Matheran, a Hill-Station in India, Maharashtra, is the only location in India, where no tar roads and no motorized vehicles are allowed. The only road access from NERAL at a height of 39.3 m above sea level on the East-Side ends at a height of 758 m and 2 km outside the town of Matheran at DASTURI. All materials, goods and delivery products have to be transhipped from arriving lorries and good carriers on hand pulled carts or pack horses and carried over a cart-road with steep gradients to Matheran Market at a height of 804 m above sea level. The cart road passes a hill-slip prone zone near Beatrice Cliff. During the heavy rainfalls of the 2005 monsoon, this “only supply route” got blocked by mud-, earth-, rock- slips and hill-slides.

The narrow gauge Toy Train from Neral to Matheran proofed to be not all-year-round reliable. Since 2005 the railway had to be closed down several times for month-long repairs and reconstructions after severe damages inflicted by heavy monsoon rainfalls.

The idea had been borne to look for alternative, more monsoon proof transport routes.

An Aerial Ropeway from the East-Side over the Garbut Rim proved to become uneconomical and heavily inflicting with the ecological sensitive declared zone of Matheran.

In 2009, it was during the tenure of the Matheran business tycoon Mr. Manoj Khedkar as the president of Matheran Municipal Council, that the idea of a Funicular Railway on the West Matheran Side along the slopes of the ravine between Porcupine Point and Maldunga Point from Dhodani to Malet Spring Point together with a feasibility report had been floated:

The technical paper reveals, that an about 2.5 km long  Funicular Railway on the West-Side of Matheran from a difficult to reach bottom station at the village Dodhani to an upper station in the forest near Malet Spring, about 1 mile outside of Matheran, will become extraordinary capital investment intensive  and highly inflicting with the nature preservation activities. A similar uncompleted project near Kalyan is in limbo, and the uncompleted steel trajectory/guideway is left to heavy corrosion, with no chance to be ever completed due to unsolved safety aspects. The chosen elevated trajectory is not safe against possible derailments.

After refurbishing the Neral-Dasturi tar-road, this “only road” is now in a quite good condition. However, some selected sections have to be further secured against Rock-Falls and Hill-Slides by state-of-the-art Rock-Fall  and Slope Stabilisation technologies.

The Car-Park at Dasturi got a pavement with interlocking cement stone blocks. It is said that the Taxi-Stand, Transhipment-Area and Horse-Stand will soon be also paved.

The visitor entrance from the toll boot up to the hand-cart/rickshaw stand has been dressed up with a new look.

Further programmes for the beautification of the infrastructure for visitors, tourists, customers and guests are in progress hoping that in the post corona period they will flock in as before.

The stony and dilapidated Dasturi-Matheran Cart-Road is currently under reconstruction and will get a smooth surface with brick paver blocks over a full 5 km length up tp Pandey Play Ground. Over lowering-spots, the alignment of the cart-road gets flattened by lifting on gabions and culverts of up to 2.5 m height. However, the steep gradient/incline at the hair-pin curvature before Wayside Inn will remain an unsolved obstacle. To lower the ruling gradient, the road has to be elongated by a new trace through the protected forest. But will be not allowed under the conservation rules.

In order to achieve an all-year-round reliable and stable route, the next step must be to prevent the section near Beatrice Cliff to slip further down. This could be done by a comprehensive surface-water management with a network of catch-drains. Gabions cannot stop hill-slides.

Once the cost effective East-Side transport route from Neral will become all-year-round safe operational and resistant against the impacts of heavy monsoon periods on the way to come, there will be no need any more for high capital investment alternatives.

To learn more, download the PDF:FUNICULAR MATHERAN


This elaboration has been composed for a book project of Indian Railway Authors on METRO RAIL IN INDIA as Part I of a Picture Gallery with images of the operational colour coded Lines of Indian Metro Rail.

Worldwide India is raking second behind China in regard of the pace in installing and expanding in its cities Metro Rail. The operational total length as April 2020 has reached 692.65 km. Further 968 km are at present under construction or extension in varies cities.

