The heritage Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR), operating the popular mountain train services to the famous hill resort town Udhagamandalam (Ooty), is set to get new attractions, including a 'Coachteria', to woo tourists. The 'Coachteria', a theme-based restaurant would be opened at the Udhagamandalam station, the Southern Railway said.
The train service is a major tourist attraction as it winds its way through picturesque valleys and has been accorded World Heritage Status by UNESCO. It has also featured in several films, prominent among them being Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Dil Se' for which the runaway hit number "Chaiyya Chaiyya" was shot on the slow-moving train.
It was also planned to offer chartered services by a coal-fired steam locomotive hauled train between Mettupalayam and Coonoor for interested corporates and tour operators, a release said.
Apart from the 'Coachteria', Southern Railway is planning to open catering stalls at Udhagamandalam and Hillgrove stations. Also, there was a proposal to open souvenir shops at three heritage stations, the release said adding Southern Railway was presently scouting for different souvenir designs and suppliers.
Besides, stations and trains operated in NMR would be upgraded. The Golden Rock Workshop in Tiruchirappalli has modified NMR-87, a 25-year old coach in line with world-class standards while retaining its heritage value.
The coach has been upgraded at a cost of Rs 1.8 lakh promising a new experience for tourists. Themed vinyl wrappings, chairs with reclining feature, LED illumination, two-floor luggage racks, decorative vinyl stickers on the exteriors symbolising the charm of NMR are the new additions to improve the coach ambience.
Further, for the benefit of passengers, wi-fi facility has been provided at Udhagamandalam, Coonoor and Mettupalayam stations. Round trips will also be introduced between Coonoor and Runnymede, a distance of about eight km, the release said.