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Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Ooty Overview

Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Ooty Overview

Nilgiri Mountain Railway, also known as Toy Train in Ooty, is one of the key attractions of the popular hill station Ooty. Such is the train’s popularity and history that it was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. Started in the year 1899, it has continued to charm its visitors over the past many years winding its way through the best of nature. The Toy Train covers a distance of total 46 km in a span of 5 hours and takes one through a truly spectacular journey filled with picturesque views en route. Another fascinating feature of the train is that its youngest X class locomotive is over 50 years old and the oldest is 80 years old.

The ride starts from Mettupalayam; a small place on river Bhavani. The first 5 miles are plain, but in the next 12 miles engine pushes the coaches upwards to a height of 4,363 feet. Covering Mettupalayam, Kellar, Coonoor, Wellington, Lovedale and Ootacamund on its way, this is the best means to discover the pristine treasures of the Nilgiris. Weaving amidst the forests, dark snaking tunnels, sharp bends and amid the mist and fog, the Nilgiri Mountain Train will take you on a spectacular trip up and down the green and verdant slopes. As the train passes through the stunning gorges, the dancing sunlight above and dream-like drizzling makes it the experience of a lifetime. Apart from offering a beautiful journey, the uniqueness of the trip lies in the fact that the rail system is the steepest in Asia and worth a visit.

Photos of Nilgiri Mountain Railway
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Route of Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Situated in the verdant bosom of the Tamil Nadu, the route of Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a wonderful journey through the landscape of the region. The journey begins from Mettupalayam to Udagamandalam and covers a number of other destinations on the way including Coonoor, Kellar, Wellington, Lovedale and Ootacamund. The track is 46 kilometres long and crosses as many as 250 bridges and 16 tunnels. The course of the rail journey takes you through steep hills, plunging ravines, lush green forests and fragrant tea plantations, and is a splendid way to discover the beauty of this destination.
Mettupalayam Railway Station – The Starting Point
The Mettupalayam Railway Station, located near Coimbatore, is a junction between the broad gauge and the toy train. This platform is crossed by the passengers to board the Toy Train. Nilgiri Express train from arrives in Mettupalayam at 6:15 AM from Chennai and connects with the toy train’s departure. You can also board the Nilgiri Express train from Coimbatore at 5:00 AM. Another option is a cab that costs INR 1200 and local buses that run frequently between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam.
Different Classes of The Train
There is a classification between first class, second sitting, and an unreserved category. The first class seats are limited to just 16 and are hard to get, and the others are expanded to 160 seats. It is highly recommended to choose the first class seats for the experience in that coach is priceless!
Tips For Visiting Nilgiri Mountain Railway
1. Follow all the guidelines as given by the rail system authority.
2. Do not litter the train and use dustbins instead.
3. Also, make sure to book your ride in advance especially during the peak season, particularly for season between April to June, Diwali and Christmas.
4. There are no washrooms in the train, so you might have to wait for a stop in case you need to use one.
History

The idea of the toy train was thought of in the year 1854, which took around forty years to be finally executed. The initial line was built by a Swiss inventor Riggenbach who worked on it and created a lineup to Coonoor by the year 1899. The line was later extended up to Fernhill and then Ooty in the year 1908. Ooty was the place where the Colonial Officers visit to wash off the exhaustion of running the prestigious East India Company. Earlier they used horses to ride through the Nilgiri Mountain. They constructed the tracks, ordered the Switzerland made the steam engine and the tricky engineering; of course, the route is truly a gift from the Great Britain to India!

Interestingly, this is the only heritage train in the country that runs at such a high elevation in Southern India. Being very steep, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train. works on a unique system called ABT (Alternate Biting System), also known as the rack and pinion system. The method of pulling the train in this system is quite distinct. Instead of an engine, there two rack bars out of steps with each other between the rail lines that help in pulling the train.

How To Reach Nilgiri Mountain Railway
To reach your destination and getting around in Ooty is quite easy with the help of local transportation system. You can easily hire a taxi, tourist cab or auto-rickshaw from almost anywhere in the city.

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