The Nilgiri mountain railway that connects Mettupalayam and Ooty in Tamil Nadu gives travellers a chance to breathe cool and fresh air. The train covers the 46-km route along the hills in around four-and-a-half hours. There are two services on the route. The train starts from Mettupalayam at 7.10 am for Ooty. The return trip from Ooty departs at 3.30 pm.
There are three compartments in the train and 87 seats in two bogies can be booked in advance through the Indian Railways' website. The tickets for the seats in the general compartment are issued just before the departure.
The journey covers three sections. The first is from Mettupalayam to Kallar, the first station on the route. From there, the train climbs the mountain with the help of the rack and pinion fixed in the middle of the two tracks. The rack and pinion system is laid from Kallar to Coonoor. There are 208 bends, 13 tunnels, 27 long bridges connecting hills, and 133 small bridges along the 26 km covered by the train in the second section. The third section is from Coonoor to Ooty.
Things to remember
Always carry food while travelling on the Nilgiri railway. But never dump plastic waste and other items in the forest area on the sides of the track. Dormitory facilities are available for travellers arriving at Coonoor railway station before 5 pm.
For more details, click www.indianrail.gov.in>ooty, nilgiris.nic.in