In July 2005, Nilgiri Mountain Railway was added by UNESCO as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway took 45 years to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and complete the construction and installation after it was first planned in 1854. The line, initially owned by Madras Railway, opened for traffic in June 1899.
The mountain railway was subsequently purchased by the South Indian Railway Company. In 1908, the line was extended to Ootacamund (Ooty) from Coonoor at a cost of Rs. 24,40,000, covering an additional stretch of around 19 km.
In July 2005, Nilgiri Mountain Railway was added by UNESCO as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The site came to be known as mountain railways of India.
Lying partly in Coimbatore district and partly in Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu, the 45.88 km long railway line from Mettupalaiyam to Ooty is on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. The track is made of 50 lb rails and the sharpest curve on the section is 17.5 degrees.
This is the only rack railway in India that has 250 bridges on the line, out of which 32 are major ones and 15 are road over bridges, with 16 tunnels between Kallar and Ooty all of which are in excellent condition.
The maximum permissible speed on Mettupalaiyam-Kallar and Coonoor-Udagamandalam “Non-Rack” system is 30 km/h while between Kallar and Coonoor “RACK” section the maximum permissible speed is 13 km/h.
Here is the schedule for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The 56136/Mettupalayam-Ooty MG Passenger train leaves Mettupalayam at 7.10 am and arrives in Ooty at noon. Coming back, the 56137/Ooty-Mettupalayam MG Passenger train leaves Ooty at 2 pm and reaches Mettupalayam at 5.35 pm.
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