Matheran toy train will operate till 9pm

If you’ve taken even a few weekend trips away from the city, chances are you’ve been on the Neral-Aman Lodge-Matheran toy train. Now, the 105-year-old train chugs along over 21 kilometres of ghats will get a makeover. The Central Railway (CR) is taking different measures to sustain the service that has been running into losses. These include strengthening the tracks, extending services to later in the evening and renovating the railway station. Currently, the railways incur an annual expense of Rs. 16 crore in maintaining and operating the diesel locomotives. The fare box collection is only Rs. 30-40lakh.

“It is impossible to operate the services with such a high investment and such low returns. Therefore, we will try different ways to increase the revenue. We are also working on reducing the cost of operations by making technical improvements,” said Subodh Jain, general manager, CR.

The railways are trying to increase the speed and capacity of service by adding more coaches and a rear engine to the existing train. Currently, a five-coach train runs along the Neral-Matheran stretch. The administration is planning to extend this to eight coaches.

In addition, the plans of starting services at night are also at an inception stage. “Currently, the last train from Matheran leaves at 6.30pm, but there is a huge demand for night trains from tourists and locals. Therefore, we will request the commissioner of railway safety to add two more services after sunset that will allow these trains to operate till 9pm and allow luggage to be transported after that,” added Jain.

The administration has also added 5-seater luxury family coach to the toy train. The coach has a sofa couch and a camera fitted outside it, which will enable the commuters seated inside to enjoy the view without opening the windows.

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Toy train to have more leg space, luxe coaches

From Saturday, you can look forward to a more comfortable journey aboard the Matheran toy train. Central Railway (CR) will reduce the number of seats from 18 to 16 in first-class compartments to offer more leg space to passengers. And if all goes according to plan, you will soon be able to tickle your taste buds while taking in the scenic sights on way to the hill station on the century-old train. CR has now firmed up plans to carve out a compartment with luxurious fittings,comfortable sofas and piping hot food for Matheran-bound passengers.

At present, the toy-train, which runs on narrow-gauge, has second- and first-class compartments. The luxury coach will be a welcome addition for those who wish to enjoy the beauty of the hills.

The initiative is the brainchild of CR general manager Subodh Jain, who has asked his team to work on the design of such a coach. The fare and maximum number of passengers to be allowed in the luxury coach are yet to be determined. It will have comfortable sofas, attractive interiors and carpet. CR also plans to serve hot food to passengers of this compartment during the journey.

Jain said, “A package will be designed especially for travel by the luxury coach. In the interim, we have decided to modify the seating arrangement in the first-class coach to make it more spacious.”

The 106-year-old Matheran Light Rail (MLR) is 19.97-km long and there are 221 curves on the stretch. Due to the steep slope,ittakesover twohoursto cover the distance from Neral to Matheran and one hour and forty minutes on its return journey. On September 30, CR introduced the first monsoon run on the MLR. It now runs a shuttle service on the 3-km stretch between Aman Lodge andMatheran during rains. MATHERAN MAGIC
MORE LEG SPACE | From Saturday, CR will reduce the number of seats from 18 to 16 in first-class compartments of Matheran toy train.

TASTY TREAT | CR plans to introduce a luxury coach on the toy train. This coach will have luxurious fittings, comfortable sofas and tapestry. Piping hot food will be served to passengers.

Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 4:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Matheran toy train to get swanky coaches

Matheran’s toy train will soon have swanky coaches that offer a panoramic view of the hills to commuters.

The old coaches, of wood and metal, were built in the 1960-70s but were refurbished periodically. Unlike the old coaches, which had benches, the new ones will have chair car-type seats that are retractable with arm rests and eye-pleasing interiors made of fire-retardant material.

Published in: on November 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm  Comments (1)