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The Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Episode 2 of 3

Guard Ivan is concerned about his friend Jenni, the ticket inspector on the romantic Nilgiri Mountain Railway line, because Jenni is still a bachelor.

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?

1 hour

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:08

    Offenbarung 23

    60 Minuten - Die Echtzeitfolge

  • 00:31

    American Tribes United

    Indian Village Part 1

  • 00:36

    Shilpa Rao

    Aisi Sazaa

  • 00:39

    Madrid Pimps

    Intro (Con Javi Aka El Brujo)

  • 00:50

    Offenbarung 23

    Insomnia Teil 12

Photo: Udhagamandalam station

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

Steam Railways Collection

Steam Railways Collection
Watch a collection of programmes celebrating Britain’s extraordinary Steam Railway legacy.

Go to the BBC Four Steam Railways Collection


Role Contributor
Director Hugo Smith
Series Producer Gerry Troyna