Monday, May 24, 2010

There are some things MasterCard can't buy - keep cash handy!

Take the Nilgiris heritage Mountain Railway for instance. A second class one way  ticket, from Coonoor to Ooty, costs Rs. 3/- for the 60 minutes trip. A first class ticket costs 35  times this - Rs.101/-. Try flashing your MasterCard!
This is the Coonoor Railway Station

This is the queue to board the heritage Nilgiris Mountain Railway at the Coonoor Station

This is just not done in India - except, perhaps, in Coonoor. Queuing-up to board the train. Unless, ofcourse, you are travelling first.

This was the most sought after photo op spot - where the guard stands at the head of the train

Take your seat before the guard decides to signal the commencement of the one hour trip from Coonoor to Ooty (Udhagamandalam for those who can manage this tongue twister). The guard stands here waving a red or green flag to the locomotive driver - the locomotive  pushes the train up from behind. The locomotive driver has to be alert for any red flags from the guard. The locomotive driver cannot see the track and what's ahead. He is completely dependant on the guard to navigate the train.

The Coonoor signal cabin. No different from the signal cabin of  any other railway station

First, the push back to change the track.  The train then moves forward after being put on the right track

The toy train moves through a quaint and green topography 

Approaching Wellington station

The lonely Wellington station. The train picked up the lone family waiting to board

It chugs to Ooty through twist, turns and curves

Over an aqueduct...

... which the passengers hoped was strong enough...

  This one was destroyed by a mudslide a few months back. The train crawled over this under-repair structure

  Through a natural narrow passage...

.... and Eucalyptus plantations

The green tea gardens signifying that Ooty was close. Nearing the end of the trip

Passengers taking the return trip have 30 minutes to buy the ticket for the return trip. Only one way tickets are issued at Coonoor and Ooty. There's a long queue to buy the return ticket. 30 minutes is just about adequate for the job. And, of course, you cannot pay with MasterCard!

1 comment:

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Haha, beautiful picture at the end, but only one way tickets?? That sounds...strange, I guess. I've never heard anything like that-must be my lack of experience with these types of things. :)