Matheran is a splendid hill destination
situated at a distance of around 108 km from Mumbai. The name Matheran
implies 'Jungle Head', or 'Forest on Top.' The views from Matheran are
exceptional with surrounding hills providing enamouring scenes for the eyes.
Also, Matheran being a vehicle free zone is completely pollution free.
The Matheran Toy Train commences from Neral, which lies on the Mumbai Pune
line, and culminates at Matheran. The credit for the discovery of the route
between Matheran and Neral and the subsequent launching of the train goes
not to any foreigner, but to an Indian. Abdul Hussein, son of business
tycoon, Sir Adamjee Pheerbhoy of Mumbai, first thought of setting up a line
between the two destinations. After obtaining permission from his father, he
based himself at Neral and started working on the project. By 1907, the line
was complete and opened for functioning.
90 minutes journey is actually a visual delight for the tourists with a
range of scenes to enjoy. The ascent begins a little after the Hardar Hills
and reaches the Jamnapatti station, where it appears that road and rail have
almost come together. They part here, though to meet again a little further
beyond the steep slope of Bhekra Kund. The Horseshoe embarkment near the
Mount Barry is a captivating scene to look at. The route runs another mile
before it enters into the lone tunnel on the way. Emerging from the tunnel,
the line zig zags sharply backwards and forward twice. Thereafter, the train
crosses the Panorama Point and the Simpson Tank to reach straight to the
The twelve and half hour journey on a 2 feet gauge commeces from Neral at
08.40 hrs, 11.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs. The journey from the other direction
begins at 17.45 hrs, 13.10 hrs and 14.35 hrs. The train covers a maximum of
12 miles in an hour thereby allowing the passengers ample time to soak in
the beauty of the surroundings.
Neral - Hardal Hill - Jammapatti Station - Bhekra Station - Mount Barry-
Panorama Point - Simpson Point - Matheran Bazaar.