Nilgiri Mountain Railway Train - The Toy Train in Ooty
Inception of Nilgiri Mountain RailThis 46 m long meter-gauge single-track railway was proposed in 1854 and was completed in 1908. The construction work delayed due to hilly terrains of the region. This railway was symbolic of the most modern technology of the times cutting through the hills to reach an altitude of 2,203 m. It was initially run by Madras Railways and was later taken over by many railway companies until 1951 when finally it was incorporated into Southern Railways.
Route of Nilgiri Mountain RailThe blue and off-white coaches of the train generates the charm of the colonial era. The Toy Train covers a distance of 26 Kms in about 4.8 hrs passing through 250 bridges and 16 tunnels on the route. Considered to be the steepest track in Asia, the train stops by at 10 stations. From Mettupalayam, the railway operates on rack and pinion system and Swiss-made 'X' Class steam rack locomotives. Further, from Conoor, the train hauls on diesel locomotive engine.
Starting from Mettupalayam, the train passes by ten stations. The Stations are:
- Kallar Station
- Adderly Station
- Hillgrove Station
- Runnymede Station
- Kateri-Road Station
- Aruvankadu Station
- Udhagamandalam Station
From Mettupalayam to Kallar the train crosses through the beautiful plains of palm plantations.While in Kallar to Conoor elevation, the train climbs through Kallar Bridge, Adderley Viaduct and Burliar Bridge. These are parts of a dense tropical jungle, completely uninhabited by human population. From here till the Ooty Station is reached, one can have wonderful view of thick Eucalyptus and acacia forests.
Scenic View from the Train
The train offers an unmatched view of the Nilgiris while passing by the steep bends of the hills. One can see deep lying valleys from one side of the train while high riding plateaus on the other side. The rich unspoilt view of the tropical flora and fauna alongside this rail track is a treat to the eyes of passengers. Due to the spectacular terrains from which this train passes, many movies have been shot in this train. The most famous of all, the song ‘Chhaiyya Chhaiyya’ from the film ‘Dil Se’ was shot on the roof top.