” Since its inception in 1907, the charming narrow gauge toy train has been running between Neral and Matheran Hill Station. Although its service was previously limited to Aman Lodge due to heavy rains, it now operates at full capacity with two trains per day from both ends.
The delightful 11.6 km ride, which has now been extended to 21 km from Neral to Matheran, is a must-try experience in the adorable four-carriage train. The journey takes approximately 2 to 2.15 hours each way. To plan a happy trip, please refer to the train schedules, fares per person, and frequently asked questions (FAQ) provided below, along with the contact details of the respective offices.”
– As of November 2023, the Toy train service between Neral Station and Matheran has resumed with a total of 12 services available between Aman Lodge and Matheran. Additionally, new sleeping pod services are being planned at Matheran station.
– In January 2023, the Toy train is currently operating with two train services from each location, and an updated fare chart is available.
– However, in August 2019, the Toy train route was closed due to heavy rain, and it is hoped that it will reopen in September or October.
– In December 2018 – January 2019, a 6 Coaches train with a total of 6 services between Neral station and Matheran was introduced, and an AC coach will soon be added for convenience.
– Finally, in April 2018, a successful trial run of a new 2 coaches Diesel Steam engine was conducted, and it is now available for booking at Rs. 55000 (Return Journey) and One way Rs. 28000, running between Aman Lodge and Matheran at a speed limit of 8 LMPH.
Matheran Toy Train Facts
– Matheran (MAE) and Neral (NRL) are the designated short codes for the stations.
– The construction of the toy train commenced in 1901 and it became operational on the 15th of April, 1907.
– The toy train was recognized as a UNESCO Heritage site in 2005.
– The distance between Neral and Matheran stations is approximately 21 kilometers.
– The stations between Neral Waterpoint Aman Lodge Matheran.
– The toy train takes approximately 2 hours to complete its run.
– The train offers various attractions such as slow-moving rides, breathtaking views of the deep valley, mini train seating, a 127-degree curve where the entire train can be seen, and encounters with monkeys along the pathway.
– The toy train consists of 3 regular second-class coaches and 1 fully air-conditioned semi-luxurious vista dome carriage. Additionally, there are 2 other coaches, including a parcel van and a regular second-class coach with a guard van.
– The nearest railway station to access the toy train is Neral (NRL) on the central railway route. Direct local trains are available from CSMT, Dadar, and Kalyan.
– For any toy train-related inquiries, you can contact the helpline at 02148230264 or the IRCTC short code helpline at 139.
Year 2023, Timetable and Fares
There are presently only two train rides available daily from both ends of the station. The duration of the journey from Neral to Matheran and vice-versa is approximately two hours each way. The total distance covered during the trip amounts to 21 kilometers.
Neral Station (NRL) to Matheran Station (MAE) Train Timings
Two trips are available daily from Neral to the hill station. The first train departs at 8:50 AM and arrives at 11:30 AM. The second train leaves at 10:25 AM and reaches the destination at approximately 1:05 PM.
Matheran Station (MAE) to Neral Station (NRL) Train Timings
The first train departs from Matheran in the afternoon at 2:45 PM, arriving at Neral between 4:30 PM and 4:45 PM. The second train leaves at 4:00 PM and reaches the downhill area around 6:45 PM.
The fare for the second class is Rs.75 per person for adults and Rs.45 for children. For the first-class carriage, the cost is Rs.305 for adults and Rs.180 for children. Additionally, the morning train offers an additional carriage known as ‘Vistadome’, which is a fully air-conditioned coach priced at Rs.655 per person.
Each person is allowed a maximum of 4 tickets for a duration of 45 minutes during the journey. Children between the ages of 5 to 11 years are eligible for these tickets.
Luxurious AC Vistadome Saloon Coach (Booking, Fare, Facilities)
The exorbitant cost of approximately 44,000 rupees for a round trip from Neral Station to Matheran on an 8-seater AC coach of the Matheran toy train does not deter the central railways from implementing such a pricing strategy. Surprisingly, there are individuals within the group of 8 who are willing to indulge in such opulent journeys.
The recently introduced AC Saloon coach of the Matheran toy train aims to provide a refreshing and lavish experience to its passengers. This endeavor has already garnered an impressive number of over 300,000 bookings between April 2022 and December 2022, resulting in a revenue exceeding 2 Crores for the central railways.
The growing popularity and demand for this charming mountain toy train near Mumbai have inspired the introduction of the AC Coach, known as the ‘Saloon Coach,’ which offers a unique and enhanced experience for its passengers.
AC Coach Charges
This coach can be reserved for a round trip journey on weekdays, with a charge of Rs.32088, and on weekends, with a cost of Rs.44608.
If you choose to return the next day, after spending a night on the Matheran hills, the return trip will incur the same amount.
Additionally, there will be a ‘Detention Cost’ ranging between Rs.1500 to Rs.1800 PER HOUR, which may vary based on the availability of AC saloon coach bookings on that particular day.
No official details have been released regarding the facilities of the AC coach. However, a glimpse of the interior can be seen from the latest picture (Courtesy: FreePressJournal).
A mini washbasin, possibly with a mirror on the right, is visible. The coach boasts a well-furnished wooden interior and is equipped with a few mini fans, should they be required. This luxurious AC Saloon can be considered a standby or a special extra treat.
