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Travel on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train to Ooty


Heritage Train and bridge
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The Nilgiri Mountain Railway toy train is the highlight of a visit to the hill settlement of Ooty, in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu. Established in the early 19th century by the British as the summer headquarters of the Chennai government, Ooty is now a soothing place for visitors to escape the summer heat. The historic railway line was completed in 1899, 45 years after the first plans were drawn up.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Train Route:

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is located in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu. It runs from Metupalaiyam to Udagamandalam (Ooty), via Coonoor, in the Nilgiri Hills. The track is 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) long, and passes over 26 viaducts, and through 16 tunnels and tall girder bridges. This railway is particularly picturesque because of the surrounding rocky terrain, tea plantations, and forested hills. Coonoor, with its world famous teas, is a tourist destination in itself.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Train Services:

One toy train operates along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Metupalaiyam to Ooty. The engine is an 'X' Class steam locomotive, made in Switzerland. It pulls quaint blue and cream wooden carriages with large windows. The engine is commonly changed for a diesel powered one at Coonoor, to provide greater traction for the steep climb up to Ooty.

Both first class and second class seating are offered on the toy train, and it's worth buying a first class ticket to have a more peaceful journey away from the crowds.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Train Timetable:

There's only one toy train departure daily. It leaves Metupalaiyam at 7.10 a.m, and arrives in Ooty at noon. Coming back, the train leaves Ooty at 3 p.m. and reaches Metupalaiyam at 6.35 p.m. The train is scheduled to connect to the Nilgiri Express, which travels from Chennai to Metupalaiyam.

An additional toy train service does run during the peak summer tourist season in April and May. It usually starts from Metupalaiyam at 9.30 a.m. More frequent passenger train services also run from Coonoor to Ooty.

The area receives rain from both the south-west and north-east monsoons, and this sometimes disrupts train services.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Cost:

The train fare is 24 rupees (50 cents) in second class and 142 rupees ($3.00) in first class, one way.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Reservations:

Reservations for travel on the toy train to Ooty can be made at Indian Railways computerized reservation counters, or on the Indian Railways website. It's advisable to book as early as possible, particularly during peak season, as the train fills up weeks in advance.

Here's how to make a reservation on the Indian Railways website. The station code for Metupalaiyam is MTP, and Udagamandalam (Ooty) UAM. The train number is 56136.

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