The joy ride is now complete. Toy train services on the full stretch between Neral and Matheran have resumed and more than 1,100 passengers are getting on board daily to enjoy the ride.
Between April to December 2022, 3.04 lakh passengers availed of the toy train services operated by Central Railway in which it earned Rs 2.24 crore.
Here’s what tourists say
“Riding the toy train is one of the important parts of a Matheran trip, especially for children,” said Kalyan resident Vedant Sharma, who recently visited Matheran with his wife and 8-year-old son.
Thane’s Rahan Fazal, 34, echoed Sharma’s sentiments and added, “The Railways need to increase the frequency especially on weekends.”
“A total of 3,04,195 passengers have been ferried to Matheran which includes 2,76,979 between Aman Lodge and Matheran during the period April to December-2022 and 27,216 between Neral and Matheran during the period October to December-2022,” said CR official.
“In addition, a total of 10,983 packages of parcels have been transported on this section, registering a revenue of Rs3,04,325. This includes 7,618 packages between Aman Lodge and Matheran during the period April to December-2022, registering a revenue of Rs2,79,823 and 3,365 packages between Neral and Matheran for the period October to December-2022, registering a revenue of Rs24,502″ said a CR spokesperson.
“These figures indicate the important role of Railways in providing a safe and comfortable travel to its passengers coming to this tourist destination. Central Railway is popularizing this place not only as a major tourist destination but also as a place which takes one close to the Nature. It provides the thrill of watching Nature closely along with a memorable ride in the toy train in the natural environment of Matheran,” he added.
The CR has restored the Neral-Matheran track which was washed out due to heavy downpour in 2019. The narrow gauge line winding up the hills from Neral to Aman Lodge was finally ready and services on the line were resumed on October 22, 2022. Shuttle services between Aman Lodge and Matheran were already in service carrying passengers and parcels.
Matheran is the nearest and the most popular tourist destination for the citizens of Mumbai, Pune and surrounding areas. The Neral-Matheran toy train, which is more than 100 years old, is one among the few mountain railways in India.