Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

DHR Coaches

Adapted from compilation by Terry Martin and David Churchill

The passenger coaches of DHR have changed enormously over the years. They have always been, and still are, regularly refurbished and rebuilt to suit the particular traffic requirements of the time.

The early coaches were simple 4-wheeled open sided benches on a flat wagon (known as 'trolleys') for third class, or small enclosed vehicles for first and second class. The only survivor of these is a 4-wheel coach No 119, built in 1903, which is now in the National Railway Museum in New Delhi.

The first bogie coaches were introduced in 1906, and bogie coaches gradually became predominant, although the last 4-wheelers remained in use until the 1960s. A great range of bogie coach designs have been used over the last 110 years, some very spartan, others very luxurious, and with evolving body styles.

The number of coaching vehicles peaked at about 139 in the 1940s, and there are still 72 in the stock list, although this includes those in the museum, on the heritage list and a number stored as not needed at present. The oldest coach still on the line dates from 1917, although most are relatively new and built in 1989 or later.

An outline of coaches currently to be seen on the line follows. The numbers given are as carried in 2016.


Himalayan Princess' (No 124)

The oldest surviving passenger vehicle on the line, built in 1917, although subject to some rebuilds since. Notable for the wooden 'twisted' pillars and carvings on one end, which was originally open. Used as an inspection saloon for VIPs and not in normal service.


Everest' (No 14)

Another saloon, built in 1943. Notable for the curved glazed end and luxurious interior. Sometimes used on chartered trains.