Toy Train at the Barog Tunnel, Himachal Pradesh
I spent a lot of time at the Barog Station and watched the toy trains come and go to my hearts content. Barog is also home to the longest tunnel on the Kalka Shimla route (part of which you see in the video) which is a little more than a kilometer long.
Around 10.00 am (on 11/09/2009) we were chatting with a railway official. He said there were no trains coming to the station till 11.00 am that day. Brat 1 and I (Brat 2 was still asleep) decided to walk inside the tunnel and cross it. It was dark after a while inside the tunnel. I switched on the light of my mobile phone and placed it close to the tracks. I could see their faint outline of the tracks and walk along. Thus we walked for what seemed like the mid way of the tunnel.
Suddenly Brat 1 called out, “Bua (aunt) there is a train coming this way, I can hear it.” I moved the light from my mobile around and saw a shelter (an arch within the tunnel inside which you can stand and the train can safely pass) right next to where we were standing. We happily went into it and the Railcar passed by us. Brat 1 refused to go any further and insisted that we head back and that is what we did.
We headed for the tea stall and asked for the tea from the proprietor. Three tourists staying at the Barog Station came along and asked me, “Ma’am what happened inside the tunnel when the train came?” I told them that the shelter was right at our hand, we went in and the Railcar passed. They replied, “The station master was quite worried about an accident and was scolding everyone around that why did they let us go inside!”
Then they asked the tea shop proprietor what would happen if we had not found a shelter? The proprietor thought that chances of an accident were very high. Another person who was at the tea shop was of the view that there is sufficient space for the train to pass if we just stood flat against the wall. We of course wish to believe the second version but we are in no hurry to check out which one is correct. The group of three gentlemen told us, “You should party tonight, it was a narow escape.”
We actually did not party nor did it feel like a narrow escape. I did not tell this on phone to my dad who is an ex railwayman. But when I did today he was not pleased at all.
I can only say I do not wish to repeat this experience. But then the smallest of the kids around Barog have crossed that tunnel …