The Ooty toy train is one of the experiences many visiting Ooty look forward to. However, these heritage train tickets get sold out months in advance. As I promised in the previous blog about the train museum and how I DIDN’T get the ticket, this blog is to share those little hacks you can try if you are keen on getting on that train from Mettupalayam to Ooty.
The toy train starts from Mettupalayam till Ooty. There are a few more stops in between. There is only one service in the morning that takes you from Mettupalayam to Ooty. However, there are different services between the stops like Coonoor, Lovedale and so on.
As per the staff at Mettupalayam station, the journey from Mettupalayam until Ooty is the one you don’t want to miss. Together with the climate in the morning and the scenery, the route has to offer, this is the best choice for tourists.
The journey takes around 5 hours to complete whereas the bus from Mettupalayam to Ooty reaches in 2 hours. So, let me answer a few things that I had in mind when I was trying to get a ticket and now that I have been there I can share a little about reality too.
Booking Toy Train To Ooty Tickets Online
The best way to book the ticket online is through IRCTC’s site or mobile app. However, the station names can be a little tricky. You won’t find a station called Ooty if you search there, instead search for Udagamandalam. It is very easy to make a mistake with the spelling of both the stations and IRCTC straight-up shows error and doesn’t suggest any alternatives. So, here are station codes for these stations.
See, how even Google autocorrects me to Mettupalayam but please don’t be that spell-check nazi with the IRCTC app, you’ll be very much irritated.
Now, if you see the search results, there is only one train that starts from MTP to UAM. It starts at 7 AM and reaches around 12 PM. You will also notice that tickets are all not available even for the dates in the later months.
However, it is best to book the tickets online to get a confirmed ticket and in such cases, a good pre-planning of the trip will do.
There are two types of tickets, one general ticket that comes for around Rs. 145 and the first-class ticket around Rs. 450. I would suggest taking a general ticket since there is not much difference in the seating arrangement. Also, unlike other train services, hey won’t allow anyone without a confirmed ticket inside. So, a general ticket is, in my opinion, good enough to enjoy the journey.
The only difference is the position of the coaches, the first-class tickets come at the beginning or end of the train. But, if you don’t get the tickets, there are a few numbers of tickets that are available offline, on the spot at the Mettupalayam railway station.
Booking Toy Train To Ooty Tickets Offline
Even though there is an offline system to take the tickets, it is not that easy. People stand in the queue early in the morning. There is a train from Coimbatore to Mettupalayam, I think that is the only train at that time. It reaches around 6 or 6.30 AM and pretty much everyone who comes in that train, tourists mostly, aim at getting an offline ticket on the toy train.
That being said, if you are coming by this train, get down fast and run with everything you have to the station. Start the queue or join the queue and don’t look back. You won’t have to start it mostly since there will be many who have already formed the line. Always remember, you can take the pictures of the train being in the queue or after you get the tickets. Never move from the queue. Yaay, I feel like a combat instructor 😊
Here’s the good news though. After some time, after the ticket issuing starts, you’ll notice the line gets dispersed since the tickets are all sold out. That is when you SHOULD NOT lose your hope.
Well, at this moment, if you made into the list of the ones who go the ticket, then congrats, wait till an official makes you sit in a particular seat. If not, there’s no point in being in the line anymore. Come out and look for the TTR, yes the guy who checks the ticket. If you don’t find him at first check for the person surrounded by many others in the queue.
Now it is the time for the begging and making it happen. Usually, there will be empty seats in the first-class or reserved seats. There are chances those who booked online cancel or some unexpected seats available. If you are really keen on taking this trip then check with the guy in the uniform and stick around till he says there are no more tickets available or the train starts.
If you are traveling solo, chances for you to get a ticket this way is pretty high. Succeded at this attempt? Go ahead and enjoy the trip.
A Little Hack To Ensure The Toy Train Ride
Sometimes some experiences mean a lot more than just an experience. It can be something special that you have been meaning to do or a journey through the beautiful Nilgiris by train maybe one such special thing for you.
If you are so keen on doing it, this is one option suggested by someone who deals with it every day. This is also a cheap option to do so which not people make use of. There are retiring rooms available at all railway stations in India. I recently came to know about and a large majority of people don’t know about this facility or don’t opt for it.
The suggested way was to book one retiring room for the night which costs minimal rent within Rs. 200 and spent the night there. Wake up early in the morning and be there at the starting of the queue the next day for the offline tickets.
I didn’t do it and never have seen any retiring rooms in my life. But, I am told these rooms are alright to spent the night with minimal facilities. So, there you go, you can make use of these rooms if you come to this station late or miss the train.
For me, I took the toy train from Ooty to Coonoor and that was beautiful. I hope you get a ticket and have a good time.
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