Representational image
Representational image

Mumbai: The Central Railways have planned to run the famous tourist attraction of toy train on the complete section between Neral to Matheran likely by March 2018. This announcement was made at a press conference at Matheran on Wednesday.

In order to enhance the safety of passengers travelling on this train, the railways have proposed for track renewal, and all required safety apparatus are in the process of installation on the remaining stretch between Neral to Amanlodge which is non-operational.

The safety apparatus which include gabion wall, anti-crash barrier and retaining wall have been proposed on this route. “These are protective features which would ensure safety of passengers in case of a derailment. The gabion wall is a structure of large rocks placed surrounding the valleys for the safety of passengers,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer of central railways.

The toy train was not run on this stretch as it has sharp curves which could lead to a derailment. Now, the track on this stretch will be realigned before the train is run on the remaining stretch.

“There is a 120-degree-curve on one particular section between Neral to Amanlodge which was alarming in terms of safety of passengers travelling on the train. Hence, it was decided to first install the protective features before running the train on the complete stretch,” added Udasi.

The railways have invested at least Rs 6.75 crores for works related to construct safety related equipment on the stretch between Neral to Amanlodge which is non-operational. “In addition, we have also proposed the work of track renewal which is estimated at Rs 11.25 crores on this stretch. The track will be realigned due to presence of sharp curves,” added a senior central railway official.

Currently, the toy train is operational between Aman Lodge to Matheran. The train consists of six coaches which includes three second class coaches, one first class and two brake vans.

This new braking system is being operated operated using a switch which was otherwise done manually. There were two incidents of derailments reported on this train which took place last year. “The derailment took place as the brakes were applied manually and it was difficult for the concerned staffer to apply them in sync,” added the official.

The cost of a first class ticket for an adult person on this train is Rs 300 and Rs 180 for a child. An adult travelling in the second class coach of this train will cost Rs 45 and Rs 30 for a child.

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Free Press Journal