The Blue Mountain Express: The Steepest Track in Asia
The charming old world steam coaches, huffing and puffing against the blue and emerald hills of the Nilgiris, are a magnificent sight. Its thrilling to ride in one.
Built by the British in 1908, the Blue Mountain Express was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2005. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the four narrow gauge railways in India and the only functional “rack railway”. It is also commonly called the “Toy Train” because of its toy-like appearance.
It travels from Mettupalayam to Ooty (Udhagamandalam) and uses the rack and pinion system from Mettupalayam up to Coonoor. From there on, an engine switch from steam to diesel is made. The uphill journey takes around an hour, and the view along the way is worth the time spent. The downhill journey takes a little lesser time. This entire track laid out along the slopes of the Nilgiri Mountain, is the steepest track in Asia.
The ticket prices are nominal, and the experience is worth every penny spent. This is truly a train journey like never before, complete with picturesque landscapes, making it a memorable experience.
Good to know :
Timings: The train plies throughout the week and the first train starts from Mettupalayam at 7:10 am. The service for the day for uphill trains ends at 12 noon. Trains for the downhill journey starts from 2:00 pm on the same day and ends at 5:30 pm.
You need to book tickets in advance.
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