Nandankanan toy train service resumes from today

Bhubaneswar: The toy train services will resume in Odisha’s famous Nandankanan Zoo in Bhubaneswar from today, informed zoo authorities.

Reportedly, total of 72 visitors will get the chance to witness the rich flora and fauna of the zoo from the toy train in each ride. The tickets will be issued 30 mins prior to the ride.

Initially there will be six trips per day at 10 am,11 am, 12 noon, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm. After assessment of condition trip, the numbers will be gradually increased from Friday.

Earlier in October, nearly 50 people had a narrow escape as the toy train caught fire at Nandankanan Zoological Park. Short circuit was suspected to be the cause of the blaze in the moving toy train. It was immediately brought to a stop after smoke was seen emanating from the engine, and all the people onboard escaped unhurt.

The toy train project set up at the cost of Rs 3.05 crore and was inaugurated by Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on the premises of the zoo on the occasion of the State-level 67th wildlife week. RITES Ltd, a central PSU under the Ministry of Railways, is in charge of operation and track maintenance of the toy train at NandanKanan Zoo.

The toy train, which began in 1985 with a 1.6 km track, used to ferry as many as 60 visitors for a 20 minute ride. The toy train was among the major tourist destinations of the zoo and used to attract around 1.5 lakh tourists every year. The service was stopped in 2014 after the state government cancelled its agreement with a private operator.

It is worth stating that, the rope-way service, which was introduced in 1994 to ferry passengers from the zoo to the botanical garden and passed over the Kanjia lake, was permanently shut down in February 2011 following concerns over its safety. Zoo officials said the cable and the cars would be completely new and the ropeway would have a length of 627m.

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