METRO RAIL IN INDIA, meeting the demand for Urban Mobility, is a success story for its fast paced legislation, planning, financing, construction and operation; and in the last 18 years has significantly improved URBAN MOBILITY and changed the public transport in several Indian cities.

The Kolkata Metro was for 18 years the only Underground Metro Rail in India, opening for commercial services from 1984. It celebrates now its 35th anniversary.  Only after 18 years, Delhi was the second city to get Metro Rail. The first underground section (Vishwa Vidyalaya – Kashmere Gate) of the Yellow Line opened on 20th December 2004. Within only 18 years the network expanded to 692 km serving over 250 stations.

Delhi Metro is a Pioneer in METRO RAIL EXPANSION and a Symbol of the Progress, that India has made in the last two decades. The leading eminent personality behind this success story is Mr. E. Sreedharan:

See: Rajendra B. Aklekar: “INDIA`S RAILWAY MAN – A BIOGRAPHY OF E. SREEDHARAN”, 2017, Rups Publication India Pvt., New Delhi, ISBN: 978-81-291-XXXX-X.

The rapid success with Metro Rail is also owed to the fact, that India has imported under the leadership of E. Sreedharan  the technology from abroad.


WORLD OF METRO RAIL IN PICTURES 21st Century Global Metro Rail and World’s oldest Metros By F.A. Wingler, Germany, July 2020

The first Gallery shows Pictures of 21st Century Global Metro Rail, with exception of Indian Metro Rail, elaborated for a book project of the eminent Indian authors of Railway Books: M.M. Agarwal, S. Chandra and K.K. Miglani, on METRO RAIL IN INDIA. The separate gallery with pictures of Metro Rail in India will come later.

The second Gallery in the Annexure shows Pictures of the World`s oldest Metros.

To get informed, download the  WORLD OF METRO RAIL IN PICTURES red


An Overview in Pictures on advisable Rolling Stocks for Light Rail and Regional Rapid Transit – the Future of Mobility in India with Urban Rail

By Dr. F.A. Wingler, April 2020

 Urban Rail” is a technical collective term encompassing Metro Rail, Commuter Rail, Light Metro and Light Rail Transit (“Metro-Lite”).

The paper gives an overview in pictures on advisable Rolling Stocks for Light Rail and Regional Rapid Transit for the Future of Mobility in India.

With a massive drive, India is on the way to provide MOBILITY as a SERVICE, MaaS, and to mitigate its often chaotic Urban Transport Environments. Investing in METRO-RAIL alone – although deployed in India in a large scale – does not solve the transport and traffic problems in congested areas.

India is proceeding to integrate Metro-Rail, Commuter Rail and Governmental Indian Railways within multimodal urban, suburban, interurban and regional public transport schemes by Hubs with LIGHT-METRO, LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, METRO-LITE and REGIONAL RAPID (Semi-High Speed) TRANSITS, RRTS.

Other affiliated transport modes to be connected and integrated are Rubber Tyred Bus Rapid Transit, BRT or METRO-NEO, WATER-METRO and Aerial METRO ROPEWAY.


 With Light Rail Transit/Metro-Lite there is in India the aspect of INTEROPERABILITY of Light Rail Transit/Metro-Lite with Metro Rail sharing track, lines and infrastructure as TRAM-METRO-TRAIN within a comprehensive Urban Rail Concept.

Light Rail Transit/Metro-Lite, Metro-on-Tyre/Metro-Neo are not only more cost efficient than Metro Rail, those urban, suburban, interurban and regional public transport technologies cover wider areas and are easier to be interlinked with on-demand PARA TRANSIT MODES.

 Rolling stocks for Regional Rapid Transits differentiate in principle from conventional High Speed Train rolling stocks in designs of doors for rapid embarkation and disembarkation and in designs of interior.

 There will be a POST CORONA AERA/PERIODE OF TIME – “POST COVIC-19 LIFE”with a paradigm shift to other more cost efficient transport modes serving wider urban and suburban areas, other than capital investment intensive Metro Rail, latter serving only certain corridors.


