The famous Blue Mountain Railway, otherwise known as The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, is a 46 km long metre gauge single-track railway. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and climbs up from Mettupalayam via Coonoor to Ooty through glorious mountain scenery and tea plantations. The entire line includes 13 tunnels, 19 bridges and 11 stations. The line was built between 1891 and 1908, with the section below Coonoor being one of the oldest and steepest rack and pinion systems in the world. The train along this section is hauled by a Swiss steam engine with speeds reaching little more than walking pace. Because of this the entire journey can take five or more hours. The shorter ride between Coonoor and Ooty (and vice versa) is the most practical option for most visitors staying in Ooty or Coonoor. A diesel locomotive pulls the train through this section, travelling through eucalyptus and tea plantations as well as subtropical vegetation. The views are spectacular and we feel this is a real highlight in South India.
At the time of writing the train times were as follows:
Ooty to Coonoor (09:15 – 10:25)
Coonoor to Ooty (10:30 – 12:00)
Ooty – Mettupalayam (14:00 – 17:45)
Coonoor to Ooty (16:30 – 17:45)