Everything about Ooty!Nilgiri Mountain Railway Booking
What about advanced seat reservation options in Nilgiri Mountain Railway?
If you are so particular that you need a seat in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, reserve it in advance. The reservations can be done the same way you do it for any other regular trains in Indian railways. That is through the IRCTC website or from the railway reservation counters.
But there is one problem, a big problem. The seats get over booked well in advance. And if it happens to be the season, the seats are over booked soon the reservation period opens.
The main reason for this phenomena is there are only very few seats and the demand is far more. Imagine there are only some 100 seats for the Second Class and a dozen or so for the First Class. The demand easily exceeds many folds the available seats.
Typically up to three months in advance ( 90 days) you can reserve a seat. In any case check for the latest reservation policy for the Indian Railways.
In any case there is no choice but to try your luck and book a seat on the available day. The IRCTC website comes handy in both searching for accommodation availability and also for booking online.
While on the subject of seat reservation, the most curious aspect is the fare. Can you guess how much a second class ticket cost from Mettupalayam to Ooty , a 46km journey covered in 5 hours? Just 8 rupees. Yes eight rupees.
For those who can not visualize the rupee value, 8 rupee is just 0.16 USD or 0.11 GBP. That is the standard Second Class fare for any passenger class trains in India, leave alone whether it is a UNESCO World Heritage listed or not.
This must be the longest ( at least in terms of travel time ) rail journey in the world one can opt for at Rs8. Of course we are not competing with those ticket less travelers in the long distance trains.
Back to the ticket rates again. If you are reserving the Second Class ticket the fare is Rs 23 ( just under 1/2 USD ) . That is because the standard reservation fees (Rs15) is added to the base fare of Rs8. It looks funny, the reservation fee is more than the ticket charge. Remember, this is Indian Railways , the rules are applied.
The First Class ticket is relatively expensive at Rs117. If you are reserving , add another Rs25 as reservation fee. In other words a reserved First Class ticket cost Rs142 ( just under 3 USD or 2 EURO ).
Now let us see the train details. That is the train number you need to provide for the reservation.
Train No:662 is the Mettupalayam to Ooty passenger train . Train No. 661 is the Ooty to Mettupalayam passenger.
In the Indian Railways' lingo the names are spelt a bit differently. So if you are searching the Indian railways website for a train to Ooty, it is unlikely that you would find one. Ooty is the anglicized name of Udagamandalam. The puzzle is easily solved if you use the same names ( or station codes ) the railways uses. A list is given below.
Udagamandalam (UAM) ; Lovedale (LOV) ; Ketti (KXT) ; Aruvankadu (AVK) ; Wellington (WEL) ; Coonoor (ONR) ; Hillgrove (HLG) ; Mettupalayam (MTP) .
The most popular connection pair of trains are the Chennai - Mettupalayam Nilgiri Express ( Train No: 2671 ) and the No:662 Mettupalayam - Ooty passenger described above.
The Nilgiri Express leaves Chennai central at 9.00 in the night and reaches Mettupalayam at 6.15 in the morning. In another one hour time , that is by 7.10 AM the Mettupalayam - Ooty passenger ( Train No. 662 ) leaves for Ooty. So you start your Ooty by arriving in style by the mountain train. That is by 12 noon , the train arrives at Ooty town. See the table 86 and 97 in the Railway Time Table for the train schedules.
Similarly the return Ooty - Mettupalayam passenger ( Train No: 661 ) leaves Ooty by 3.00 PM are arrives Mettupalayam by 6.35 PM. For the onward journey catch the Nilgiri Express (Train No: 2672 ) for Chennai that leaves Mettupalayam by 7.45 PM. This arrives Chennai central by 5.10 the next day morning.
The Route of Nilgiri Express is : Mettupalayam (MTP) - Coimbatore Jn (CBE) - Tiruppur (TUP) - Erode Jn (ED) - Salem Jn (SA) - Katpadi Jn (KPD) - Arakkonam (AJJ) - Perambur (PER) - Chennai Central (MAS).
If you are traveling to Ooty from Bangalore see the details at Bangalore to Ooty page. Both the road route ( Bangalore - Mysore - Gundlupet- Ooty ) and the Rail Route ( Bangalore City - Bangalore Cant - Hosur - Dharmapuri - Omalur - Salem Jn - Erode Jn - Tiruppur - Coimbatore Jn) are detailed in the above mentioned page. Additionally a railway time table too is attached at the end of Bangalore to Ooty page.
If you are getting a connection from Coimbatore, see Coimbatore to Ooty for various travel options and distances.
One last word. Don't get confused by the train names Nilgiri Express and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
Nilgiri Express ( 12671 & 12672 ) is a pair of regular express trains connecting Chennai with Mettupalayam. Nilgiri Mountain Railway essentially refers to the passenger trains ( also the whole systems associated with it ) that operate between Mettupalayam and Ooty.