Urban, suburban, interurban and regional public TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES improving the Economy and the Living Standards of the Population in India – Improving Public Transport in India; by Dr. F.A. Wingler, January 2020

Dr. E. Sreedharan: “It is a social Need to improve Urban Mobility”.

 Traffic congestion has increased dramatically in India. Congestion and the associated slow Urban Mobility can have a huge adverse impact on both the quality of life and the economy. It is indisputable that cities are the engines of economic growth. To realise the full potential of its economy and demography, India must not only look to increase its rate of urbanisation but also enhance the quality of life in existing cities. Today, Indian cities are characterised by increasing levels of congestion, pollution, road fatalities and inequity in access.

It is national policy/strategy/planning to ease the often chaotic traffic in Indian Cities by deploying modern world class standard modes of urban, suburban, interurban and regional public transport. Aim is to improve the Economy and the Living Standards of the People/Population by developing Urban Transport Infrastructure for MOBILITY as a SERVICE (MaaS) boosting socio-economic development for building a strong and prosperous Indian Nation. The government looks to make sustainable urban transport a priority.

In a move to recognise and act upon urban mobility issues, in 2006 the Federal Government of India introduced the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP), setting the policy framework for providing sustainable mobility for the future. In 2015 the Indian Government unveiled its new plan to upgrade 100 cities into ‘smart cities’ and to ‘renew’ 500 cities. Managing the Urbanization Process is likely to be the single biggest challenge, that will confront Policymakers in India over the next decade.

The fast paced implementation of METRO RAIL in several mega cities has become a main constituent within the governmental transport and traffic policy for urban development.

The rapid success with Metro Rail is owed to the fact, that India has imported the technology from abroad.   

Delhi Metro is a Pioneer in METRO RAIL EXPANSION and a Symbol of the Progress, that India has made in the last decade. The leading eminent personality behind this success story is Mr. E. Sreedharan.

With METRO RAIL, the INDIAN URBAN MOBILITY PROBLEMS AND CONSTRAINTS have not yet been solved. The deployment of METRO RAIL is only one step. Other Mobility Measurements with technologies other than Metro Rail have to follow for Transport orientated Developments (TOD). This is nowadays well understood amongst Indian transport experts.

METRO RAIL is investment cost intensive and serves mostly only certain corridors. To make METRO RAIL viable operating economically, it needs affiliated supplements, complements and accessories. FEEDER SYSTEMS and multimodal CONNECTIVTY HUBS link METRO RAIL with the other modes of transport: Railway, Commuter Rail, Light Rail Transits, Bus Rapid Transit, Water Metro, Ropeway and On-Demand Para-Transits, that cover wider areas. “METROLITE”, “METRO ON TYRES”, “METRO NEO”, “WATER METRO”, aerial “ROPEWAY(“URBAN MOBILITY BY CABLE”), “AUTOMATED PEOPLE MOVER, APM” with “PODCARS”, “PERSONAL RAPID TRANSIT, PRT” with “METRINO”/”SKYTRAN” and “FEEDER/SHUTTLE SERVICES” are the new envisaged affiliated and more cost effective modes and solutions for smaller towns, emerging suburbs  and for planed new townships, commuter towns, subdivisions, emerging smart communities, special economic zones (SEZ), techno parks and business centres.

In Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai Commuter Rail with local trains play a significant role for Urban Mobility. Commuter Rail has a far higher transport capacity and runs faster than Metro Rail. Bangalore plans to increase the Commuter Rail Network by 148 km with 57 Stations.

The problems in providing affordable transport for the mass of low income population (Public Transport for All) and with the Freight and Goods Transport in Urban Environment are still unsolved.

Intermediate Para-Transit Services (IPT) are cheap and flexible and not fixed to certain routes. IPT is mostly the backbone of public transport in cities with low income population around the world. Intermediate Para-Transit Services have to be incorporated into the strategic planning for Indian cities.

