India has five of the twenty or so vintage “toy trains” or narrow-gauge mountain railways in the world – three in the Himalayas and two of these in Himachal Pradesh. Most famous is the Kalka–Shimla line, but the little-known 163km Kangra Valley Railway is also a magnificent engineering feat. Unlike the Kalka line, with its 103 tunnels and tortuous switchbacks, engineers of this route preferred bridges – 950 in all, many of which are still considered masterpieces – that give passengers uninterrupted views all the way from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar. Although it’s slower than the equivalent road journey, the scenery along the way is far more impressive, particularly the stretch between Kangra and Mangwal.

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