nmr4nmr2nmr1nmr1Many legacies of the British rule in India still remain as best examples of their engineering skills and sheer determination of a few officials. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one such project. It took almost 54 years to complete one of the ambitious railway projects they took up in India. It was in 1854 the first proposal was made to build a railway line connecting Mettupalayam and Ootacumund. Finally a train was chugged on the tracks only in 1908. In July 2005, the NMR was included in the list of world heritage sites by the UNESCO.
The 46-km long route passes through the picturesque Blue Mountains negotiating 16 tunnels 108 curves and 250 bridges. Mettupalayam-Coonoor stretch with its maximum gradient uses the rack-and-pinion system (a kind of metallic teeth which helps the engine to scale the heights) at a speed of 10km per hour. While From Mettupalayam till Coonoor a steam engine pulls the train and a diesel engine will take over from Coonoor till Udhagamandalam, the last station. While the upward journey takes more than 5 hours, downward it will take only 3.5 hours passing through gorges, thick forest and narrow streams on either side of the track.

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