To read more about feasible transport technologies boosting the socio-economic development,


MATHERAN TRANSPORT, PART V; Challenge to make Matheran Transport Monsoon proof; preventive Measurements to secure Road and Railtrack from Destructions caused by heavy Monsoon Rainfall

On August 19th 2019 heavy Monsoon Rainfall with over 400 mm has severely damaged the 2 feet Narrow Gauge Railtrack at 21 spots. The patch repair works since 2005/06 proved again to be not stable against the impact of heavy monsoon.

Now again about 20 Crore INR are asked to bring the vulnerable track into operation.

It is the Challenge to make Matheran Transport Monsoon proof! Preventive Measurements to secure Road and Railtrack from Destructions caused by the impact of heavy Monsoon Rainfall are:

  • A comprehensive Surface Water Management with a dens Network of Catch/Berm/Interception Drains above the Routes,
  • Preventive Removal of loose Rocks and Gravel endangering the Routes,
  • Rock- and Slope-Stabilisation with Rock Bolt-Anchors,
  • Well anchored Retaining Walls,
  • Solid Protection Galleries,
  • Use of Hill/Slope-Side Bridges at vulnerable Spots and Corners.

In order to secure the long term existence of the scenic and heritage Neral-Matheran Railway, massive investments would have to be made to upgrade the tracks in order to make the route resistant to the rigors of Mother Nature in the rainy seasons. Technically, it is possible to upgrade the rail track so that it can withstand the influence of heavy rain falls in the long run. If the required investment does not happen and the current patch repairs remain the rule, the toy train has no future.

The plan with battery operated cart and rickshaw transport will not work economically. The energy to lift the heavy loads up from the height of Aman Lodge up to Matheran Market has to be stored in the batteries. After one run they will be empty and need to be charged, which will take longer than one run.  The present manual coolie practice will remain cheaper and more economical. It gives also income to local people. However their work should be made easier by flattening the steep gradient at the hairpin curvature between Aman Lodge and Way Side Inn.

To boost tourism, the Maharashtra State Government has approved the development project with clay paver blocks for covering the unpaved roads and pathways. When giving Matheran a “MAKEOVER” by laying clay paver blocks on the cart roads one has to consider, that the terrain near Beatrice Cliff is not stable. The section, which went adrift and slit down during the 2005 monsoon rainfall, the so-called 2005 Maharashtra 9 floods, is still yielding and flowing.

To prevent further hill slip, the whole area has to by catch-drained to prevent the water soaking into the ground and causing further earth slips. This has to be well understood.

The next monsoon is already on the way to come.

To read more: Download MATHERAN TRANSPORT, PART Vc 


Matheran, a hillstation in India, Maharashtra, is the only location in India, where no tar roads and no motorized vehicles are allowed. The only road access from Neral with a height of 39.31 m above sea level ends at a height of 758 m 2 km outside the town Matheran at DASTURI. All goods and delivery products have to be transhipped from arriving lorries and good carriers on coolie load carriers, hand pulled carts or pack horses and carried over an unfortified, dilapidated stony cart road, which turns in rainy season into a slurry or mud way to Matheran Market at a height of 804 m above sea level. The supply route Dasturi-Matheran is the life artery of Matheran. Visitors walk on the last miles, ride on a horse, use a hand pulled rickshaw or travel on a 2 ft Narrow Gauge Baby Shuttle-Train. The Shuttle train operates with two Diesel Locos in push-pull-mode and produce a lot of smoky combustion emission. This rail service is highly vulnerable by heavy monsoon.

Amritsar in Punjab is planning to install between the railway station and the Golden Temple a shuttle service for visitors with an ecological friendly automated Pod-Car People Mover (APM). The author proposes for the last miles connectivity at Matheran a similar eco-friendly and monsoon proof electric operated Pod Car shuttle service for passengers as well for delivery goods/freight. To read more, download :

From the 1832 Horse pulled Tramway to 21th Century Light Rail Transit/Light Metro Rail – a short History of the Evolution in Pictures

Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Light Metro Rail (LMR) Systems operates with Light Rail Vehicles (LRV). Those Light Rail Vehicles run in urban region on Streets on reserved or unreserved rail tracks as City Trams, elevated as Right-of-Way Trams or Underground as Metros, and they can run also suburban and interurban on dedicated or reserved rail tracks or on main railway lines as Commuter Rail. The invest costs for LRT/LMR are less than for Metro Rail, the diversity is higher and the adjustment to local conditions and environment is less complicated.

