About greater than a century outdated, the enduring mini toy practice at Matheran hill station close to Mumbai is prone to resume practice providers by the tip of 2022. The mini toy trains’ providers have been suspended following intensive injury to its slender gauge rail tracks on account of heavy rains. As soon as this greater than a century-old heritage practice begins chugging once more after the restoration work price Rs 5 crore will get over, travelling by it is going to be safer and extra comfy as in comparison with the pre-2019 interval.
The 20-km lengthy slender gauge Neral-Matheran practice got here to a grinding halt three years again because the railway line was severely broken on account of torrential rains and landslides. The practice is at present operational solely between two stations – Matheran and Aman Lodge – out of the full 5 stations. Between Neral and Aman Lodge, there are two stations named Jummapatti and Water Pipe.
The officers mentioned that the Central Railways (CR) has undertaken monitor renewal and different associated work, which is anticipated to recover from by the tip of this yr. The Neral-Matheran line was in-built 1907 as a household enterprise of the Peerbhoys and is now on the United Nations Academic, Scientific, and Cultural Group’s (UNESCO) tentative record of World Heritage Websites.
This toy practice is likely one of the main points of interest among the many vacationers, particularly youngsters, visiting Matheran hill station, positioned about 100 km from right here in Raigad district. Aside from carrying passengers, the practice helps the locals in ferrying important objects and different issues.
The monitor renewal work consists of changing outdated rails with new ones, altering the sooner metal, iron, and picket sleepers with concrete ones, putting in anti-crash boundaries, erecting gabion partitions, and constructing drains, amongst others, they mentioned. In keeping with the CR, it has already put in cement sleepers on the practically 12 km stretch of the route.
Matheran hill station is positioned at an elevation of round 2,600 ft above sea stage. For the reason that practice passes via a ghat (hilly) part having some sharp curves, the railway authorities are additionally putting in new anti-crash boundaries at harmful spots overlooking the deep valley.
To keep away from injury to tracks throughout monsoon, the CR has been constructing drains alongside the route in some sections, erecting gabion partitions at sure places, and bolting rocks at some locations to forestall landslides. In keeping with the officers, the estimated price of the work is round Rs 5 crore.
“The Neral-Matheran monitor renewal and different security work will assist make journey safer, extra comfy, and higher. The work is anticipated to be accomplished by the tip of the yr,” Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of the CR, mentioned.
The officers mentioned that through the 2019 monsoon, the railway line was severely broken and acquired breached at greater than 20 places. At a number of spots, the tracks loosened up and even began hanging out because the embankment beneath it acquired washed away.
Sutar mentioned that the alternative of sleepers and rails will enhance the practice experience expertise as passengers will not really feel the bumps. Anti-crash boundaries will make journeys safer, he mentioned. A small stretch between Aman Lodge and Matheran was restored in December 2019 and has been practical since then.
Within the regular course, vacationers can attain Matheran both utilizing this practice or by highway. For the reason that mini practice service is at present shut between Neral and Aman Lodge stations, passengers should depend on both cabs or personal automobiles to succeed in the hill station.
However automobiles are allowed solely as much as Dasturi Naka, the entry level of Matheran, and solely ambulances have permission to proceed additional. Within the absence of the mini practice service until Matheran, vacationers, in addition to locals, should shell out a hefty quantity for the highway journey.
Furthermore, after reaching Dasturi Naka, they should both stroll or rent a horse experience or hand cart to go to their desired vacation spot in Matheran. On this scenario, carrying baggage turns into a troublesome process. So the mini practice is the one mode of transport that takes vacationers to Matheran market from Neral village, and maybe essentially the most handy one which additionally gives a fascinating view.
(With inputs from PTI)