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About Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The Nigiri Mountain Railway (NMR) is one of three Indian mountain railways recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage committee for their social and engineering importance and the only one of the three which is not in the Himalaya. The NMR joins the city of Mettupalayam with the hill station of Ootycamund (or Udagamandalam as it is now also called). Unlike the other Indian railways, the NMR uses a rack and pinion system for part of its ascent into the Nilgiri Hills.

The railway is one of the oldest in India and was conceived in the mid-19th Century and opened in 1899 by the Madras Railway Company. The gauge is 1000mm and is incompatible with other railways in the area. Between Mettapalayam and Coonoor, the railway works on a rack and pillion system which in places propels trains up gradients as steep as one in twelve at a speed of no more than 13 kmph although speed limits on the non-rack sections can be as high as 30 kmph.

The railway line is 46 km long and the journey takes almost 5 hours going up and 3.5 going down.

Contact

The Railway Station, Udhagamandalam, India
Official Homepage

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