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Neral-Matheran heritage toy train to get steam engines soon

Indian Railway to replace diesel engines of toy trains across the country with steam ones, to boost tourism

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2017 12:25 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
The popular Neral-Matheran toy train will run on steam engines soon. (HT File)

The Neral-Matheran heritage train will be operating on steam engines soon. Currently, the train to the popular hill station runs on diesel engines.

The introduction of steam engines is part of the Indian Railway’s plan to promote its heritage and attract tourists. Apart from Matheran, steam engines will also be introduced on the Darjeeling-Siliguri, Kalka-Shimla and Kangra Valley routes.

“The introduction of steam engines, which will replace the diesel ones, will give a boost to tourism,” said Ashwani Lohani, chairman of the railway board.

A railway board official, on condition of anonymity, said the timeframe for getting the steam engines is being laid down, and work has already started. “We have the Rewari steam locomotive shed in Haryana and are currently working on the exact number of engines that will be required in each section.” the senior railway board official said.

The 21-km stretch between Neral and Matheran has four stations: Matheran, Aman Lodge, Waterpoint and Neral. Currently, the toy train operates six services between Aman Lodge and Matheran; tourists can also reach Dasturi Naka by vehicles from Neral, and either trek or take a horse ride from there.

The Neral-Matheran toy train services were discontinued after two consecutive derailments last year. However, the Central Railway partially resumed services in October. The entire section is expected to become operational in early 2018.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 12:24 IST