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Toy Train In Ooty: A Complete Guide

8 mins. read

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a narrow-gauge train from Mettupalayam to Ooty in southern India. Known popularly as the "Ooty Toy Train," it is a famous attraction that draws travellers who wish to experience its picturesque journey through the Nilgiri hills. As soon as the toy train pulls out of the station, passengers are transfixed by the spectacular mountain scenery surrounding them. The train track winds through rolling green hills, plunges into remote valleys, and passes by verdant farmland and forests, offering views that are breathtaking in their beauty. With its many twists and turns, the jerky train ride also evokes thrill and delight in passengers.

The toy train in Ooty journey is thus an unforgettable experience - not just visually stunning but also adventurous due to the small train negotiating steep inclines and sharp bends. With many incredible things to do in Ooty, the sensation of riding this narrow-gauge railway cannot be compared to any other train ride in India or elsewhere.

History of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway / Ooty Toy Train

The toy train in Ooty has a long and fascinating history dating back to the 19th century. Originally constructed by the Madras Railway Company, this narrow-gauge mountain railway was opened in 1899 to connect the hill station of Ooty with the plains. The 46-mile journey begins at Mettupalayam and passes through verdant hills, tea estates, forests, and rural villages before reaching Ooty.

This route, with its vintage locomotives, winding tracks, tunnels, bridges and quaint small stations, provides a picturesque transit from Ooty to Cooner through the Nilgiri hills. The toy train travels very leisurely, taking about 6 hours to cover the distance. Along the way, passengers can soak in the natural beauty of the landscape and observe life in the traditional hill villages.

Recognizing its cultural and historical significance, UNESCO declared the Nilgiri Mountain Railway a World Heritage Site in 2005. The railway remains an integral mode of transportation in the region. The toy train journey retains an old-world charm and adventurous spirit for tourists, continuing as a popular excursion that offers memorable views of the Blue Mountains. Riding this unique mountain rail route is indeed an unforgettable experience.

The Picturesque Journey on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The toy train in Ooty traverses 46 kilometres through some of the most stunning scenery in India on its journey between Mettupalayam and Ooty. This narrow gauge railway embarks on its trip from Mettupalayam, situated at an altitude of 330 meters above sea level, and slowly ascends the rolling Nilgiri hills before reaching its destination of Ooty at 2,200 meters above sea level.

As the toy train lumbers along on its climb, making its way through the lush green countryside, passengers are treated to some spectacular views of the natural beauty of the Nilgiris. The landscape changes from tropical forests and valleys to verdant hills covered in tea estates. The train passes through 208 curves and 16 tunnels, providing passengers with ever-changing vistas that take their breath away. Looming cliffs, mist-covered peaks, cascading waterfalls, and exotic flora and fauna delight wildlife and nature lovers alike.

Relax and Unwind on the Toy Train

The toy train in Ooty was designed to traverse the Nilgiri hills at an unhurried, relaxing pace to allow passengers to enjoy the splendid scenery properly. Chugging along at an average speed of just 10.4 kilometres per hour, the journey from Mettupalayam to Ooty takes about 4.5 hours to complete, making this the slowest train in India. However, passengers are not eager to reach their destination faster as this gives them adequate time to feast their eyes on the stunning surroundings.

As the train covers 46 kilometres, crossing 250 bridges and stopping at small stations along the way, travellers can unwind, enjoying the incredibly diverse natural beauty of the Nilgiris. Given how incredibly popular the toy train is, tickets often sell out well in advance. So travellers are best advised to plan their trip ahead of time to secure a seat on this unforgettable ride through some of India's most spectacular hill country.

Ooty Toy Train Timings

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is the only hill train in the region operating daily trips and offers a unique way to experience the spectacular scenery of southern India. The toy train departs Mettupalayam at 7:10 AM for the scenic journey up the Blue Mountains, arriving in Ooty around noon. It then leaves Ooty at 2 PM to return to the hills, reaching Mettupalayam at 5:30 PM.

In the uphill journey from Mettupalayam to Ooty, the toy train passes through the towns of Coonoor, Aravankadu, Wellington, Ketti, and Lovedale while traversing up the Nilgiri hills and taking in breathtaking views. So, by hopping aboard the daily toy train, you can soak in the immense natural beauty of the Nilgiris through its unhurried, winding journey and its scheduled stops at the hill stations en route.

Ooty Toy Train Classes and Seats

The toy train in Ooty has three ticket classes: First-Class with only 16 seats, Second Sitting Class with 214 seats, and basic Unreserved/General Class. Due to high demand, First Class tickets are extremely limited and best booked well in advance online to secure a seat. With just 16 luxury seats and spectacular views, First Class offers a special comfortable ride amidst the train's beautiful scenery. For a higher chance of getting a seat, opt for a Second Sitting or Unreserved if commuting closer to the travel date. But booking early remains key to guaranteeing a seat to enjoy the picturesque journey on this popular Nilgiri hill railway.

Booking Ooty Toy Train Tickets

The rail company offers First Class and Second Sitting Class tickets for the Ooty Toy Train. Tickets can easily be booked online via the Indian Railways website. Due to the immense popularity of the toy train, it is highly recommended to purchase your tickets at least 2-3 months in advance to ensure availability. The huge influx of tourists means seats sell out very quickly.

Make the Most of Your Ooty Toy Train Journey With These Tips

The Ooty Toy Train ride is iconic for letting you soak in the heritage and breathtaking natural beauty of the Nilgiri hills. To fully enjoy this incredible experience:

Ooty Lake scaled

  • Savour the landscape - The toy train's leisurely pace is perfect for admiring the lush forests, valleys, mountain streams and tea estates. Lose yourself in the spectacular views.
  • Manage expectations - Don't let minor inconveniences like the limited space or amenities distract you. Focus instead on the once-in-a-lifetime journey.
  • Arrive early - Leave ample time to comfortably find your coach and seat before the toy train departs. Rushing causes unnecessary stress.
  • Respect nature - Do not litter the pristine landscape with plastic or waste. The awe-inspiring terrain is a gift to be preserved.
  • Prepare for weather conditions - Carry protective gear for monsoon rains or winter chill to travel comfortably.
  • Respect local culture - Understand and follow regional customs and traditions to leave a positive impression.
  • Book early - Purchase tickets well in advance, especially during peak seasons, to guarantee a place on the popular toy train. Managing long lines and crowds takes some effort.

The Ooty Toy Train ride is a unique, unforgettable experience that no visitor to South India should miss. Booking well in advance allows you to secure a seat on this sought-after mountain railway journey that will create lifelong memories amongst breathtaking Nilgiri hill landscapes. Explore and book our Ooty tour package to have an everlasting experience.

January 06, 2024


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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