Decision : CONF 209 VIII.C.1
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (India)
Property: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Id. N°: 944
State Party: India
Criteria: C (ii) (iv)
The Committee inscribed the site on the World Heritage List under criteria (ii) and (iv):
Criterion (ii): The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is an outstanding example of the influence of an innovative transportation system on the social and economic development of a multi-cultural region, which was to serve as a model for similar developments in many parts of the world.
Criterion (iv): The development of railways in the 19th century has a profound influence on social and economic developments in many parts of the world. This process is illustrated in an exceptional and seminal fashion by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
The Committee drew the attention of the State Party to the recommendations of ICOMOS concerning a) the creation of a heritage conservation unit; b) the establishment of a buffer zone along the length of the railway line and the station and c) the establishment of an adapted management plan. All these issues could be examined by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session in 2001.
The Observer of Germany underlined the importance of retaining the steam trains within the site. The Committee was assured by both ICOMOS and the Observer of India that, despite the movable character of the steam trains, they would most certainly remain in use due to their importance as a tourism attraction. The Observer of India, in thanking the Committee for its decision, drew the attention of the Committee to the importance of preserving this unique site, which was the first industrial heritage site in Asia to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.