Aman Lodge-Matheran Station toy trains start today

Toy trains on the 3-km Aman Lodge-Matheran Station stretch will start on Saturday. After a green signal from Chetal Bakhshi, Commissioner, Railway Safety, 10 shuttle services will run on the route throughout the year. These will not be suspended even during monsoon.

The trains will have seven blue and elegant white-striped luxury coaches and a parcel van, which was recently manufactured at the Kurdwadi workshop. There will be two first-class and four second-class coaches and two engines.

Subodh Jain, General Manager, Central Railway, told the media on Friday, "These shuttle services will be run at a speed of 12 kmph. The speed will increased to 16 kmph after getting clearance from CRS. Services will also be increased.

"CR is planning to minimise suspension of regular services between Neral and Matheran during monsoon. Instead of June, services will be suspended from July 15 and restarted on October 1 instead of October 15. We are doing many modifications to increase the speed and introduce more services. But it will take six months.'' MMRDA deposited Rs 5 crore with Railways for the Neral-Matheran project. Rs 1 crore was spent on new coaches, remodeling of engines and improving tracks.

The service will also benefit villagers living beyond Dasturi Naka. To reach Matheran, which is 3 km from the naka, the villagers use horses, cycles or hand-pulled rickshaws.

Jain said, "Central Railway is incurring an annual loss of Rs.3-4 crore. By running this service during monsoon, we can hope to cut the loss."

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