After a gap of five months, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) train, a big hit with tourists, resumed its operations to the famouos hill resort town of Udhagamandalam (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
The train services between Mettupalayam in the plains and Ooty remained suspended after the nearly 47 KM long track traversing through the picturesque valleys and hills suffered extensive damage due to heavy monsoon rains and landslides in the first week of November last year.
A journey through the NMR, a UNESCO Heritage facility, offers the tourists spectacular views of the pristine Nilgiri Hills as it chugs on at a low speed. The famous Chaiyya Chaiyya song in Shah Rukh Khan starrer blockbuster Dil Se was shot on the rooftop of the train.
It took about 170 days for the restoration of the track. The 18 KM long Coonoor-Udhagamandalam section was restored in January at an estimated cost of Rs.15 crore.
Railway workers toiled all these days to commence the service 15 days ahead of the schedule in time for the peak tourist season.
The packed train left Mettupalayam, 40 km from here, at 7.15 AM and reached Coonoor at 1030 AM and reached Ooty at 12.30 pm, railway sources said.