Showing posts with label ooty train. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ooty train. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ooty Train

Ooty Train called as "Toy Train" with blue & cream colour with steam engine is very familiar in tourist people. The ‘Nilgiris toy train' connect Ooty to mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris. It was in 1854 that the first plans were drawn to build a mountain railway from mettupalayam to Ooty. This railway is widely regarded as a marvel of engineering. The train itself is a charming blue and cream colours with wooden coaches and has large windows. It is hauled up hills by stream engines, designed and built by the Swiss Locomotive Works. Twelve of such locomotive engines survive even today.

The train travels near 46 km to Ooty approximately in five hours. There are five stations between Mettupalayam and Coonoor - Kallar, Adderley, Hill Grove, Runnymede and Kateri – and, at one time, there were five between Coonoor and Ooty too. Through Wellington, Aruvankadu, Ketti, and Lovedale are still functional, Fren Hill, the last one, was closed down a few years ago.

The train, for obvious safety reasons, averages around 10 km/hour and it is the slowest in India.
Built in the late 19th century, the track rises at a gradient of 1 in 12 and has 208 curves and 13 tunnels.

The train departure from Mettupalayam (Foot of Nilgiris hills) at 7.45 am and reaches Ooty at noon.

You must enjoy this journey. Awesome views of great blue mountain hills. You will love it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How to Reach Ooty

Reach Ooty by Air
The Coimbatore airport is the closest to the Ooty. It takes 3.1/2 hours by road to reach Ooty. There are flights into Coimbatore from Singapore, Sharjah, Colombo and most parts of India including Mumbai (Air Deccan, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Go Air), Chennai ( Air Deccan, Paramount, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways) and Bangalore.

Reach Ooty by Train
The Queen of Hills is connected to the Chennai City (Capital of Tamilnadu state) by a train at night hours. The train called as Nilgiris Express or Blue Mountain Express which leaves from Chennai at night, and reaches Mettupalayam a small town at the foothills of the Nilgiris early the next morning around 6.30am. The train The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Toy Train) leaves Mettupalayam at7.10am. The train is very smaller one and can only accommodate few passengers. A through ticket from Chennai to Ooty will ensure a place in the smaller train, although many prefer the faster route of taking a cab or a bus from Mettupalayam.

The steam train takes a very scenic route, and the pace of travel will let you take in the beautiful scenery at leisure with stops at stations for the engine to take on water (the journey takes about 5.1/2 hours compared to 2 hours by road). The train often travels only at 5 - 10 Kmph, allowing some adventurous passengers to disembark from the train and walk along the train.

Mettupalayam can prove to be a bottle-neck during the peak season of April-June with cabs charging exorbitant rates. The train is often quite regular in this part of the country, and is by far the most comfortable way to get here. There are other trains from Chennai to Coimbatore also.

Reach Ooty by Car
The Nilgiris are in Tamilnadu state (South india) but it is not far to the borders of neighboring karnataka and Kerala. The hills consequently can be reached from within Tamil Nadu by traveling up a heavily forest winding road, with many sharp hair pin bends. The road trips from any state is quite scenic, although the Coimbatore-Ooty road is the most & frequently travelled and well maintained.