The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (also known as the “Toy Train”) took it’s first winding journey in 1881. The Unesco World Heritage site still runs today, slowly making it’s way through the small towns of the Himalayas.
Riding on the toy train is probably as close as you can get to a real-life Little Engine That Could. After breaking down several times, our 2-hour joyride turned to 5. And as the engine chugged and the whistle blew I could imagine it humming: I think I can. I think I can.
When it was running, the train rolled along a 2-foot wide track, stopping traffic on small roads, coming within inches of storefronts. Passerbys stood and watched, burying their ears with their hands to guard against the noise of the constantly-blowing whistle. Little kids waved.
The train stopped for a few minutes at the Batastia Loop (to repair and so that the passengers could look around) and again in Ghum — India’s highest railway station. There we visited the small railway museum and waited, and waited for the train to again be repaired.
But it eventually chugged along, winding back down the charming little mountain, bringing us back to our start in Darjeeling. All the while humming, “I think I can. I think I can.”