Train station of Kalka-Shimla UNESCO heritage track reduced to ashes

Shimla: A train station on the over century old UNESCO heritage Shimla-Kalka track burnt down in a night inferno after an electric short circuit ignited the flames.

The 108 year old Kandaghat station (25 Km from Shimla) which was largely constructed out of wooden material and the fire that broke out in an office building soon spread and reduced the whole station to ashes, railway officials said.

Divisional manager PK Sangi, who visited the spot, said that all railway personnel living at the station were evacuated safely. “A probe has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire accident, he said.

A railway police official disclosed that all records at the station had been destroyed.

The fire is said to have started past the mid-night hour but nothing could be saved even though five fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.

Despite the station getting burnt down, trains for the day plied normally on the track built by British engineers in 1903.

Essentially built for fast movement of mainly military forces stationed in hill cantonments by the British rulers, the 96 Kilometer narrow gauge track was given the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for being an engineering marvel that was still functioning normally.

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