Whereas Metro Rail serves only certain corridors, LRT/LRM can be installed with dense and branched networks to serve wider areas.

In India the new buzzword for LRT/LMR is “METROLIGHT” or “METROLITE”.

The Indian Central Government proposes to run light urban metro rail ‘Metrolight’ or Metrolite” in smaller towns of various states. These transits will operate in places, where the density of people is not so high and a lower ridership is expected. The Light Rail Vehicles will have three coaches, and the speed will be not much more than 25 kmph. The Metrolight will run along the ground as well as above on elevated structures. Metrolight will also work as a metro feeder system. Its cost is less compared to the metro rail installations. In addition to less capital cost, the operation and maintenance cost of Metrolight would also be less making the system more viable.

Seeing the success of metro rail in India, several other cities with a lower projection of ridership are also aspiring for a rail-based mass rapid transit system, which could be fulfilled by the light urban rail transit called ‘Metrolight’ or “Metrolite” with lower capacity at much less cost.

To implement the ‘Metrolite’ system in smaller cities, the Central Indian Government will provide financial assistance to the states.

To learn more, download the PDF file


The transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century marked the birth of mono-rail guided transport technology in India and Germany.

The Kundala Valley Railway in India, a road borne railway system, was built in 1902 and operated between Munnar and Top Station in the Kannan Devan Hills of Kerala. It operated with mono-rail guided bullock-cart vehicles rolling on one side with steel wheels on a mono-rail and balanced on the other side by a larger cart-wheel on a cart road, built to transport tea and other goods. This mono-rail was based on the Ewing System.

The second Ewing System in India had been the Patiala State Monorail Tramway (PSMT):

It had been hauled by a steam engine, and it was running from 1907 to 1927 in south-east Punjab. A steam locomotive and a coach of PSMT have been restored and are exhibited in the Indian National Rail Museum, New Delhi, in running condition.

1901 had been the opening year of the Wuppertal suspended Mono-Rail for public urban transport in Germany. Since that time it rolls now over 100 years with electric powered two-flange steel wheels on an elevated right-of-way steel mono-rail supported by a girder construction, floating over roads and river.

In the 21st century, centre Mono-Rail guided People Movers have entered global level as Road Buses and Automated People Movers (APM), latter running with inflated rubber tires on right-of-way roll-ways. They might also come to India as innovative automated people movers in the smart cities and technology parks meeting the demands of Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
To learn more, download:


The author worked as a technical advisor for the Indian handbook project by the authors M.M. Agarwal, S. Chandra and K. Migliani METRO RAIL FOR URBAN MOBILITY IN INDIA (2020)., first edition, 2020,  Prabha & Co. Delhi 110092, India, ISBN: 81-906656-6-14.

To gain for this book project an overview on the World of Transport Technologies and as well on international and Indian Activities, Initiatives, Developments and Trends for URBAN MOBILITY AS A SERVICE (MaaS), in December 2019, the author launched a collection of current publications, summarized in individual METRO NEWS LETTERS. The individual METRO NEWSLETTERS have been gathered in PDF portfolios, which are free for download.

Urban, suburban and interurban public transport in megapolis area has many technical facets.

The portfolios feature global and Indian activities and initiatives as well as recent developments and technological trends for URBAN MOBILITY AS A SERVICE, including Metro Rail, Metro Monorail on Concrete Straddle Beam (ALWEG), light Monorail on Steel-Beam Guideways (INTAMIN), Commuter Rail, Regional Rapid Transit, Light Rail Vehicle and Transit, Light Metro Rail, combined Tram-Train, connection of Metro Rail with Railway, Metro Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, Metro Ropeway/Train, Suspended People Movers (SAFEGE), Rubber Tired People Movers on Guide/Roll Ways, linear Induction Motor propelled Light Metro, last Mile autonomous People Mover, automated on-Demand PodCar People Mover, low speed Maglev and Rope pulled Hovercraft People Mover, Water Metro and environment friendly Propulsion Technologies with Overhead Electricity Feeding,  Batteries, Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HydRail) and Natural Gas.

