Matheran's toy train to begin services soon

Updated: Dec 22, 2017, 13:25 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

Century-old toy train from Darjeeling finally begins trial runs at Neral; railway authorities to decide date of public opening soon

The century-old Darjeeling steam loco is finally chugging again, this time on the Matheran toy train tracks. A senior Central Railway official said the much sought-after steam locomotive has now been brought back to life, and trials have begun at the Neral locomotive workshop and maintenance shed. The date of its public opening will be decided soon.

The restored Darjeeling steam loco at Neral station
The restored Darjeeling steam loco at Neral station

On November 30, mid-day had broken the story about the 1917-built toy train getting a new lease of life at Matheran. It was transferred from the UNESCO-listed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway a few years ago, but could not be operated because of technical problems. Later, the Matheran tracks also developed snags. However, with the restoration of the line, and upgraded safety standards, the loco has now been revived, as promised.

Originally manufactured by Baldwin Loco Works, Philadelphia, US, loco 794-B was in active service on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway till the 1990s. The Southern Railways’ Golden Rock Workshops has worked on this and loco made changes with indigenously designed oil-fired kits in it. The coal-fired locomotive has been converted to diesel, in order to adapt to modern standards and practices. It has been restored with its original whistle and gives an authentic steam train experience.

100
Age (in years) of the toy train from Darjeeling

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