The iconic Matheran toy train, a major tourist attraction, will continue to run.
Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu has ordered that the Aman Lodge-Matheran services not be closed.
Prabhu said: "Aman Lodge-Matheran services will not be closed. As soon as operational safety of trains is ensured, services in this section will be restored."
The derailed coach of the toy train
The Central Railway (CR) is preparing 3 locos and ten coaches with air-brakes for this purpose. CR is also trying to make 650 meters of concrete retaining walls to provide some stability to the unstable ghat so as to avoid the possibility of any major mishap.
The option of providing rail piling on the dangerous stretch is also being explored. The intention is to provide a safe service as early as possible.
Few days ago there were back-to-back derailment of coaches of the famous toy train. Following which CR authorities decided to stop services completely. The authorities even constituted a committee to probe the incidents.
This narrow gauge train service is popular among children as well as elderly, so much so that Matheran hill station has become synonymous with the toy train. However, the two recent incidents of derailments since the beginning of this month, have sent the tourists and the railway authorities into a tizzy.
The first incident took place on May 1, when 30 passengers onboard the Neral-Matheran toy train reportedly malfunctioned sending one of its bogies off the track and causing minor injuries to a few passengers. The second derailment took place on May 7, when the Neral-Matheran toy train carrying more than 100 passengers derailed at 7.40 AM near Aman Lodge station.
Following the two incidents, the services of the toy train was suspended. Normally the railways shut down toy train services by the first week of June.