Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur inaugurated various modern facilities on Kalka-Shimla heritage railway line from here today. These include Vistadom coach, modern toilet complex, renovated second class waiting room, lighting of railway station on analogy of airport, 160 KV PK solar power plant, heritage engine and coach at Shoghi station, LED lights and WiFi facility on all the major stations from Kalka to Shimla block etc. He also laid foundation stones of two lifts at railways station besides renovation of Shimla extension station.He thanked Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal for taking interest in modernising Shimla railway station besides upgrading Kalka-Shimla railway line for making this line commuter paradise. He said that the railway track between Pathankot-Jogindernagar has been upgraded which has reduced the travelling distance by about two hours. He said that similar efforts would be made to reduce travelling time between Kalka-Shimla line. The Chief Minister said that the Vistadom has been presently attached in Train No 52453/54 and more such coach would be ready in next six months. He said that in the next three to six months, the train will run at a speed which can reduce the travel time by 30 to 40 minutes.
He said that all these facilities would give boost to tourism development in the State as the Kalka-Shimla railway ride would emerge as an added attraction for the tourists. He also launched a new hop-on hop-off service for which passengers can get down at any station and spend some time and can board in another incoming train without purchasing tickets. This would help in boosting tourism on way side stations like Barog, Solan and Shogi etc. He also inaugurated open window restaurant coach.Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the Kalka- Shimla railway track was declared heritage track way back in 2008 due to its heritage importance. He also thanked the Railways Ministry for providing several amenities in the Shimla railway station. Member, Railways Board Rajesh Agarwal welcomed the Chief Minister.Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, Mayor Kusum Sadrate, Additional Chief Secretary Dr Shrikant Baldi and Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu were also present on the occasion among others.