77 foreign tourists charter NMR train

Seventy-seven foreign tourists chartered the iconic steam-powered NMR train for their maiden trip to The Nilgiris on Monday.
Foreign tourists on their trip to Ooty
Foreign tourists on their trip to Ooty


The tourists, hailing from America, England, Russia, Australia and South Africa, had booked the entire train through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website by paying Rs 2.72 lakh for a trip from Coonoor to Ooty.

As part of its efforts to promote hill tourism, the Railway Board had approved the Salem division to operate such special services on The Nilgiri Mountain Railway section. The facility was first availed of by a UK-based couple on a honey moon trip to Ooty in September last year.

In the three-coach train, the foreign tourists journeyed for one hour and 20 minutes enjoying th e serenity of the pristine hills. The train chugged out of Coonoor station around 11am and reached Ooty at 12.20 pm.

The railway staff explained the heritage status and historical significance of the train to tourists. “We are enthralled to travel in the train enjoying the green lush tea estates along the route. It’s rather surprising that NMR train launched during Britishers time continues to be in service. We have taken lot of photographs on this memorable trip,”said a tourist.

The tourists were accorded a rousing reception by railway staff at both Coonoor and Ooty railway stations. After vacationing in Ooty, the tourists are likely to visit Kerala and Madurai.

After several years, the railway has operated the steam-powered NMR service between Coonoor and Ooty. “The foreign tourists had actually booked for a similar exclusive trip from Mettupalayam to Ooty. However, heavy rains triggered mudslips and boulders blocking the track resulting in continuous suspension of the NMR train. As the tracks are yet to be restored from damage, the railways gave its nod to operate the steam-powered NMR from Coonoor to Ooty,” said an official.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) in Tamil Nadu is a Unesco heritage site.

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