Tuesday, August 23, 2016

end of chug chug to matheran?


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Matheran toy train may not chug any time soon


Mumbai: The Nerul-Matheran toy train is unlikely to be run any time soon. The authorities are first going to undertake safety precautions, including building of a 600m wall on the 3-km stretch between Aman Lodge and Matheran.
Toy train services have been suspended since May 8 after two derailments on consecutive Sunday caused a scare among passengers.
A senior CR official said, "We are going to first carry out the work on the wall and safety barricade. This is necessary to prevent the train from falling in the gorge even after it derails."
The official said, "Usually, there is a cess—which is the area along either side of a railroad track. In this section, there are stretches where the cess is missing. We will have to build the cess by constructing wall between the cliff and the track."
The work on safety barricade will cost around Rs 3 crore.
"The work will take four to five months to complete because the topography of Matheran is such that advanced machinery cannot be put in use. It will be labour-intensive work and take more time to complete. Transportation of material is also a problem. The ballast too will also have to be changed," he said.
The decision to suspend toy train services has hit the tourist and tourism industry hard as thousands of people visit this tiny hill station, where motorable transport is banned.

Aug 24 2016 : The Times of India (Mumbai)
Matheran toy train engines headed to Parel or Darjeeling? Doubts over resumption of service
Navi Mumbai:

Officials Say Entire Track From Neral May Be Re-Laid
The two locomotives used in the NeralMatheran Railway , suspended since early May after a couple of mishaps, were loaded on trucks and driven away on Tuesday morning. The move fuelled suspicion among the local population, largely dependent of the tourist economy in which the toy train is a popular cog, that the railway may not resume services. Officials at Neral station said they were headed for the Central Railway's Parel workshop, but an official in the general manager's office said they were being transported to Darjeeling, home to a similar 2ft-gauge mountain railway .
“We doubt whether the toy train service between Neral and Matheran will resu me post-monsoon. Residents here are worried about their livelihood. The tourism-based local economy has been hit for over three months,“ said Matheran resident Sunil Shinde.
Railway officials said the engines may not be brought back to Matheran anytime soon as the entire track has been found to be weak and it may not be possible to operate the toy train. The services were suspended after a couple of derailments in May and CR ordered an inquiry . It was found that the track needs to be replaced for safety reasons. So, until the track is replaced, the chances of the services starting are bleak.
On Tuesday , Neral station manager S B Sharma said: “Two engines are being shifted to the Parel workshop for repair and overhauling. This was done according to instructions received a few days ago.“ The CR public relations officer A K Singh said also said the engines were taken to Parel. The CPRO did not respond to calls.
The official in the CR general manager's office said the old engines are being sent to Darjeeling in Bengal, and the Matheran railway will get new engines. “One new engine has already reached the Neral loco shed for the Neral-Matheran toy train service. Another engine is getting ready at the Parel workshop and will be dispatched soon. A third engine too will be delivered,“ he added