Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) is an acclaimed train that runs in the Nilgiri Hills of India. This toy train links the city of Mettupalayam with the renowned hill station of Udagamandalam (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu. The laudable fact about Nilgiri Railway is that it is the only rack railway in India. Recently, the train has been credited as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO that brought Nilgiri Train amongst the rare and unique railways of the world.
Since 1845, the railway line saw its construction, yet it was ultimately
opened by the British in 1899. At the outset, it was managed and
controlled by the Madras Railway Company. Nilgiri Mountain Railway is
one amongst the very few railways reliant on steam locomotives in the
world. The NMR covers a comfortable distance of 46 km (28 miles)
traveling all the way through 208 curves, 16 tunnels and 250 bridges.
The journey takes no less than 290 minutes going uphill and 215 minutes
coming downhill. The track of Nilgiri Railway is secluded from other
narrow gauge with gauge of 1 m. The line uses the rack and pinion system
to mount the steep ramp previous to Coonoor. At this juncture, the train
is operated by steam rack locomotive created by the Swiss Locomotive
Works. This locomotive is always tasseled at the downhill end of the
In the present day, there is one daily service from Mettupalayam. There
are four daily trains that ply both ways connecting Coonoor and
Udagamandalam. The diesel locomotives are used only on the upper section
of the track. In the case of steam locomotives, they can be used either
with or without the rack section as per the requirement. Nilgiri Toy
Train looks marvelous with a tint of blue and cream with wooden coaches.
For safety reasons, the train runs at an average speed of 10.4 km per
hour, making it the slowest train of India. However, the slow pace is
advantageous for the travelers to behold the mesmerizing beauty of the
hills that never ceases. The setting of train's track makes the journey
all the more bewitching amidst the lofty mountains of eternal charm.
Nilgiri Toy Train is certainly a prize to cherish for the Indian Railways.