Mumbai: Track work stalls joyride at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Apr 30, 2015, 09:20 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Authorities at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park are carrying out track maintenance work on their beloved tourist attraction, the toy train, which has been shut for around two weeks now

The toy train, which was operational at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), was one of the most important tourist attractions for Mumbaikars. But if you had plans to visit the SGNP and take your family for a joyride on the toy train, you’ll have to wait for a few more weeks.

A board at the park announces the suspension of the toy train services
A board at the park announces the suspension of the toy train services

The attraction has been shut for the past two weeks due to ongoing track maintenance work. Authorities say that the toy train would take another two to three weeks to become operational. An official from SGNP told mid-day, “The reason behind keeping the toy train at SGNP shut for over two weeks is because we had to carry out maintenance work on the tracks.

Work in progress at the toy train tracks. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Work in progress at the toy train tracks. Pics/Nimesh Dave

The safety of the passengers is an important thing, and the train will only be operational after the work is completed.” Sources told this paper that the maintenance work on the tracks would be completed in the next two to three weeks, and tourists would be able to take a ride in the toy train by end of May.

Due to the ongoing school vacations, SGNP has been drawing huge crowds. The toy train had been the most attractive draw. Now, visitors have to stay content with activities like boating, tiger safari, visiting the Nature Interpretation Centre and exploring the Kanheri Caves.

Darshan Dhoke, who had come along with his wife and a two-year-old son, said, “I came all the way from Andheri because my son wanted to sit in the toy train. The authorities should understand that majority of the people visit SGNP during summer vacation, and, so, they should have done the repairing and maintenance work of the toy train before summer vacations.” The lion safari has also been suspended due to ongoing repair work on the fences and only the tiger safari is operational.

Loved by all
It’s not only people staying in and around Mumbai who visit SGNP; tourists from other states and foreigners also flock to the natural reserve. It is one of the most visited national parks within city limits in the whole of Asia. The toy train travels across an area of SGNP known as the Krishnagiri Upavan.

This is an area of approximately 5.5 sq km, reserved as an easily accessible public recreation zone inside the park. The remaining core area has restricted access. Among the several attractions of the Krishnagiri Upavan is a mini-zoo, where visitors can view animals up close.

The narrow gauge toy train travels around the tourist zone, showcasing parts of the rich biodiversity on display. When the toy train is operational, it operates in the morning every 30 minutes from 9 am to 12 pm. In the afternoon, it follows the same frequency from 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm. A minimum of 20 passengers are required for the train departure.

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