Indian Railways ~ 4 short films · DVD · 60 mins


In 2007 a UNESCO team inspected the 2’6” gauge Kalka Shimla Railway which was being considered for World Heritage Status. In the team was Ian Walker, brother of Ken Walker of DVD producers Railstuff, so filming was inevitable. The team had access to everything on the railway, special trains etc., so the two films which resulted do show this extraordinary line in detail. And any 96 km line which climbs 2094 metres, on a ruling gradient of 1 in 33, round over 800 reverse curves, and through 102 tunnels is extraordinary. Additionally, for military reasons the line was very heavily built, and the bridges especially are spectacular.  Three of the four films here are on the line, and feature steam haulage over part of it, a cab ride in a diesel over a higher section, and also a ride in one of the unique railmotors.

By way of a change, the final film is of an interesting cab-ride in a broad gauge WDM3A diesel across the plains of Rajasthan.

The second film from the UNESCO inspection is Never a Toy, which largely features a trip up to Shimla on the diesel hauled inspection special. Other than the magnificent scenery, there really is very little dupliaction between the two films.