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The Himalayas en route to Darjeeling.

The Himalayas en route to Darjeeling.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 406/2(29)

Item number: 406229

Genre: Photograph

Photograph, taken in the 1880s by an unknown photographer, showing the Darjeeling Hill Railway with a reversing station in the foreground; it is possibly the one at Tindharia (one of 14 stations along the line which extends up the mountain for 55 miles). Darjeeling in the Eastern Himalayas is built on a long spur projecting northwards like a letter Y from the Senchal-Singalia mountain range and descends the hillsides in a series of landings. From 1835 when the British gained possession of it, Darjeeling was the summer resort of Bengal. Tea-growing was introduced here and it is surrounded by terraces of tea gardens. Work began on the railway for Darjeeling in 1879 and was completed on 4th July 1881. The line was founded by an agent of the Eastern Railway, Franklyn Prestage, and it represented an astounding feat of engineering which enabled the trains climb up to a height of 2,222 metres above sea level. This was achieved through the creation of steep gradients, Z-crossings and loops.

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