the Contai administration that includes popular beach destinations such as Mandarmani, Tajpur, and Shankarpur, has made vaccination certificates or RT-PCR reports mandatory for all travellers including those from West Bengal. There has been a significant influx of tourists in July in these destinations with the easing of pandemic containment regulations. Only tourists carrying any of these two proofs will be allowed to book a hotel in these seaside resorts.

Also read: Sea Plane Services To Start In West Bengal’s Digha To Promote Tourism


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However, local hoteliers and other local businessmen fear that the new rules may affect business. Not everyone is fully vaccinated and people refrain from getting RT-PCR tests done. The various travel and tour operators in Darjeeling and Dooars are also awaiting clarification regarding tourists combining their Darjeeling trip with Sikkim.