Trial Runs of Matheran Toy Train with Air Brakes on

Toy Train Service from Aman lodge to Matheran also to commence this year

NAVI MUMBAI: The pressure of starting the Neral to Matheran toy train service can be easily seen on the Central Railway (CR) authorities as the work on the line is in full swing. The Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) will conduct its trial between Neral and Water pipe station in Matheran on February 5. The CR authorities are working in order to start the toy train service between Aman Lodge and Matheran by the end of this year.

For the second consecutive day, Central Railway officials carried out a trial run of the Matheran toy train between Neral and Juma Pati stations on Tuesday even as the hill station was observing a bandh in protest against the National Green Tribunal order stopping all construction activities.

Post the trial, the RDSO will select sections between the Aman Lodge and Matheran stretch and conduct trials. The CR is in the process of awarding tender for the ballast and anti – crash barriers which will be required for the whole Neral and Matheran stretch. According to officials, the Railway Board has instructed the CR authorities to immediately start the toy train services.

On both Monday and Tuesday, a 650HP engine and five coaches equipped with air braking system covered the 10-km stretch successfully. The services were discontinued in May 2016 over safety concerns after two derailments.

“The Research Design and Standards Organization is conducting two types of trial—oscillation and emergency braking. Based on its report, we will decided on running the services,” said Narendra Patil, CR chief PRO. “We are also expediting the track repair work.” A railway official said they are fixing the tracks in the upper section—between Water Pipe and Aman Lodge stations. “No deadline has been set to commence the toy train services, however it was expressed that shortly the toy train service will commence” said A K Singh, CR PRO.

“The work is going on and the RDSO will conduct repeated trials. After the trials, the report will be submitted to the railway board and post that the toy train services will begin,” he added.

The Central Railway had shut the Neral – Matheran toy train service which was introduced in 1907, citing problems with the engines, locomotives, brake systems and coaches. Meanwhile, the toy train had derailed twice in May 2016 near Aman Lodge while on its way to Neral.