The Matheran Line has been Nominated for the Prestigious UN Award

The Melina Mercouri International Prize is awarded by UNESCO-Greece for outstanding examples of actions to protect and enrich the world’s cultural landscapes.

The Matheran Light Railway’s 21-kilometer track has been nominated for this year’s UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize, which has been on the UNESCO tentative heritage list since 2014. Officials from the Central Railway, who were overjoyed, stated that they will make every effort to reopen the line after the monsoon.

The award, which was established in 1995, recognizes outstanding examples of activities to protect and enrich the world’s cultural landscapes, which is a category of World Heritage. However, when the rails were washed away at 21 sites during the 2019 monsoon, the route was closed due to dangerous conditions.

Trains run between Aman Lodge and Matheran on the partially rebuilt railway.

The Indian National Commission for UNESCO Cooperation, which is part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of Secondary and Higher Education, submitted the nomination for the prize.

The little railway is equipped with vistadome carriages as well as air-conditioned vehicles. Once the line is repaired, a steam engine brought in from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is being fixed up at Neral yard and will be used for charter services.

Except for a few parts, the railway line that began as a private operation at the turn of the twentieth century has retained the majority of its original layout. It snakes through mountains, delivering visitors to the hill station of Matheran at 2,625 feet above sea level. The railway travels at a speed of around 13 kilometers per hour and has a gauge of only two feet. Abdul Hussain Peerbhoy commenced construction on the line in 1904, and it began ferrying passengers on March 22, 1907.

Photo Credit: https://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2020/11/indian-hill-town-gets-a-facelift/