Gudalur: The steam engine of the mountain train service that was listed in UNESCO's heritage list is on display at the Ooty railway station.
The steam engine has been stationed at a specially set up track and is open for public to view. The railways spent Rs 15 lakh to build the track and platform for the steam engine. The mountain train now runs on furnace oil.
Non-availability of coal and rise in expenses forced the railways to scrap the steam engines. During tourist seasons, the steam engines are still called upon to run the trains. And, for this purpose, there are two engines at the Coonoor railway station.
The engine that pulled the first mountain train is on display at Coonoor station. The steam engine at Ooty is nonoperational. In 1995, when the mountain railway service ran into losses, the railways had tried to stop the service. But strong opposition from public forced the railways to do a rethink.
In 2005, the service got into UNESCO's heritage list. The service has stops in Kallar, Adarli, Hillgrove, Ranimed, Katteri, Coonoor, Wellington, Aravankodu, Kethi, Lovedale Fern Hill, and Ooty. The mountain trains have been preserved with great care by the railways.
Read this story in Malayalam at Chuttuvattom
Nearest Railway Station: Mettupalayam (3 hrs 35 min), get to Mettupalayam from Coimbatore and from there catch toy train to Ooty.
Here's why you should take your family on a trip on the Nilgiri Mountain Train
Nearest Bus Station: Udagamandalam is well connected by road.
Nearest Airport: Coimbatore International Airport – CJB (86km)
Mark a visit to Ooty Lake (1.8km) if you have some water activities in your holiday list.
And If Ooty Lake is too crowded for you then try going out of city, towards Pykara Lake (23.2km), Avalanche Lake (25km), and Upper Bhavani Reservoir (50km). There are other sightseeing places nearby these water bodies.
Gardens - There are number of gardens in Ooty in the town limits itself.
Dolphin's Nose (30km)– Fancy spotting dolphins 1,550 meter above sea level, well do it at Ooty.
If you are a Malayalam movie buff then you would want to read this before heading out to Ooty - Here's how 'Kilukkam' magic happened
Things to do
Trekking, Photowalk, rock climbing, water activities, botanical sightseeing