The Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Image for The Nilgiri Mountain RailwayNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 2 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

From the Himalayas in the north to the Nilgiris in the south - for a hundred years these little trains have climbed through the clouds and into the wonderful world of Indian Hill Railways.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a romantic line, popular with honeymooners and driven by love and devotion as well as steam. It chugs through the south Indian jungle up to a hill station, once known as Snooty Ooty.

The current guard is Ivan. Married for twenty years, he is concerned about his friend Jenni, the ticket inspector, because he's still a bachelor - but Jenni has a secret.

In the engine shed, Shivani, the railway's first female diesel engineer, is working on a steam loco. She has to make it look its best, as in the year of filming, 1999, the railway celebrated its centenary. The high point is the Black Beauty competition to pick the best engine on the line, but rains and landslides threaten the proceedings and the tourist business. Will love win out in the end?

  • Photo: Udhagamandalam station

    Photo: Udhagamandalam station

    The station at Udhagamandalam, previously known as Ootycamund, on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

  • BBC Archive: Steam Trains

    BBC Archive: Steam Trains

    In this collection of television and radio programmes we celebrate the craftsmanship inherent in steam trains and the beauty of the British countryside through which these locomotives have passed.

    Go to the BBC Archive: Steam Trains website


Series Producer
Gerry Troyna


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