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Time To Restart Services On Neral-Matheran Route: Matheran Municipal Council President

Time To Restart Services On Neral-Matheran Route: Matheran Municipal Council President

Matheran Narrow Gauge Hill Railway garners more than 20,000 passengers in 30 days on stretch between Aman Lodge and Matheran

The complete line has remained shut and only a small stretch between Aman Lodge (at Dasturi naka) and Matheran has been functional
The complete line has remained shut and only a small stretch between Aman Lodge (at Dasturi naka) and Matheran has been functional

The Matheran Narrow Gauge Hill Railway has garnered more than 20,000 passengers in over 30 days and the Matheran Municipal Council president has now written to the Central Railway to resume operations on the entire stretch between Neral and Matheran. The complete line has remained shut for some time due to unsafe conditions and only a small stretch between Aman Lodge (at Dasturi naka) and Matheran has been functional.

The Matheran Municipal Council had requested that the mini train shuttle service between Dasturi Naka and Matheran town resume, as horses and hand rickshaws are the only means of transport there. Following this, the Maharashtra government had granted permission for operating mini train shuttle services only between Aman Lodge (Dasturi Naka) and Matheran town and issued directives to Central Railway.

"Since it restarted on November 4 till December 9, a total of 23,414 passengers have taken the 18-minute journey with R14,73,503 revenue generated from the Aman Lodge -Matheran train services. The line from Aman Lodge not only attracts tourists, but is also an important and necessary mode of transport for the residents of Matheran. Despite the COVID-19 background, the 12 shuttle services being operated have received overwhelming response from passengers," a senior official said.

"Services have been steadily increased on the line since unlock began. We had resumed shuttle services between Aman Lodge and Matheran on November 4 with daily four services. Seeing the increasing response of passengers, four more services were added from November 14. Considering the response of the passengers was increasing even after this, four more services were added from November 18, taking the total number of services to 12," CR's Chief Public Relations Officer Shivaji Sutar said.

Matheran Municipal Council president Prerna Sawant said trains should start on the entire stretch between Neral and Matheran. "I have sent a letter to the General Manager of Central Railway seeking quick restoration of the entire stretch between Neral and Matheran. Tourists are coming back in large numbers and the restoration of the historic and heritage train will help boost tourism further and revive the town's economy, which is dependent on tourism," she said.

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