The services had remained cancelled since Sunday after heavy rains lashed The Nilgiris triggering minor land slips, which led boulders rolling down onto the tracks.
As rains receded, railway officials restarted the NMR train along the scenic hill route on Wednesday. The train’s interiors were recently refurbished.
However, the tourists were disappointed as they had to cough up a higher fare. The cost of unreserved ticket from Mettupalayam to Udhagamandalam (Ooty) was increased from Rs 15 to Rs 75. The second class fare was increased from Rs 30 to Rs 145, while the first class fare was hiked to Rs 470 from Rs 200.
Similarly, the fare for unreserved tickets from Coonoor to Ooty was increased from Rs 10 to Rs 45. The cost for second class tickets was increased to Rs 100 from Rs 25, while the first class fare was hiked from Rs 185 to Rs 365.
Southern Railway officials justified the fare hike citing the rising costs of operating the train. “The fares weren’t revised for many years. A hike in fares will help us to recover to an extent its operational costs. However, the revised cost is still less than other mountain train services,” said an official.