The over 100 years old Matheran toy train of Maharashtra is ready to huff and puff its way into the prestigious Unesco Heritage list soon. The Union Ministry of Culture and the Indian Railways are determined to turn this prospect into a reality and are therefore currently busy readying the final dossier on the historic Matheran Light Railway (MLR).
Railway officials, infact, are look forward to seeing the Matheran hill train on the 2009 Unesco list. It was in 2005 itself when the Indian Railways (IR) proposed that the Matheran hill train be included in the Unesco list. But it was not fated to happen so as later that year, Mumbai witnessed a violent deluge on 26/7, which washed away a significant portion of the tracks of the 20-km Matheran railway.
Thereafter the central Railway had to spend nearly two years to get them back in their original condition. It was only in February 2007 that the Matheran toy train restarted its operation. ‘Last year, the ministry of culture could not back our application for MLR as they had already selected two other sites. But this year, they have promised to push for the Matheran train with Unesco,’ said executive director (heritage) at the ministry of railways, Rajesh Agrawal.