Heritage Revival: Matheran's Toy Train to Sport Classic Steam Engine Look

The iconic toy train at Matheran will receive a heritage makeover with its diesel engine redesigned to resemble a steam engine, despite continuing to run on diesel. Engineers at the Central Railway's Mumbai workshop are working on this transformation. This initiative aims to enhance tourist experience, boost local tourism, and create employment. The project, involving significant technical modifications, is expected to complete by next month. Neral-Matheran Light Railway, one of India’s heritage mountain railways operational since 1907, remains shut during monsoons but offers shuttle services between certain stations.

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 18-05-2024 09:23 IST | Created: 18-05-2024 09:23 IST
Heritage Revival: Matheran's Toy Train to Sport Classic Steam Engine Look
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The iconic toy train that runs at Matheran, a hill station located around 100 km from Mumbai, will soon get a heritage makeover as the present diesel-run engine will be given the look of a steam engine of the past, officials said. The Central Railway (CR), which operates this narrow gauge train that passes through a difficult and steep mountainous terrain offering a picturesque view of a thickly wooded ridge and a valley, has decided to give a heritage look to it to revive the glorious past of this train, they said.

But despite the new steam engine look, the train will continue to run on diesel, the officials added.

''A special team of engineers and technicians have been working 24x7 at the Central Railway's workshop in Mumbai's Parel to create a model of the steam engine hood and make necessary changes to ensure smooth running of the engine by also maintaining the heritage look,'' CR's chief public relations officer Swapnil Nila said.

The entire process of giving the heritage look involved a lot of technical processes, including the removal of hoods of the existing engine, manufacturing and fitting of the new heritage steam locomotive-like hood, modifications in the present diesel engine, fitting of steam vapour and sound producing system and finally painting of the engine with the new heritage hood and decorating the same with stickers as per requirement, he said. ''This initiative will not only enhance the overall experience for tourists but also contribute significantly to the local economy by promoting tourism and providing employment opportunities,'' Nila said, adding that the undergoing modification work is likely to be completed next month.

The Neral-Matheran Light Railway, which is one amongst the few heritage mountain railways in India has completed 116 years with the first toy train service run by steam engine commencing in 1907.

The Neral-Matheran railway's construction started in 1904 and the two feet gauge line finally opened to traffic three years later.

This train that runs on a 21-km long stretch between Neral and Matheran is quite popular, especially among children. But the services remain shut between Neral station located at the foothills and Aman Lodge, during the monsoon, but shuttle services between Aman Lodge and Matheran continue even during that period.

The CR has undertaken several infrastructural works in the Neral-Matheran section to ensure a safe and comfortable ride to the passengers.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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