Travelling for many is a hobby, they get to visit beautiful places and imbibe the culture. And for many the maximum pleasure of travelling comes by using the Indian railways. The reach of Indian railways is quiet far; it even covers the most difficult mountainous terrains too. The Himalayan foothills and the Nilgiris range of hills are also covered by the Indian Railways. Trains that ply on these terrains are generally steam engines and almost becoming a heritage. Let us look at one such railways and that is the Nilgiris Mountain railways.
Nilgiris Mountain railways, was set up the British a century ago in the year 1908. This ideally operated under the Madras Railway division and uses steam engines to ply trains on this route. Along with Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, the Nilgiris Mountain railways were added as a part of the UNESCO heritage list and together they came to be known as the Mountain railways. Thereby whatever plans of modernization were being though upon came to an abrupt end. However for the past couple of years, the railways have started using diesel locomotives on this route, but there is a huge public demand to bring back the old steam engines on the track.
Trains running on this route.
There are few trains which run on these routes, few of them are the one which starts from Mettupalayam, early in the morning at 7:10 and reach Ooty, the tourist hub around noon. The same train starts it journey back from Ooty at 3:00 and reaches the destination late in the evening at 6:35 p.m. There is another train which runs from Mettupalayam to Chennai thorough Coimbatore. During the summer time, which is the peak season for tourism in this part of the hills the train starts from Mettupalayam at 9:30 am and touches Ooty at 12:15.
Among the stations of udagamandalam and Connor another of the two tourist hotspots, there are a daily quota of four trains which run on this track. Though most of the stations at the Nilgiris station list have a computerized ticket booking, they still stick to the old tickets just to maintain the world heritage site status. But the best part about this is that you can book your tickets for the Nilgiris Mountain railway through the Indian railways website namely the irctc.
It is always advisable, that if you are travelling to this side during the peak season it is advisable to get your tickets booked for this journey too, as during summer season which the peak season the availability of tickets are a little doubtful. There are lots of stations on this route and all are very above the sea level, namely Mettupalayam, Kallar, Adderly, Hillgrove, Runneymade, Kateri Road, Coonoor, Wellington, Aruvankadu, Ketti, Lovedale and Ooty.
There has been extensive film shooting that has been done around this area for many movies. Hence if you are movie buff and you plan to visit this place, you might have the feeling that you seen this before already.