110-year-old toy train chugs back to life

Matheran toy train’s orig­i­nal er­ror-prone man­ual brakes have been re­placed with a safer air sys­tem

Gulf News - - India -

Af­ter nearly 18 months, the 110-year-old Matheran Toy Train re­sumed par­tial ser­vices, yes­ter­day. It was sus­pended in May 2016 fol­low­ing sev­eral de­rail­ments, a top of­fi­cial said.

“The train re­sumed ser­vices on the crit­i­cal Mather­anA­man Lodge sec­tor, around 3.5km dis­tance. We are plan­ning to restart ser­vices on the en­tire 21km Neral-Matheran route as soon as pos­si­ble,” Cen­tral Rail­way (CR) CPRO Su­nil Udasi said.

So the CR started 12 shut­tles daily on the route. It started from Matheran at 8.50am and re­turned from Aman Lodge at 9.25am, in what is Asia’s only au­to­mo­bile-free hill sta­tion nes­tled in the Western Ghats, around 110km from both Mum­bai and Pune. To en­sure pas­sen­ger safety, the CR has in­tro­duced en­hanced safety fea­tures in the toy train Phul Rani, and re­placed the orig­i­nal man­ual brakes with the safer air brakes sys­tem.

In the orig­i­nal sys­tem, there was a man­ual brak­ing sys­tem, in which six brake porters ap­plied the brakes in sync; any time lag would cause an ac­ci­dent.

Easy to stop

Un­der the new air brake sys­tem, the train driver can now slow down or ap­ply the brakes as re­quired with­out the in­volve­ment of the brake porters.

Udasi said that the fi­nal tri­als to check the safety and op­er­a­tional is­sues be­fore top of­fi­cials were con­ducted on Sun­day be­fore giv­ing the green sig­nal to re­sume op­er­a­tions.

The nar­row gauge toy train as­cends in a zigzag from Neral to Matheran, around 762-me­tres from sea-level.


Matheran toy Train as­cends in a zigzag from Neral to Matheran, around 762-me­tres from sea-level.

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