Mumbai, Jan 25 : Starting Republic Day, the famed Neral-Matheran toy train will ply on the entire 21 km distance after a gap of nearly 18 months, a Central Railway official said here on Thursday.
The train climbs up from Neral town to Matheran.
It is the nearest cool hill-station to Mumbai and is ranked Asia's only -- and among a handful worldwide -- vehicle-free zones, popular with tourists round the year.
The services on this route stopped since May 2016 after a couple of derailments in that year.
The service was partly resumed on a 3 km stretch between Aman Lodge-Matheran in October 2017.
From Friday, there will be only two services initially, one in each direction, on the narrow-gauge line of the 111-year-old toy train, with plans to augment trips gradually, to access the 2,625-feet altitude hill-station.
The lack of train connectivity severely hit the local village population, hoteliers who used it to ferry all provisions and the hordes of tourists since vehicles are only permitted up to Dasturi Naka, on the outskirts of the eco-sensitive hill-station.
Since the derailments, the Central Railway has carried out extensive maintenance works, replaced tracks, erected crash barriers or walls on some of the steep curves and other safety initiatives for safe journey of the six-coach toy train.