The Shimla-Kalka railway track is one the most beautiful railways tracks in the world. There are several fascinating spots in this 96 kilometers journey that compels tourists to explore it more closely. But this attractive track is a risky one also.
The Kalka – Shimla highway and railway track at many places follow the same alignment and cross each other at many points. While the highway has many dangerous and blind turns, making it prone to accidents, tourists parking their vehicles and walking onto the railway track wherever the two intersect or run parallel to each other, only increase the risks more.
Most of the times sightseers begin taking photographs at these spots or park their cars on the side of roads to have fun. Moreover, tourists have made many of the railway track points into a den for consuming alcohol, unaware of the fact that they can become victims of an avoidable accident.
Near Koti railway station, just 7 Kms from Parwanoo, is on spot where the train track and the highway are in close proximity to each other. The distance between the two is merely 5 to 10 feet. Tourists have even been noticed to driving up their vehicles onto the train track, little concerned that they are not just endangering the World Heritage Track but also that of travellers on any train that may me moving in or out of Koti station.
It is also an infringement of the law if any person is found anywhere close to the track at the time of the train’s arrival. There is a penal even provision which could be slapping of a Rs 1000/- or having to serve a year’s jail sentence for a year for violating the safety rules on Indian Railways. However, the Railway Police Force has yet to book anyone for violation of these safety guidelines.
Having noticed the growing incidents of safety violations taking place on the railway track, representatives of Salogra Panchayat have approached the railway authorities many times and requested them to increase patrolling but nothing has happened.
Railway official Dinesh Kumar said that they do act against those who violate safety guidelines and even do make surprise check at points where they sense suspicious activities take place. He added that for the safety of people, warning boards and posts would be installed at these locations.