Matheran Hill Railway
|Matheran Hill Railway|
|Locale||Raigad district, Maharashtra|
|Built by||Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy|
|Original gauge||2 ft (610 mm)|
|Operated by||Central Railways|
|Preserved gauge||2 ft (610 mm)|
|2005||Closed due to flood damage|
|5 March 2007||Re-opened after repair from flood damage|
|15 April 2007||Centenary celebration|
Matheran Hill Railway is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway in Maharashtra, India. The railways comes under the administration of the Central Railways. The railway covers a distance of 21 km (13.05 mi), over large swathes of forest territory connecting Neral to Matheran in the Western Ghats. UNESCO is considering giving world heritage status to matheran light railway.
The Neral-Matheran Light Railway was built between 1901 and 1907 by Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy, financed by his father, Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy at a cost of 16 lakh (US$27,000). Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy visited Matheran often and wanted to build a railway to make it easier to get there. Hussain's plans for the Matheran Hill Railway were formulated in 1900 and construction started in 1904. Consulting engineer was Everard Calthrop of Barsi Light Railway fame. The line was open to traffic by 1907. Originally, the tracks were laid with 30 lb/yd (14.9 kg/m) rails but now has 42 lb/yd (20.8 kg/m) rails. Ruling gradient is 1:20 (5%) with tight curves and speeds are limited to 12 km/h (7.5 mph).
The railway was closed by flood damage during 2005 and was not expected to re-open before April 2007. Contrary to those expectations, the first run on the repaired railway was on 5 March 2007. The line observed its centenary on 15 April 2007.
Train services were suspended during the monsoon season from June to October because of the danger of landslides. During the 2012 monsoon season, CR conducted 10 controllability tests for air-braked coaches, followed trial runs and approval from Commission of Railway Safety. CR ran services for the first time during the monsoon. CR also plans to shorten the period during which services are suspended by suspending services only from July 15 and restarting them on October 1.
In November 2012, CR added a 5-seater luxury family coach (called saloon) to trains operating on the line. The saloons feature cushioned sofas and LCD screens images displaying images captured by CCTV cameras installed outside. Earlier, these saaloons were available only to railway officers inspecting tracks and railway premises.
Neral, the starting point, is about midway between Mumbai and Pune. The 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge line runs parallel to the BG line to the west of Hardal Hill and then turns east to ascend towards Matheran. The rail alignment and the roadway meet near Jumappati and meet again, after a brief separation, at Bhekra Khud. Following a small level stretch, there is a sharp ascent just before Mount Barry. A large horseshoe embankment was built to avoid a reversing station here. The line runs for a mile or so northwards around this and then turns around to take the 'One kiss Tunnel' through the embankment. Two more zig-zags through deep cuttings remain before Panorama Point is reached, and then the line bends back to Simpson's Tank and terminates at Matheran.
Neral also has a 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) (Indian gauge) station which is on the busy Mumbai-Pune route. It takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete the 21 km journey. CR plans to reduce this to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Consulting engineer Everard Calthrop designed a 0-6-0T with Klein-Linder articulated coupled axles to provide a flexible wheelbase, and four were supplied by Orenstein & Koppel. These special locomotives weighed approximately 7.5 tonnes. They ran from the railway's opening in 1907 till 1982, when they were replaced by diesel engines. By 1983, all steam locomotives were phased out. A 'B' class loco #794 from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was transferred to the Neral-Matheran line in 2001 to test the feasibility of steam excursions. The first train was hauled by engine #738.
|MHR No.||ISR No.||Builder||Builders No.||Date||Current Location|
|1||738||O & K||1766||1905||Mumbai|
|2||739||O & K||2342||1907||Delhi|
|3||740||O & K||2343||1907||Statfold Barn Railway|
|4||741||O & K||1767||1905||Matheran|
|ISR No.||Class||Builder||Builders No.||Date||Current Status||Notes|
|500||NDM1||Jung||12108||1956||Not Known||From Kalka Shimla Railway|
|501||NDM1||Jung||12109||1956||In Service||Originally No.750|
|502||NDM1||Jung||12110||1956||Not Known||Originally No.751|
|504||NDM1||Jung||12105||1956||Not Known||From Kalka Shimla Railway|
|505||NDM1||Jung||12107||1956||Dismantled||From Kalka Shimla Railway|
|505||NDM1||Jung||12107||1956||Not Known||From Kalka Shimla Railway|
|600||NDM6||BHEL||?||1997||In Service||visible in Railworld photos|
Currently Class NDM1 and NDM6 locomotives are in use.
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- Image:Matheran Railway Wala.jpg
- Why you still can’t take the toy train to Matheran
- Uphill Journey Resumes
- "Central Railway seeks fresh nod to run Matheran toy train in rains - The Times of India". The Times Of India.
- Fernandes, Felix (2011-05-01). "Matheran toy train service disrupted". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Verma, Kalpana (2009-02-09). "Toy train rams into tractor on Matheran-Neral route". Indian Express. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Mehta, Manthan K (2013-06-30). "Central Railway to run shuttle service between Aman Lodge and Matheran in monsoon". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Neral Matheran Light Railway - Photographs of 2005 monsoon damage
- International Working Steam
- Neral Matheran toy train’s track record
- Aerial photo of the train
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matheran Hill Railway.|