In this final volume Laurie Marshall visits Nepal before moving on to one of the world’s great railway wonders – the Darjeeling Himalayan railway. Climbing to over 7000ft, high into the foothills of the Himalayas, this fantastic two foot in gauge railway performs the most amazing of railway curve and reversal acrobatics through the tea plantations towards Darjeeling. But steam on the broad and metre gauge lines is coming to an end as we witness atmospheric scenes on the Northern Railway at Moradabad and Saharanpur featuring the last of the mighty WW Pacifics. Laurie reflects on these final days of steam.
The group then fly down to Madras to take a journey on the Nilgiri Hills Railway. This scenic line had been severed by a disastrous landslide some months earlier but a Herculean effort has brought about the reconnection of the line on the day of Laurie Marshall’s visit, we witness the first through train to Coonor for many months. At the old hill station of Ooty (Ooctamund/Udagamandalam) where the British came to escape the heat of the plains, Laurie’s old friend Walter Gilhooly is on hand to reflect on those days of the Raj. Here is a corner of the World that will be forever England.
‘You don’t even have to be a dyed-in-the-wool overseas steam enthusiast to appreciate these tapes – and that’s a bouquet rather than a brickbat. Laurie Marshall has certainly brought a huge slab of India’s golden light into our homes.’ (Steam Railway)