World Heritage Nilgiri Mounain Train Offers to Visit Enchanting Nilgiri Hills



Nilgiri Mountain Rail

About Nilgiri Mountain Rail (Train)

At the height of 2,600m stands Udhagamandalam (Ooty) The Queen of Hill Stations. The ‘Nilgiris toy train’ connect Ooty to mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris.

The construction of this line was a big challenge as the terrain is rather tricky. It was in 1854 that the first plans were drawn to build a mountain railway from mettupalayam to the Nilgiri Hills. But it was a good 45 years later in 1899 that the first train chugged up this track. This railway is widely regarded as a marvel of engineering. The train itself is a charming blue and cream with wooden coaches and large windows. It is hauled up hills by stream engines, designed and built by the Swiss Locomotive Works. Twelve of such locomotive engines survive even today.

The train covers the 46 km to Udhagamandalam in four and a half hours. There are five stations between Mettupalayam and Coonoor – Kallar, Adderley, Hill Grove, Runnymede and Kateri – and, at one time, there were five between Coonoor and Ooty too. Through Wellington, Aruvankadul, Ketti, and Lovedale are still functional, Fren Hill, the last one, was closed down a few years ago.

Good to Know

  • The train, for obvious safety reasons, averages 10.4 km per hour and is perhaps the slowest in India.
  • Built in the late 19th century, the track rises at a gradient of 1 in 12 and has 208 curves and 13 tunnels.
  • It leaves Mettupalayam at 7.45 am and reaches Ooty at noon.

Extensive rice fields surround the 7 km stretch between Mettupalayam and Kallar. Soon after is an impressive 21km section through truly rocky terrain. The track passes over 26 viaducts, and twist and blends through 13 tunnels. After a steep climb, the train enters Coonoor, the little hill station known for its tea plantations. From here, the track is uphill till you reach Fern Hill at a height of 2,218m, the highest point on the railroad. Shortly before Ooty, the line dips downhill. If you enjoy taking pictures, keep your camera ready for a few shotsof the viaduct between Kallar and Adderley. This ride is sure to turn the most hardened rail critic into an avid fan. You’ii delight in hthe edge-of-the seat twists and turns as the train runs across tall girder bridges, and over green hills before gently meandering through rolling tea estates. The exhaust beat of the loco never falters, maintaining a deafening staccato which can be heard for miles around. Truly a journey to remember.

The Present Scenario

Nowadays, the traveller from Ootacamund leaves Chennai central station on the evening Nilgiri Express at 9.00 p.m. and arrives at Mettupalaiyam at 7.10 am. After a 10 hour journey. There he merely crosses the platform to join the metre gauge train which leaves at 7.25 am. And reaches Udagamandalam at 11.40 a.m. in less than 15 hrs. The Nilgiri Railway (NMR) is a feat of engineering unique in the east. The line is a metre gauge, practically level for the first four and a half miles, to Kallar at the immediate foot of the hills. As soon as the train leaves Kallar, the rack rails appears and the long climb begins. In the next 12 miles to Coonoor, the line rises 4,363 feet curving almost continuously as it clings to the mountainside, crossing lofty viaducts or tunnels, the longest being 317 feet in length. The gradient posts read one in twelve and a half with monotonous consistency. Construction expenses were heavy because in addition to the tunnels, a big bridge over the river Bhawani at the foothills was necessary. Besides this large bridge, 26 other bridges smaller in size, were constructed and heavy expenditure incurred in rock-cutting and blasting.

Route Covered by Nilgiri Train

Mettupalayam – Kellar – Coonoor – Wellington – Lovedale – Ootacamund

TARIFF

(A) Special Charter Rates

Hill Railway

Composition

Steam Traction

Diesel Traction

Single Trip

Round Trip

Single Trip

Round Trip

Nilgiri Hill Railway

3FS

Rs 40,000

Rs 80,000

Rs 40,000

Rs 80,000

Nilgiri Hill Railway

2F+1SCZ

Rs 50,000

Rs 1,00,000

Rs 50,000

Rs 1,00,000

More Luxury Trains in India
Splendor of South
The Indian Maharaja
Palace on Wheels
The Golden Chariot
Deccan Odyssey
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Fairy Queen
Matheran Light Railway

Other Special Trains in India
Kangra Valley Railways
Kalka Shimla Hill Railway
World Heritage Nilgiri Mountain Train
Darjeeling Toy Train



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