The Southern Railway celebrated 150 years of Mettupalayam Railway Station in style including illuminating the station and other buildings like the Nilgiri Mountain Railway Museum
The Salem Division of the Southern Railway Zone had much to celebrate about during last week as the Mettupalayam Railway Station in the region completed 150 glorious years of serving the passengers and tourists. On August 31, the station completed 15 decades of its existence.
Located at the foothills of the Nilgiris in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, MRS which was opened on 31.08.1873 is well-known as the starting point of the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway which goes to Ooty. The station has the singular distinction of being the only one in South and one of the few in India which has both broad gauge and metre gauge rail lines. The western side of the MRS has a metre gauge track to haul the NMR, the eastern side has the broad gauge to run other trains.
To mark this historic occasion, a two-day long celebration was held which saw holding of various events. On Wednesday, a marathon run was held early in the morning and more than 40 runners enthusiastically participated in the event that commenced at MRS and went through different parts of the town. To emphasise on nature conservation, the station authorities distributed saplings to the passengers.
An exhibition of old and rare photographs pertaining to Mettupalayam Railway Station and Nilgiri Mountain Railway was inaugurated at the station. The show was a great hit among the people as the youngsters were thrilled to see how the station looked in the past and the events that took place there while for many senior citizens it a walk down the memory lane.
On Thursday sweets was distributed to 1,000 passengers travelling in the Mettupalayam-Udagamandalam NMR train and the Mettupalayam-Coimbatore MEMU trains in the morning.
To commemorate this important occasion, a special train with 3 coaches was operated between Mettupalayam-Kallar-Mettupalayam for school children. Among those who travelled on this special train were 130 students and staff of Government and Government-aided schools from Oomapalayam, Odandurai, Kattoor and Mettupalayam. School children not only got to travel but also received attractive T-shirts and sweets.
A tree plantation campaign was carried out at the NMR Museum premises and a function was held to felicitate 105 retired employees who had worked at Mettupalayam while prizes and certificates were given to winners of the marathon.
While taking pride in the MRS, its officials are ensuring that both its present and future continue to be noteworthy. The station which caters to more than 3,700 passengers per day has opened a new booking office to help commuters. The station is being redeveloped under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme and will have all the modern amenities and facilities.