Matheran’s toy train triumphs: Over Rs. 3 cr revenue and 5 lakh passengers

Matheran is a popular retreat for Mumbai, Pune, and nearby residents. In the financial year 2023-24, the toy train welcomed an impressive 5 lakh passengers and generated revenue of Rs. 3.54 crore.

Located in the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats, Matheran in Karjat, Raigad district, is regarded as an eco-sensitive haven. Central Railway operates a scenic toy train along a narrow gauge line from Neral to Matheran, offering a picturesque journey up the mountains. This historic railway, in operation for 117 years, is among India’s few Heritage Mountain Railways. Matheran serves as a popular retreat for residents of Mumbai, Pune, and nearby areas. In the financial year 2023-24, the toy train welcomed an impressive 5 lakh passengers and generated revenue of Rs. 3.54 crore, showcasing its enduring appeal among travellers.

According to central railway officials, during the Financial Year 2023-24, the central railway ferried a total of 5 lakh passengers to Matheran. This included 3.75 lakh passengers between Aman Lodge and Matheran and 1.25 lakh passengers between Neral and Matheran. The total revenue earned stood at Rs 3.54 crore, with Rs 2.48 crore coming from the Aman Lodge-Matheran route and Rs 1.06 crore from the Neral-Matheran route.

The central railway is preparing to introduce Sleeping Pods, also called Pod Hotel, at Matheran. These will feature single, double, and family pod options to accommodate different tourist needs. According to a spokesperson, the air-conditioned pods are designed for maximum comfort and privacy, featuring amenities like mobile charging points, lockers, fire alarms, intercoms, deluxe toilets and bathrooms among others.

The name Matheran means “forest on the forehead” in the local language. It was discovered in May 1850 by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then-Thane district collector. Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay at the time, laid the foundation for developing it as a hill station. The British developed Matheran into a popular summer resort to escape the region’s heat. The famous Matheran Hill Railway toy train line was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy.

Matheran offers numerous activities for tourists like walking, trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, valley crossing, night trails, and bird watching among others.