November 14, 2023 – If you were eagerly anticipating a scenic journey through the Nilgiris, it’s time to rethink your travel plans. The Indian Railways has temporarily halted several trains on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) due to the adverse effects of excessive rainfall and landslides on the century-old rail route. The picturesque stretch, known for its breathtaking landscapes, has faced disruptions as trees have fallen on the tracks between Kallar and Coonoor, necessitating immediate restoration efforts.
Currently, the railway tracks are under repair, and all rail traffic on the NMR will remain suspended until November 16, 2023. The Southern Railway (SR), which administers the NMR, has assured passengers of cancelled train services a full refund of their ticket fare.
Here’s a list of the trains that have been cancelled:
- Train number 06136 Mettupalayam-Udagamandalam Passenger Special scheduled to leave Mettupalayam at 07:10 hrs
- Train number 06137 Udagamandalam-Mettupalayam Passenger Special scheduled to leave Udagamandalam at 14:00 hrs
- Train number 06141 Coonoor-Udagamandalam Passenger train leaving Coonoor at 07:45 hrs
- Train number 06143 Coonoor-Udagamandalam Passenger train leaving Coonoor at 12:35 hrs
- Train number 06138 Coonoor-Udagamandalam Passenger train leaving Coonoor at 16:00 hrs
- Train number 06139 Udagamandalam-Coonoor Passenger train leaving Udagamandalam at 09:15 hrs
- Train number 06142 Udagamandalam-Coonoor Passenger train leaving Udagamandalam at 12:15 hrs
- Train number 06140 Udagamandalam-Coonoor Passenger train leaving Udagamandalam at 17:30 hrs
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, renowned for being one of the steepest in Asia with a gradient of 112.5, covers a distance of 46 km, making it the longest mountain railway in India. This temporary disruption in service not only impacts travel plans but also highlights the vulnerability of such heritage railways to the forces of nature.
India boasts several ‘toy trains,’ designated as heritage railways, including the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal and the Kalka-Shimla Railway in the Himalayan foothills. These railways, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites, provide a unique and historic train-ride experience, weaving through challenging terrains and offering passengers a glimpse into the country’s rich railway heritage.