UNESCO team to inspect Matheran Hill Railway Line for World Heritage Site

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): An expert team of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) led by Dr. Gion Caprez will visit India from October 24-31 to evaluate the property of the Matheran Light Railway (MLR) for inscription as a World Heritage Site.

During their visit, the team will hold meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Railways in Delhi and will also hold meeting with the Central Railway and Maharashtra State Government officials in Mumbai.

They will also visit the National Rail Museum in New Delhi to review the MLR related information, documentation, archives, exhibits, photographs and audio-video.

Later, the UNESCO expert team will undertake inspection of steam engine run Matheran Light Railway Train, its railway stations, buildings, sheds and nominated/buffer zones.

Matheran is the tiniest hill station of India, located on the Western Ghats range (about 110 km from Mumbai) in Maharashtra at an elevation of 800 m above sea level.

This hill station was connected with Neral station on planes situated nearly midway of the Mumbai-Pune road by constructing a unique two feet narrow gauge railway track by Abdul Hussain, son of the business tycoon, Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy of Mumbai.

Hussein, who was very fond of this hill place, floated a company for carrying out construction of this 21 kilometre track.

The construction started in 1904 was finally opened to traffic in 1907.

The Neral-Matheran hill railway line has 221 curves with only one small tunnel on the section and endowed with several interesting features of engineering skill.

The line climbs 720 meters in zigzag track and the rails used are very light hence the name Matheran Light Railway. (ANI)

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