“Him Darshan” literally means audience with snow. The Indian Railways have locally modified and built the luxurious “Him Darshan” Express which will connect the town of Kalka at the foothills to the city of Shimla high in the Himalayas. The train will comprise six first class air conditioned coaches out of which five have been provided with glass vistadome roof. These coaches have been fitted with modern windows and blinds and air conditioning. The five Vistadome coaches can seat 15 people each in luxurious coaches with wooden interiors while there is one first class cum luggage car which can seat 14 people. Out of 15 passengers, 10 will have access to the windows. The glass roof will allow the passengers a panoramic view of the surrounding Himalayas as the train will snake its way up the mountain to Shimla.
The Him Darshan Express shall cover the distance in leisurely 5 hours and 25 minutes, starting from Kalka at 0700 AM and reaching Shimla at 1255 PM. On its return journey, the train will start at 0350 PM from Shimla and reach Kalka at 0915 PM. The cost of each first class ticket is INR 630.00 (US$ 8.80). On its maiden journey, the train was fully occupied with 90 passengers boarding is at Kalka. This train is expected to boost tourism in the area as it will provide a comfortable way of travelling between the cities and allow the passengers to soak in the natural beauty of the climb up the Himalayas.