Anyone who has visited Matheran would agree with me that the visit to this beautiful hill station is not complete without a travel in the toy train. My purpose of the visit to Matheran was of
course, bound by my strong desire to travel in the historic toy train, which is almost a century old by now. To travel in this train, I had to get in from Neral. I learned that the train traveled
a distance of 21 km from Neral to reach Matheran and it took two hours to climb and negotiate the turns on the hill.
The timings of the train were fixed in such as way that there were five trips to the hill station. I booked my ticket for the afternoon train at 12.10 pm as I hardly had an option to travel in the morning and it was already 11.30 in the morning after my visit to the Shiva Mandir.
The train started exactly at the specified time and ran climbing the hill on the 2 feet gauge railway line, which was built in 1907. The Matheran Hill Railway is rewarded the ‘World Heritage Site’ by the UNESCO. The journey was quite interesting with the rolling magnificent
green slopes passing by and then the scenery changing into hills covered by forest. There were innumerable zigzag turns on the way and a few tunnels, which were quite thrilling.
The train stopped at two stations on the way and there were many vendors selling snacks to the visitors. Though I had to endure the slow journey on the mountains, which took a lot of time, the scenic beauty around it compensated for it.
I reached the hill railway station and was intrigued by the long history the place holds. The station was built by Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy during the period from 1901 and 1907. The railway
line, being the narrow gauge, ran parallel to the BG line to the west and then to the east to climb the Matheran. Though the trains ran were of steam locomotives initially, they were completely
replaced by the diesel locomotives today.
The trip to the Matheran Hill Railway was quite exciting and relishing the journey I traveled back to my hotel room for the one last place to visit.