New locomotive a treat for NMR’s travel enthusiasts

The third indigenous steam locomotive desig­ned for the Nilgiris Moun­tain Railway (NMR) and manufactured at Gold­enrock in Tiruchy arrived at the Mettupalyam railway station at the foothills of the Nilgiris Friday afternoon.

It will be subjected to trial runs on the NMR track before being commissioned for regular service. The railways decided to manufacture indigenous steam locomotives in 2010 for the NMR that has been accorded world heritage status on account of its long innings in the hills, to replace in a phased manner its four old steam locomotives that often developed technical snags and made the train journey up the mountain unreliable in the past.

The first indigenous locomotive manufactured at Goldenrock was inducted into the NMR in March 2011 and the second, in March 2012. While the first initially developed technical problems, the railways were able to resolve them.

The second in the series has been trouble-free so far.The third indigenous steam locomotive for the NMR , built at a cost of `4 crore, is oil-fired like the other two. It will be taken on a trial run in the racked NMR sector between Mettupalayam and Coonoor next week before being inducted.

K.Natarajan, president of the Heritage Steam Chariot Trust, an organisation of NMR aficionados, hailed the railways for making the effort to upgrade it and and hoped the new locomotives would help the NMR make more trips up the hill.


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