The Indian Mountain Railways were built during the British Raj and continue to be objects of adoration. It is indeed a pleasure riding these ‘toy trains’, as they are popularly called. Views of mist-shrouded mountains thickly covered with tea plantations make the rides even more enjoyable, and it’s something you should definitely put on your bucket list. Wondering where to begin? Here is a list of four picturesque locations where you can enjoy toy train rides with family:
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
The oldest of all the toy trains in India, the DHR runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, covering a total distance of about 80 km. The excursion allows you to marvel at the raw, natural beauty of the mighty Himalayas. Look out for a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga when the train whistles through the famed Batasia Loop near Ghum.
Schedule: 18 trains ply daily between Darjeeling and Ghum, from 7.20 am to 4.20 pm
A breathtaking view of the steep roads to Shimla awaits you when you board the toy train at Kalka near Chandigarh. The best part of the ride is the scenic beauty that awaits you between Barog and Shimla, when the train passes through steep curves and seemingly endless tunnels. The entire journey covers about 96 km and takes approximately 5 hours.
Schedule: 5 trains operate every day between Kalka and Shimla between 3.30 am and 12 pm.
Matheran Hill Railway
Matheran Hill Railway is a short track from Neral to the little hill station of Matheran. This mini train covers 20 km in a little over 2 hours. Thanks to this lazy pace, you can relax, breathe in the beautiful fragrance of the brown soil, and pause to take some amazing pictures.
Schedule: 5 trains ply daily between 6.30 am and 9.30 am. The service may, however, be shortened or stopped during the monsoons.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
When you are in Ooty, do not miss a ride on the Nilgiri Toy Train. It begins its mesmerising journey from Ooty and plies to Mettupalayam via Coonoor – a distance of 46 km. The route teems with tea plantations and is surrounded by thick evergreen forests that make it a wonderful experience for you and your family.
Schedule: 4 trains run daily from Ooty to Coonoor between 9 am and 6 pm. 2 trains run between Mettupalayam and Ooty between 7 am and 5.30 pm.
Where to stay in Ooty
Ooty has long been regarded as one of the top holiday destinations in India, and the toy train ride is just one of the many things to do while you are there. If you choose to go to Ooty for the magical mountain railway, you are in for a treat. The beauty of many of the places in Ooty is best experienced through a ride on the toy train.
To make the most of your wonderful holiday, plan your stay in Ooty at one of the two Club Mahindra Resorts – Danish Villa or Derby Green resort in Ooty. Check out Club Mahindra Resort Reviews online to understand what makes Club Mahindra resorts the best in town.
Stay in comfortable rooms that provide the best of all essential amenities. What’s more, you can enjoy lip-smacking food at the in-house restaurants, making your trip a truly memorable one!