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Blog Entry# 3482962
Posted: Jun 03 (01:17)

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Jun 03 (01:17)   ‘Run trains till Mettupalayam to boost patronage to NMR’

Jayashree ❖ Amita*^   41028 news posts
Entry# 3482962   News Entry# 339411         Tags   Past Edits
Coimbatore: In a bid to increase patronage to the Nilgiris Mountain Rail, the Salem division has requested the Railway Board to extend services of trains reaching the city from Mangalore and Madurai to Mettupalayam.
The move, if accepted, will allow passengers from Mangalore, northern parts of Kerala, Madurai and Dindigul to reach the Mettupalayam station directly and take the NMR from there to Ooty.
“Many tourists come from Kerala and southern districts of Tamil Nadu to Ooty for holidays. But since they do not want to keep changing trains, they often take a
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taxi to the hill station from Coimbatore. Then, they separately allot time to experience the NMR or skip it altogether,” said a railways official.
“Tourists who get off at Coimbatore have to take a local train or a cab to the Mettupalayam station to board the NMR. It is not only cumbersome but expensive too, when they hire cabs,” he added.
The Nilagiri Express, also known as the Blue Mountain Express, which runs from Chennai to Mettupalayam, is the only long distance train which takes passengers to the foothills of the Nilgiris Mountains. “The move to get more long distance trains to extend their journey till Mettupalayam is to make it more convenient for tourists heading to Ooty to take the NMR,” said Salem divisional railway manager Subba Rao.
The gauge conversion from Coimbatore north to Mettupalayam will also help more long distance trains to get accommodated, said another official.
The railways has been working to increase patronage of the NMR for the past two years. The NMR, which does just one trip a day uphill from Mettupalayam to Coonoor and Udhagamandalam and downhill, gets booked months in advance. The department has been looking for ways to increase trips, locomotives and revenues of the heritage rail.

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