Suryakant Jena

After a brief hiatus, the newly launched eco-friendly toy train facility has once again chugged off in the Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar, much to the delight of tourists visiting the park this holiday season.

The joyride will run six times a day at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. Visitors wishing to take a detour through the rich abundance of flora and fauna of the park will have to book tickets half an hour in advance of the timing of the train. 

As per the available arrangements, the train has a total of 4 coaches and can accommodate 72 people on seats at a time including 2 for divyangs. 

It is worthwhile to mention here that after a gap of nearly 8 years, the toy train was launched with much fanfare on October 8 on the sidelines of the Wildlife Week celebrations. However, the engine of the train caught fire during a ride on October 15 following an alleged short circuit in the battery. 

Even though no one was injured in the mishap, the zoo authorities immediately shut down the operations of the train and handed over the restoration activities to RITES Limited, a Central PSU under the Ministry of Railways, which is in charge of operation and track maintenance for the toy train.

Meanwhile, speaking on the development, a zoo official expressed optimism that the train will continue to run smoothly without any glitches. 

"It will fetch six lots of visitors around the zoo on weekdays and nine runs on weekends. The number of running slots might be increased based on the footfall of tourists," said the official.