After a gap of three years, the Matheran Hill Railway has started chugging into the hill town to the delight of travellers. One of the biggest draws of visiting the hill town of Matheran in Maharashtra is the toy train which travels to and from Neral (about 75km away from Mumbai by road).
The iconic railway line was built by the father-son duo Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy between 1901 and 1906, and opened for travel in 1907. Known as the Matheran Hill Railway (Neral-Matheran Light Railway), it is the only direct access into town because Matheran is a no-vehicle zone. The route lies through the Western Ghat hills and offers a panoramic view of the countryside.
On A Roll
The refurbished train has five regular coaches (first and second class) and one Vistadome coach. Travellers have not only responded well to the reopening of the railway line but the special coach, which offers a three sixty degree view of the forested hills, has been a great hit from the very first day. Media reports quoting the Central Railways said that the zonal railway earned Rs 1.38 lakh and Rs 1.2 lakh in revenue from passengers travelling from Neral to Matheran and vice versa, respectively between October 22 and 26, of which Rs 78,600 have come from ticket sales for the Vistadome coach alone.