05 February 2015

Train hopping 3: Coonoor

Steam Loco Shed at Coonoor

Two steam engines at Coonoor

A crane with the bustling town of Coonoor in the background

The cabin of Coonoor railway station and the guard ready with the Red flag

Two train rakes in monochrome at Coonoor
Previous: Mettupalayam to Coonoor
Coonoor is the place for a quick fix of a hill station in the hot blazing summer of Tamil Nadu and for expensive boarding schools. It is also the hub of the tiny Nilgiri Mountain Railway. It hosts the Steam Loco Works and the railway colony for the employees of the NMR. Here, the exhausted steam engines pulling the train uphill from Mettupalayam rest and recoup. The train gets a 30 minute halt while the passengers make use of the interval to stretch and stroll. A metre gauge diesel engine pulls the train now on to Ooty. The railway station at Coonoor is always abuzz with steam engines from Mettupalayam  and dielsel engines from Ooty shunting across. There are more frequent trains here to Ooty than from Mettupalayam. They have coaches in the configuration of the bus. Tea Garden workers, residents of tiny hamlets on the way and tourists crowd these coaches. Unlike the train coming from Mettupalayam, standing passengers are also allowed on this segment. However, the tourists do no know what they are missing if they do just the Coonoor - Ooty segment. While the segment is picturesque in its own right it cannot match the atmospheric steep segment of Mettupalayam to Coonoor.
Next: Coonoor to Ooty
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