The toy train, a big attraction for tourists visiting the picturesque Matheran hill station near here, has once again resumed its journey after being halted for over one year following a couple of mishaps.
The services of the 110-year-old toy train, synonymous with the tourist spot located in the Western Ghats of the neighbouring Raigad district, were suspended in May last year following two incidents of derailments that month.
“The Central Railway (CR) has resumed the toy train services between Aman lodge and Matheran hill station from Monday morning. It received a tremendous response from locals,” CR’s Chief PRO Sunil Udasi said.
“We are hopeful that the toy train services on the (complete) 21-km hilly stretch of Aman Lodge to Neral would start as soon as possible,” Udasi said.
Following the two derailments, the then railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, had stopped the services till the safety measures were not ensured as per the parameters.
After the toy train was halted, the tourism industry was hit adversely following which a delegation of residents of Matheran had demanded resumption of the service.
“Considering the demands of the locals, we have started our services on one stretch,” Udasi said.
As the toy train resumed its service, the locals gathered in large numbers, burst crackers and played music to rejoice the happy occasion.
The operation of the narrow gauge heritage train has posed challenges for the Central Railway as this stretch not only passes through a sloppy, zigzag and forest route, but has also not been economically viable.