NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Two British women were killed and 11 people injured on Saturday after three carriages of an Indian tourist train derailed on its way to the Himalayan city of Shimla, a railways spokesman said.
The women were part of a group of 37 British tourists who had chartered four carriages on the Kalka-to-Shimla train, a popular heritage journey in northern India. Three of the carriages derailed about 15 minutes after setting off from Kalka at 1245 IST, said Neeraj Sharma, a spokesman for Indian Railways’ northern division.
Three of the tourists were injured seriously and are being treated in a hospital in the city of Chandigarh, Sharma said, and eight have already been discharged.
The cause of the derailment is not yet known and the railways are investigating, said Anil Saxena, a Delhi-based spokesman for the railways.
Accidents are common on India’s railways, where investment has failed to keep up with the needs of the network.
Famed for its panoramic views as it climbs more than 4,000 feet through heritage tunnels and along multi-arched bridges, the narrow-gauge 96 kilometer Kalka-to-Shimla route is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The line, known affectionately as the “toy train” line, was opened in 1903 to connect Shimla, the summer capital under British colonial rule, to the north Indian plains.
Reporting by Tommy Wilkes, editng by Larry King