Image Source: Himanshu Sarpotdar - Flickr
If you have ever dreamt
of travelling on the ‘Choo Choo
Train’ as a child nor
if ‘Thomas: The Tank Engine’ was
your favourite cartoon character; chances are that you are just as fascinated
by trains even today! Embark on a joyride of a lifetime on the Matheran Toy
Train! The charming train runs along the Neral to Matheran route and climbs up
the cheerful hillsides on a narrowly snaking route. The toy train covers a
distance of 21km and travels across the rich and lush forests hugging the hills
This romantic railway ride is the pride and joy of this charming
hill station that is enveloped in the beauty of forests, rich wildlife and a
diverse range of flora and fauna. However, the best part about Matheran is that
vehicles of all kinds are banned here, making it a pollution free, relaxing and
peaceful getaway from the city.
The construction of this heritage train service was started in
the year 1901 by a philanthropist Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy, who loved coming to
Matheran for his summer getaway. The young lad wanted to build a train route
that would make it easier to visit his preferred hill station. Thus,
construction ran for almost 6 years and costed a whopping 16 lakh,a fairly exorbitant sum for that era. However,
thanks to his efforts and the engineer’s painstaking manual labour, the toy train was inaugurated for its
firs ride in the year 1907, making it a heritage that is almost 108 years old!
Starting at Neral, the toy train easily covers the distance
between the high hills of Matheran in about 2 hours and pauses at a few
stations on the way before its final halt at Matheran. The train also goes
through a small tunnel on the way quirkily called, ‘One Kiss Tunnel’! The tunnel runs for a length of
How to get to Neral:
Image Source: ganuullu - Flickr
The first question that would naturally pop up in your minds if
you are NOT a Mumbaikar, is, how does one get to Neral? You can get to the
station of origin using any one of the following routes:
- Take a train from CST to Khopoli or Karjat station. Both, the
slow and fast trains, halt at Neral on their way to the final station.
- You can also get a train from Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Thane,
Kalyan, Dombivali, Ambernath or Shelu.
- Once you come to Neral, get over to the other side of the
station to catch the toy train to Matheran station.
Things to keep in mind:
Himanshu Sarpotdar - Flickr
- Make sure you book in advance on the authorized website of
Neral Toy Train, and IRCTC.
- Do not carry any wasteful substances and make sure you keep
the area around you clean and litter free.
- In case you miss the
toy train for some reason, you can also take a shared taxi to Matheran from the