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Top Places to Visit in Ooty
Curated list for an enchanting travel experience..

Aboard the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and take an exceptional journey to the foothills of the Nilgiris. Indian Railways have been influential in connecting people for very long. However this mountain train journey is going to be little different.

We recommend you to board the exclusive Ooty toy train as it would make your Ooty tour more refreshing and memorable. However if you are unable to get your advance ticket booking, you can embark on a fantastic tour to Ooty with our exclusive range of Ooty local tour packages by cab and All-inclusive Ooty tour packages with stay, breakfast and sightseeing.

Ooty Toy Train Phone

About Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Since 1908 people have been travelling through the single track railway to experience the unique journey to Ooty. The exclusive toy train was built by Britishers who travelled to the magnificent hill station seeking relief from the heat and enjoying its salubrious weather.

The 1000mm meter gauge railway slowly ascends the Nilgiri hills, moving through tunnels and curves offering its passengers a ride they would relish for lifetime. The only rack railway in India runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty scaling an elevation of 326m to 2203m in a time span of five hours. Travelling by Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a vacation in itself as the enticing long journey promises the opportunity to witness panoramic views in abundance.

The impressive route that makes its way through the beautiful mountains from Ooty to Mettupalayam via Coonoor offers magnificent views. Nilgiri Mountain Railway along with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Kalka Shimla Railway have been designated as a single World Heritage site.

What to see during the rail journey

Dense forests, wide spectrum of foliage, mist clad hills, diverse species of birds, lush grasslands, and narrow valleys boasts the milieu of this mystifying destination also known as Udagamandalam.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway exemplifies the marvels of engineering and induces a nostalgic appeal to train travel. The fleet of steam locomotives are replaced by diesel locomotives between Coonoor and Udagamandalam.

Experience the radiant sun, luscious green forests and steep mountains as you take on the ride on the majestic toy train to Ooty. Travel aficionados would enjoy the ride and as they traverse through wild landscape, broad rivers, and dense forest they would definitely realise the cumbersome challenges people would have faced carving this passage through the rugged terrain. It is the steepest track in Asia with the maximum gradient at 8.33%.

Train schedule: Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Head off for a marvellous steam journey from Mettupalayam at 7.10 am and feel the marvels of the engineering feats as it traverses through several bridges, hairpin turns, loops and tunnels before it reaches its destination in noon.

Discover nature’s grandeur at Udagamandalam as every nook and corner of this picturesque place has some enticing features to be unfurled. For your return journey you can board the Toy train from Udagamandalam at 2 pm which reaches Mettupalayam at 5:35 pm.

To reach Mettupalayam, which is located mid way on the route from Coimbatore to Udagamandalam you can board the train 12671 Blue Mountain Express (Chennai to Mettupalayam Nilgiri Express) which arrives in Mettupalayam at 6.15 a.m. and connects with the toy train's morning departure, else you can take any bus from Coimbatore to Mettupalayam. Coimbatore is well connected with rail, bus and air services.

Route Covered by Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The charming train with wooden coaches stops at four stations namely Kallar, Lovingdale, Wellington and Coonoor. The station Fernhill was closed few years back.

Immerse yourself in the magnificence of nature’s bounties as it moves through 16 tunnels, 250 bridges and 208 curves. The 46 km distance between Ooty to Mettupalayam is covered in 5 hours while the same distance downhill takes only 3 hours 30 minutes.

Mettupalayam to Coonoor route is more scenic than Coonoor to Ooty. First class is more spacious. Try to get a seat on the right side of the train for excellent views while going through Mettupalayam-Coonoor-Ooty and on the left side of the train while going through Ooty-Coonoor-Mettupalayam.

Mettupalayam to Ooty (Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train)
Train No / Name From Dep To Arr Duration
56136 / Mettupalayam-Ooty MG Passenger Mettupalayam (MTP) 7:10 Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 12:00 4h 50m / 46 km

Ooty to Mettupalayam (Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train)
Train No / Name From Dep To Arr Duration
56137 / Ooty-Mettupalayam MG Passenger Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 14:00 Mettupalayam (MTP) 17:35 3h 35m / 46 km

If the tickets are not available from Mettupalayam to Ooty (or) Ooty to Coonoor, do check for Coonoor to Ooty (or) Ooty to Mettupalayam tickets where there is a better chance for ticket availability.

Catch the glimpse of the panoramic vistas on your astonishing journey where the train covers plains during the initial five miles followed by nine tunnels during the next 12 miles. Moving ahead the train passes through Coonoor, Wellington and Lovedale before it reaches Udagamandalam. There are four trains that runs between Coonoor and Ooty.

