Chug to Matheran in luxury coaches
The Indian Railways has finalised plans to convert the coaches of mini Matheran Railway into luxury, hi-speed and spacious coaches with global standards. Rajendra Aklekar reports.india Updated: Jun 15, 2009 02:40 IST
You could travel in comfort and high speed the next time you take the Neral-Matheran Mountain Railway that climbs up about 2,300 feet to the hill station of Matheran.
The Indian Railways has finalised plans to convert the coaches of mini Matheran Railway into luxury, hi-speed and spacious coaches with global standards.
International professionals have been invited to contribute ideas and proposals and look for the best options from mountain railways across the world.
The coaches will have latest passenger amenities and aesthetic interior design.
“At least three mountain railways in India are a part of the UNESCO’s world heritage site. The rolling stock available in these railways is of vintage design. The track conditions are have very sharp turns,” said a senior railway official on the condition of anonymity.
“The expectations of the national and international tourists have to be met by upgrading these coaches. Hence, the narrow gauge rolling stock is being upgraded, using services of consultants based on the best international technology,” the official added.
“This is not just for the Neral-Matheran railway. The project will cover coaches for all narrow gauge sections of the Indian Railways such as Darjeeling-Himalayan section, Kalka-Simla section, Pathankot-Joginder Nagar, Nagpur-Chhindwara, Neral-Matheran and Gwalior,” the railway official elaborated.
The consultants will assist the railways in studying the design of various international mountain coaches, help them in developing a suitable design to attract more tourists and meet the expectations associated with the history and heritage of these railways.
The consultants will also assist the railways in manufacturing, commissioning of these coaches and subsequent maintenance for a period of one year from the commissioning date.