Matheran Toy Train Guide

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 of Matheran. 

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 few feet.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. You can also get a train from Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Thane, Kalyan, Dombivali, Ambernath or Shelu.
  3. 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

  1. Make sure you book in advance on the authorized website of Neral Toy Train, and IRCTC. 
  2. Do not carry any wasteful substances and make sure you keep the area around you clean and litter free.
  3. In case you miss the toy train for some reason, you can also take a shared taxi to Matheran from the Neral Station.
Newly Added Matheran Experience
We were a group of 7 people who booked this trek. It was an amazing adventure for all of us. We started early in the morning and reached the trek base. We started at 8:30 AM. The morning was beautiful as we stated, the whole green view was something which you should have seen. Although the sun was playing with us but the weather was perfectly fine. We reach Garbett Plateau at around 1:30 PM and had a great lunch there. Then we started to Matheran by 4:40 and then towards Dasturi Naka. It was altogether a wonderful trip. Our guide was also good and providing us with all the information about the place. Good one!
I always wanted to head out for a trek along with my friends but never had the chance. This time my friends booked a trek for us without my knowledge as a surprise. And guys! I tell you I had the best time of my life trekking and enjoying the scenic views. Our trek was to Matheran, I am sure most of you might have already heard about this tiny little hill station. Our meeting point was Bhivpuri Station and at around 8:30 AM we started our trek. Trekking through the scenic views was definitely a cure for our mind and souls. We reach the Garbett Plateau and the view was something which will be cherished by us forever. We also made some new friends during the trip. With the scenic views we also got a chance to witness the diversified flora and fauna of this region. We also had very wonderful guide who was very friendly and keeping us all occupied with his funny jokes.
A great one! It was a very great trek for all of us. Everything was very well arranged. I and my girl went on this trip. The tour operator has very well maintained everything. It was on time and we started at around 8:30 AM. It was a refreshing day although a bit cold. For your own convenience you can wear thin sweater if you want. The scenic views are something that really made our trek more interesting. Just be a little cautious about the grounds at some parts. We also enjoyed a great lunch and refreshments. Thumbs up for this one!
It was one of the memorable trips for all of us. We were glad that we went on this tour. t was very well arranged and we also had an amazing guide. And the best thing was it was very safe for girls. Thanks to the team and the organizers. Loved it.
It was a wonderful trek to Matheran. I was on a solo trip and guess what I didn’t have to worry about anything. Everything was very well organized. The food was good and so was our guide. He was very friendly. I also made some new friends there and learnt that most of them were beginners. Since it was a trek for the day we covered all the places as mentioned on the package. Altogether a great trek.
Wow!!! what an experience. I had done rappelling many a time but this one was different because it is the waterfall rappelling the equipment provided to us was good and safe with proper instruction before we start the activity, the place was lovely. The experience I can't express how much fun I am during the activity but It was "wowwww"
Waterfall rappelling was great and fun with safety measures, There are lots of people who take part in this activity but we do not need to wait as the staff was very good to manage things in a proper way.
I had a great time with my friends here in the villa without hassle. The rooms were very comfortable and clean, The housekeeping was very accomodating and kind helps us to explore all around areas. It's worth everything for me.
Absolutely nice stay with nice delicious Maharashtrian cuisine meals. The caretakers were very nice and friendly. Highly recommended for everyone.
awesome trek for beginners.

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