Coonoor to Ooty (Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train)
Train No / Name From Dep To Arr Duration
56141 / Coonoor-Udagamandalam MG Passenger Coonoor (ONR) 7:45 Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 9:05 1h 20m / 19 km
56136 / Mettupalayam-Ooty MG Passenger Coonoor (ONR) 7:10 Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 12:00 1h 20m / 19 km
56143 / Coonoor-Udagamandalam MG Passenger Coonoor (ONR) 12:35 Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 13:50 1h 15m / 19 km
56138 / Coonoor-Udagamandalam MG Passenger Coonoor (ONR) 16:30 Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 17:45 1h 15m / 19 km

Ooty to Coonoor (Nilgiri Mountain Railway Toy Train)
Train No / Name From Dep To Arr Duration
56139 / Udagamandalam-Coonoor MG Passenger Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 9:15 Coonoor (ONR) 10:25 1h 10m / 19 km
56142 / Udagamandalam-Coonoor MG Passenger Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 12:15 Coonoor (ONR) 13:20 1h 05m / 19 km
56137 / Udagamandalam-Mettupalayam MG Passenger Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 14:00 Coonoor (ONR) 15:05 1h 15m / 19 km
56140 / Udagamandalam-Coonoor MG Passenger Ooty / Udagamandalam (UAM) 18:00 Coonoor (ONR) 19:10 1h 10m / 19 km
Locomotive & Engineering @ NMR

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) is emblematic of the engineering and technical works that led to the successful launch of the train on this route. Locomotives are the most vital element of a railway service.

The renowned railway has a youngest X class loco being 50 years old while the oldest is 80 years old. The X class locomotives were manufactured by Swiss Locomotives and Machine Works in Switzerland.

The Southern Railways decided to replace the coal-fired locomotives with diesel locomotives and assigned the task to Golden Rush Workshop of Southern Railway at Tiruchirapalli. The incredible project was proposed in 1854 however the real work started in 1891 and became operational in 1908.

It is the only rack railway in India today and the line uses the Abt rack and pinion system to climb up the steep gradient between Coonoor and Mettupalayam.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Operations

NMR’s operations are taken care of by the Southern Railways including its maintenance and development. Keeping an aura of legacy, the tickets are still being maintained as cards rather than being computer printed. It runs with its original blue and yellow coaches, sports benches, and open windows without curtains.

There have been several instances where natural hazards have caused damages to the track and the rail services; however Southern Railways have repaired and restored the rail system back in action to provide a unique travel experience to the tourists thronging in every year.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway Advance Ticket Booking

Owing to its huge demand for enjoying the remarkable toy train journey it is recommended that you book your tickets in advance which could be done via the Indian Railway website

Though the Indian Railways uses computerized ticketing systems; if you want to buy your tickets at the station you would be receiving old aged card tickets.

Please do not forget to book your tickets at least two or three months in advance via IRCTC website. During the peak season, they get booked very fast.

For some reason If you are unable to book the tickets in advance via IRCTC online, the only option left is to reach the Railway Station 1 or 2 hrs in advance, before the booking window opens. Sometimes even after waiting for 2 hrs in Q for general unreserved tickets, you will be disappointed with no tickets left, so advance booking of toy train is always recommended.

Compared to Mettupalayam to Ooty route, Ooty to Coonoor route have more number of departures. Also be aware at the ticket issuance counter, they only allow a maximum of 4 tickets per person. So if you are big in number, better more people stand in the Q for more number tickets.

Ooty Toy Train Phone

Railway Station Code
Trains Numbers & Time Table
Train Class & No. of Seats
  • First Class: 16 Seats
  • Second Sitting: 214 Seats
  • Unreserved / General

Nilgiri Mountain Railway has also been featured in movies for example the famous Chaiyya Chaiyya song was shot on the rooftop of this renowned toy train. As soon as you get into the train sit back comfortably and enjoy an engrossing train journey.

The rewarding experience remains carved in your mind forever as you get to gaze at the towering trees, stunning mountains, and sprawling tea plantations. Once you reach Ooty, you can explore the awe-inspiring hill station, choosing from an array of tour packages, exclusively designed by Holidays DNA for travel enthusiasts.

Things to Note:
  • No restrooms in train, use them at railway station before boarding
  • No more than 4 tickets per person at the booking window
  • Huge crowd on holidays / weekends and during peak season
  • Book at least 2 or 3 months in advance

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