A wise man said, “Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” And if the place happens to be the alluring old railway station of Barog, the jewel in the crown of Kalka Shimla Himalayan railways, the suggestion gets duly justified.

There is nothing as mesmerizing as the Barog railway station where the moonlight disappears down the hills, mountains vanish into fog and visitors are compelled to vanish into poetry. It is like having a cake with a cherry on it for it is a place where nature’s heart beat stronger amid the hills.

For the locals, as well as those familiar with its charms, this station is more of a picnic spot than a transit point for there are hardly any people boarding or getting down here. It is the longest halt on the stretch with trains and rail cars halting for 10 to 15 minutes allowing the tourists to savour some out of the world cutlets and other snacks.

It retains the glory of the erstwhile British era and its genesis follows and interesting tale.

This station is named after Colonel Barog, the British engineer who started the mammoth challenge of digging tunnel no 33, the longest on this route (114.316 m) and one of the straightest in the world.

As distinctive and pleasing is this station as are the stories attached to it. The idea of digging from both the sides and converging at the centre failed. He was reprimanded and fined Rs1 for wasting the time and resources of the British government. He could not take the disappointment and shot himself with his revolver inside tunnel which was a mere cave at that time.

The task was assigned to Chief Engineer H.S. Harrington who too could not make the two ends meet. It was a local Bhalku who helped the mighty British to successfully complete the task. With an exceptional observation power, he used only a stick to tap the stones, listen to sounds and lead the diggers. He helped to make many more tunnels on this track.

Locals say that Baba Bhalku had surveyed the route on which the track could be laid ahead of Shimla also but the British stopped at their summer capital.

The stories about Bhalku say that he was a poor villager with strange but humanitarian beliefs. He use to put honey in his hair to feed the lice believing it was his duty to feed the insects living on his body. He lived under a tree with goats.

To commemorate his efforts, his statue was installed at his village near Chail. There is a Baba Bhalku railway museum in Shimla.

It owes to the beauty of small but very warm Barog railways station along with several others and the picturesque track that the UNESCO gave world heritage status to Kalka Shimla track in 2008.

One has to just visit the station to look at antique railway articles. Be it the old weighing machines of British make or even the ticket punching machines.

The station also offers the facility to stay there at its rest house where rooms are available at a very nominal cost. One can enjoy refreshing meals at a cafeteria built more than a century ago and then proceed to do whatever one wants amidst the noise of water from an adjoining spring.

The place reminds the visitor of the lines from the poem 'Lake Isle of Innisfree' by William Butler Yeats where he says :

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet's wings.

While the area around has been gobbled up by the urban sprawl, this station as managed to survive in its original form till now.