More coaches, bigger trains, online reservations for Matheran as it prepares for a modern journey

More coaches, bigger trains and online bookings in sight to boost tourism in the hill station

In the coming months, people will be able to book tickets on the Neral-Matheran line through the Indian Railways Central Reservation System. There will be more rail services to the hill station, while the little train could also be upgraded from six cars to eight cars. These are plans Central Railway has for Mumbai’s favorite weekend getaway, even as it rebuilds the entire 20km stretch.

The Central Railway is working on various parameters to upgrade the existing Aman Lodge-Matheran narrow gauge train service, officials said.
“Fibre optic cable laying works were also in the final stages and once this is done, Matheran station would also be integrated into the passenger reservation system. [PRS] card and you could book tickets online for the mini train,” a railway official said.

Prerana Sawant, chairwoman of Matheran City Council, said her colleagues met with the divisional director of railways in Mumbai last week to improve services. “They informed him that in this holiday season the crowd of tourists had increased multiple times and they requested the railways to operate at least 10 services between Aman Lodge and Matheran throughout the week, as is the case on Saturdays and Sundays now. It’s the only major transportation and attraction and it will help boost the economy,” Sawant said.

Representatives from Matheran City Council also suggested the railways increase the number of coaches to eight from the current six to which railway officials assured that trials would soon be undertaken to examine whether an eight-coach train could be exploited.

According to the latest statistics, Central Railway carried 3,06,763 passengers and carried 42,613 parcels in the financial year 2021-2022 with a total of 16 weekday services and 20 weekend services between Aman Lodge and Matheran.

Midday had reported in its December 2021 edition that the line was being rebuilt again for Rs 5 crore. CR is also working on a car and locomotive inspection and maintenance facility.

“The barricade and wall construction works are expected to be completed before the monsoon by the end of May 2022. The laying works of the tracks are in progress and they will be completed for the 20 km section by December 2022 We should be able to put the line into service once all the work has been completed,” a CR spokesperson said.

Passengers transported by CR on the line in 2021-2022

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