Trains and Ruskin Bond - The Scribe who loved trains

Rail Enthusiasts' Society

Explore the love affair of India's most beloved author with Indian Railways.  

Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent, who lives in Landour, Mussoorie. He has been honoured by various awards, like the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan, as well as the Sahitya Academy Award, for his contribution towards children's literature.

One of the Rail Enthusiasts’ Society’s founding members, Vikas Singh, who has been an avid reader and collector of Ruskin Bond’s works, had the opportunity to visit and chat with the famed author himself, at his Mussoorie retreat.

The prolific writer's journeys on steam hauled trains feature in many of his stories. Although he spent his early years in Dehradun, Ruskin Bond did his schooling from Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. 

Shimla railway station

In those days, before the advent of SUVs and luxury buses, the Kalka-Shimla Railway was the popular mode of transport. The prolific writer's journeys on steam hauled trains feature in many of his stories.

Take a walk on Kalka railway station.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a narrow gauge railway in North Indian, highly popular for its scenic route. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It were the tunnels on the Kalka-Shimla Railway line that inspired Mr. Ruskin Bond to write his popular short story, 'The Tunnel'.

Tunnel no. 33, at Barog, with a length of 1143.61 m, is the longest tunnel on the Kalka - Shimla Railway route. It is said that this tunnel is haunted by Colonel Barog, a British railway engineer who was in charge of creating this tunnel.

On the Kalka-Shimla line 107 tunnels were originally built. 102 remain in use. This is a heritage tunnel no. 91.

Ruskin Bond's book 'The Indian Railway Stories' capture the essence of the Indian Railways; from the small-town station, at the time of the British Raj, to the present day big-city stations.

'The Night Train at Deoli and Other Stories' features an enchanting collection of stories of simple characters, living amidst the lush forests of the Himalayan foothills.

There as many as 864 bridges on the Kalka-Shimla Railway route. Each of them are unique and offer a stunning view. This one here is heritage bridge No. 541.

Vikas Singh
Credits: Story

Vikas Singh

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.