Welcome to Our World Tuesday. This is the first time I’m participating in this wonderful meme. The train journey to and from my hometown of Haflong has always been a fascinating experience. The hills, the lush vegetation, the roaring streams, the tunnels and these bridges all make it so special. A legacy of colonial times and a feat of engineering, the construction of this line was started in 1899 and was completed in 1903. The entire length of this narrow gauge track of the hill section has 37 tunnels and and 565 bridges.
Hill stream in spate as seen through the railing of one of the old iron bridges.
The description of the physical features of this terrain was summed up by British engineer Richard Nolan in the last century.
The country throughout is covered with thick jungle, mostly bamboos in the valleys and heavy tree forests, with thick undergrowth of evergreen shrubs and cane-break on the higher slope of the hills, it is rugged and broken down to the extreme, the alignment everywhere running round and through a succession of spurs from the main ranges and crossing by means of high banks or viaducts intervening deep and precipitous ravines. During the dry season but little water is to be seen in the river beds but during monsoons, they become roaring torrents.
The British writer Bill Aitken in his book Travels By a Lesser Line says that the journey was thrilling because of the spectacular mountain scenery.
“The lushness of the bamboo thickets even in November, which graze the carriages as they force a way through, is phenomenal. The total effect is of impenetrability and one is filled with admiration for the original builders of this line. Judging by the solid tunnels, dated 1901-1903, and their very British design skilled labour was imported. The NEF line is rich both tunnels and viaducts that straddle impressive chasms. For those brought up on the notion that the Ooty climb, also metre gauge, is the most impressive mountain line, the ride to Haflong will prove a sensational journey of discovery.”
One of the tunnels that we crossed. One of the advantages of travelling on a zigzag line is you can actually get these shots at the turns.:) To see more posts click here.
My thanks to the hosts: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia, Sandy.