Matheran Toy Train Will Soon be Powered by Steam Engine
The Matheran toy train has been discontinued since last year, but should become fully operational by early 2018.
| Updated: December 6, 2017 6:04 PM IST
Published: December 6, 2017 6:03 PM IST | Updated: December 6, 2017 6:04 PM IST
Neral-Matheran toy train
Right now, if you want to get to Matheran, you need to drive up to Dasturi or catch a cab from Neral railway station to Dasturi. Vehicles are not allowed from that point onwards, so you need to either go on horseback or walk your way up to the hill station. It is a 30-45 minute walk, but a new plan is being made to restart the famous Matheran toy train service that will take you all the way from Neral to the hill station. ALSO READ: 5 reasons why you must visit Matheran in Maharashtra!
The Matheran toy train has been one of the longest-running train services in India and a heritage activity in what is the smallest hill station in the country. With the new plan being formulated by Indian Railways, the heritage quotient may go up several notches. That’s because the railway department plans to introduce steam engines to its heritage lines, including Matheran. It is a big contrast from the regular diesel locomotives that are used along the Neral-Matheran. According to chairman Ashwani Lohani of the railway board, adding steam engines should boost heritage tourism in the region.
Another anonymous railway board member said that work has already begun on introducing steam engines to heritage lines, and a time frame for this is being laid out. The senior official said that Haryana’s Rewari steam locomotive shed will be tapped for the production of the engines, and that the exact number of engines needed for each section is being mapped out at the moment. NOW READ: Best 3-star resorts in Matheran for a relaxing vacation
For now, however, the Neral-Matheran toy train is not fully functional. After two instances of derailments in 2016, it was temporarily shut down. Services reportedly resumed in October 2017, but only partially. The train is supposed to start running its full route by early 2018. The famed toy train takes you from Neral station to Waterpoint, Aman Lodge and finally Matheran at the top. A protected zone, vehicles are famously banned from the hill station. The hill station is an oasis of fresh, cool air just a short distance away from the heavy atmosphere of Mumbai city.