Roof lights are also present, along with a dressing table for customers who may need to do their makeup while traveling to Matheran station or back home to Neral station. Adjacent to the washbasin is a specially built toilet exclusively for this Saloon coach.
A center table is positioned between the seating area, featuring premium-looking couches facing each other. The flooring adds to the overall elegance of the coach.
To ensure privacy, Western Railway has reserved this luxurious coach for a single group, allowing them to book it for all four trips in a day. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride and the view. Stay cool during the summer and have a great time with your group inside this toy train.
Central railway is introducing a new booking option for its AC Saloon Coaches, which offers flexibility to passengers. This 8-seater coach can be booked from any Railway station along the Central railway route, although the specific stations between Mumbai and the destination are not mentioned. However, it is important to note that the booking must be made at least 7 days in advance of the planned trip.
The booking process requires an initial payment of 20% of the total fare, which may vary depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend. Additionally, a refundable security deposit of Rs.10,000 is also required.
The remaining 80% of the fare must be paid no later than 48 hours (2 days) prior to the scheduled journey. Failure to confirm the trip within 7 days and make the balance payment before 2 days will result in the forfeiture of the 20% initial payment and the security deposit of Rs.10,000.
It is worth mentioning that the booking rules for the Matheran toy trains, specifically for this special AC coach, are quite stringent. We would appreciate your comments and feedback on these rules. While it is understandable that rules need to be in place, I personally believe that forfeiting the security deposit of Rs.10,000 is not fair.
Toy Train FAQ (Most Frequently Asked Questions)
- Is Toy Train Running now or during Monsoon / Rainy season?
As of 4th November 2023, the services that were previously affected during heavy rains at Aman Lodge have now been fully restored. Furthermore, significant improvements have been made to the rail tracks, including the replacement of the existing wooden sleepers with cement ones to enhance safety and stability.
- How to reach the toy train station at Neral from Mumbai?
The Neral railway station is situated approximately 90 km away from Mumbai along the Central railway route. Local trains originating from CSTM or DADAR and heading towards Kasara and beyond make a halt at the Neral Railway station. Adjacent to the railway station lies the Toy train station.
- Is Toy train working/running as of 2023?
The Toy train is currently operational as of January 2023. It has experienced occasional interruptions in the past, primarily due to technical issues and heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. Prior to planning your trip, it is advisable to contact the Toy train station inquiry number 02148230264 or the IRCTC short code helpline 139 for further information.
- When did the toy train start operations from Matheran to Neral (Full Route)?
In October 2021, following trials on its Narrow gauge tracks, the train commenced offering commuters the opportunity to embark on a full 21 km journey that spans a duration of 2 hours.
- How old is the toy train?
Over a century has passed since the inception of this charming Train. The credit for this light railway goes to Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and Mr. Abdul Husein Adamjee Peerbhoy, who constructed it under the guidance of the then-BOMBAY governance. The construction began in 1901, and the first ride commenced in 1907, with a total cost of Rs.16,00000/- (Sixteen Lacs).
That also means, Britishers also enjoyed the Mathern train ride since it commenced.
- What district Matheran hill station fall under?
This train runs through the mountains situated within the Raigad district of the Western Ghats of Sahyadri.
- How to book tickets online?
Currently, online ticket booking is unavailable, necessitating individuals to arrive at the train station 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure in order to obtain tickets for the subsequent train.
- Are their public toilets/washrooms available inside toy train coaches?
Currently, there are no washroom or toilet facilities provided within any of the coaches on this train.
- Instead of a train, Can I go to Mathen hill station in my car?
The toy train is merely one alternative. To reach the hill station at Dasturi Naka, it is necessary to either walk or hire a horse or a hand-pulled cart from this point.
- Can we carry our luggage inside this train?
Please feel at liberty to transport your necessary baggage to and from Nerul and Matheran stations.
- Is Matheran Open for tourists in 2023?
Matheran warmly embraces a significant number of tourists. If you intend to travel by Toy train, it is indeed operational; however, it is advisable to inquire beforehand (refer to the beginning of this FAQ).
- On what fuel this train works currently?
The toy train has been operating on Diesel fuel since January 1907. Fortunately, a recent announcement stated that it will soon be substituted with fuel-efficient Electric and Hydrogen-powered versions, ensuring complete environmental friendliness and fulfilling its intended purpose.
- Are there Bulb lights and Fans inside the train?
Both options are readily accessible and utilize solar power.
- Total how many coaches toy train have?
There are a total of four coaches, commonly known as carriages, consisting of three general coaches and one first-class coach.
- How many stops/stations are between Matheran and Neral?
There are a total of three stops between the starting and ending points. The first railway stop from Neral is Jummapatti, situated at an elevation of M.S.L.245-01M. The second railway stop is a Water pipe, and the third station is Aman Lodge, located at an elevation above M.S.L.758-95m.
- At what speed does the train moves?
This train maintains a constant speed of 20 kilometers per hour on average.
- What is that famous tunnel called from which train passes?
There exists a solitary tunnel through which this train traverses, commonly referred to as the ‘1 Kiss Tunnel’, evidently deriving amusement from its given appellation.
- Are there any other toy trains in Mumbai?
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