Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a meter-gauge railway line 1000 mm long that passes through the queenly hill station of Ooty in Tamil Nadu. The fleet of steam locomotives running on this line is aptly nicknamed ‘the Toy Train’ and is greatly popular among children. The train covers a total distance of 46 km over a span of 5 hours, meandering by the rolling hills, green meadows, and view of the forested slopes. Localities bob up from within the greens with their red-tiled roofs and the train stops every once in a while at quaint little hill stations. You will be waved through Mettupalayam, Kellar, Coonoor, Wellington, Lovedale, and Ootacamund on this ride, reaching the point of 4,363 ft at the maximum. There are a number of pitch-dark tunnels to cross through, sharp bends along the mountains, thickly forested stretches, and a wide panorama of verdant meadow highlands to enjoy from your window seat. It is not just the brilliant picturesque quality of this dream-like rail journey that makes it so special, but also the fact that the Nilgiri Mountain Railway is part of India’s heritage. The tracks were laid down by the British Indian administration in the year 1908.Also, the trains use locomotives from over 50 and 80 years back-- the specimens of the oldest x-class locomotives still in use. UNESCO declared the railway as a World Heritage Site in 2005, extending it to the greater heritage site of Mountain Railways of India.