Ooty Toy Train

Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Ooty Toy Train): Famous Heritage Ride through the Hills

Nilgiri Mountain Railway, also known as Ooty Toy Train, is a heritage mountain railway that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty, via Coonoor, in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the oldest and most scenic mountain railways in India, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. It operates on a meter gauge track and uses both steam and diesel locomotives. It offers a spectacular ride through the rocky terrain, ravines, tea plantations, and forested hills of the Nilgiris. Visit during One day Trip Ooty local sightseeing package

Location of Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway starts from Mettupalayam, a town at the foothills of the Nilgiris, about 200 km from Chennai and 50 km from Coimbatore. It ends at Ooty, a popular hill station and the district headquarters of the Nilgiris, at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level. The railway covers a distance of 46 km and passes through 16 tunnels, 250 bridges, and 208 curves. The railway has five stations along the way: Kallar, Hillgrove, Coonoor, Wellington, and Lovedale.

Timing / Entry Fees Ooty toy train

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway operates one round trip every day between Mettupalayam and Ooty. The train departs from Mettupalayam at 7:10 am and reaches Ooty at 12:00 pm. The return journey starts from Ooty at 2:00 pm and reaches Mettupalayam at 5:35 pm. The train also operates three round trips between Coonoor and Ooty every day. The timings are as follows:

  • Coonoor to Ooty: 7:45 am, 10:40 am, and 12:35 pm
  • Ooty to Coonoor: 9:15 am, 12:15 pm, and 4:00 pm

The fare for the train varies depending on the class and the section of travel. The fare for the first class ticket from Mettupalayam to Ooty is Rs. 205 per person, while the second class ticket costs Rs. 30 per person. The unreserved ticket costs Rs. 15 per person. The fare for the first class ticket from Coonoor to Ooty is Rs. 140 per person, while the second class ticket costs Rs. 25 per person.

How to Reach Nilgiri Mountain Railway from City Centre

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway can be reached from different cities by various modes of transport, such as:

  • By Air: The nearest airport to Mettupalayam is Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 55 km away. The airport has flights from major cities in India and abroad. From the airport, one can take a taxi or a bus to Mettupalayam railway station.
  • By Rail: The nearest railway station to Mettupalayam is Mettupalayam railway station, which is connected to Chennai by the daily Nilgiri Express train. The train arrives at Mettupalayam at 6:15 am and connects with the toy train’s morning departure. The train also connects with the toy train’s evening arrival in Mettupalayam on the return journey. From other cities, one can take a train to Coimbatore railway station and then take a taxi or a bus to Mettupalayam railway station.
  • By Road: Mettupalayam is well connected by road to various cities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There are regular buses that ply between Mettupalayam and Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, etc. One can also hire a taxi or a cab to reach Mettupalayam.

Things to Do / Must See Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Ooty or Coonoor. Some of the things to do and see while riding the toy train are:

  • Enjoy the scenery: The main attraction of Nilgiri Mountain Railway is enjoying the scenery of the Nilgiri Hills along the way. The train passes through many tunnels, bridges, curves, waterfalls, streams, valleys, plantations, and villages that offer a glimpse of the natural and cultural diversity of the region. The train also offers a stunning view of the Nilgiri range, the Eastern Ghats, and the Western Ghats from different points. The scenery is especially beautiful during the monsoon and winter seasons, when the hills are covered with mist and greenery.
  • Experience the heritage: The train also offers a unique experience of the heritage of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which is one of the oldest and most scenic mountain railways in India. The train has blue and cream wooden carriages with large windows that give a vintage feel. The train also uses steam locomotives on some sections, which add to the charm and nostalgia of the ride. The train also passes through some historical landmarks, such as the Stone House, the first bungalow built in Ooty by the British in 1822, and the St. Stephen’s Church, one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris.
  • Explore the stations: The train also stops at five stations along the way, where one can explore the local attractions and amenities. The most important station is Coonoor, which is a tourist destination in itself. Coonoor is known for its world-famous teas, which can be tasted and bought at various tea estates and factories. Coonoor also has some attractions, such as Sim’s Park, Lamb’s Rock, Dolphin’s Nose, etc. The other stations are Kallar, Hillgrove, Wellington, and Lovedale, which have their own charm and beauty.

Significance of Ooty Toy Train

Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a significant place for Indians, as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national treasure. It is also a significant place for railway enthusiasts, as it is one of the few mountain railways that still use steam locomotives and have a meter gauge track. It is also a significant place for nature lovers, as it passes through some of the most scenic and biodiverse regions of the Nilgiris.

According to history, Nilgiri Mountain Railway was built by the British in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to provide access to their summer resort of Ooty. The railway was completed in 1908 after overcoming many engineering challenges and difficulties. The railway was operated by the Madras Railway until 1908, when it was taken over by the Southern Railway. The railway has been running continuously since then, with some modifications and improvements over time.

FAQ’s

Q: When was Nilgiri Mountain Railway built?

A: Nilgiri Mountain Railway was built between 1899 and 1908.

Q: Why is Nilgiri Mountain Railway called Ooty Toy Train?

A: Nilgiri Mountain Railway is called Ooty Toy Train because it looks like a toy train due to its small size and slow speed.

Conclusion

Nilgiri Mountain Railway, also known as Ooty Toy Train, is a heritage mountain railway that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty, via Coonoor, in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the oldest and most scenic mountain railways in India, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. It operates on a meter gauge track and uses both steam and diesel locomotives.

It offers a spectacular ride through the rocky terrain, ravines, tea plantations, and forested hills of the Nilgiris. It is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Ooty or Coonoor who can enjoy the scenery, experience the heritage, and explore the stations along the way. It is also a significant place for Indians, as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national treasure.

It is also a significant place for railway enthusiasts, as it is one of the few mountain railways that still use steam locomotives and have a meter gauge track. It is also a significant place for nature lovers, as it passes through some of the most scenic and biodiverse regions of the Nilgiris.

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