The portfolios cover publications on Connectivity – the Integration of different public transport modes into seamless urban, suburban and interurban public Transport Concepts -, on multimodal Hubs, autonomous and guided Technology, on the use of Digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and of Artificial Intelligence (AI), on modern Information Systems as well on seamless Ticket and Payment start-to-end Concepts and Technologies.

Urban Mobility spurs economic development and expansion. Urban Mobility as a Service, MaaS, is leading to a rapid change in the economy and quality of life in modern megapolis environment and is shaping Mobility in smart cities, in India and around the globe.

Samples for successful INTEGRATED MULTIMODAL URBAN MOBILITY SOLUTIONS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT, IT, are the integrated and multimodal public urban, suburban and interurban transport solutions in Istanbul (Turkey), Helsinki (Finland), Berlin (Germany), Stockholm (Sweden), Mexico (Mexico), Madrid (Spain), Toronto (Canada) and Portland (USA).

METRO RAIL IN INDIA, meeting the demand for Urban Mobility, is a success story for its fast paced legislation, planning, financing, construction and operation; and in the last 14 years has significantly improved URBAN MOBILITY and changed the public transportin several Indian cities.

The Kolkata Metro was for 18 years the only Underground Metro Rail in India, opening for commercial services from 1984.

Only after 18 years, Delhi was the second city to get Metro Rail. The construction started in 1998, and the first elevated section (Shahdara – Tis Hazari) on the Red Line opened on 24th December 2002, while the first underground section (Vishwa Vidyalaya – Kashmere Gate) of Yellow Line opened on 20th December 2004. Within only 15 years the network expanded to 343 km serving 250 stations. The system has a mix of underground, at-grade, and elevated stations using both broad-gauge and standard-gauge. Delhi Metro operates with 8 lines over 2,700 trips daily, starting at around 05:00 and ending at 23:30 hrs.

Delhi Metro is a Pioneer in METRO RAIL EXPANSION and a Symbol of the Progress, that India has made in the last decade.

Metro Rail and Metro Monorail run currently in 11 Indian megacities, and are proposed, approved, under planning or under construction in 22 more cities. As of March 2019, India has 639 km of operational metro lines and 496 stations. A further 500 km of lines are under construction.

For the construction of underground sections latest state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines are used, which significantly accelerates the construction.

Mumbai operates 19 km of elevated Straddle Beam Mono Rail. Kochi has a Water Metro, and for Shimla, Darjeeling, Dharamsalam, Tsomgo Lake in Tsomgo, East Sikkim and Varanasi Gondola Aerial Ropeway Metro is envisaged. In 12 tourist places shorter scenic Ropeways are already in operation. Further Ropeway locations for local public transport under evaluation include Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra; Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu; Langolceiraoching-Marjing Ching, and Sendra to Thanga, Chaoba Ching, Loktak in Manipur; Bermpark-Bhawani Island in Andhra Pradesh; Vasco da Gama to Dona Paula in Goa; and in Kochi. For Urban Mobility in Chandigarh, an area with less town-dweller than in the Indian mega cities, a light Monorail of Swiss INTAMIN Technology, running on a right-of-way Steel Beam Guide-Way, is in discussion. For smaller Cities in India with less ridership-demand “METROLIGHT” or “METROLITE” as a cheaper solution than Metro Rail is in discussion. Amritsar is thinking to install an autonomous on-Demand PodCar People Mover between Railway Station and the Golden Temple.

Bus Rapid Transits (BRT) have gained popularity worldwide as a cost-effective alternative to far more expensive urban rail investments. High-quality bus-based systems also better serve the low-density settlement patterns of many suburban markets and small-to-medium size cities due to the inherent flexibility advantages of rubber-tyre systems – the same vehicle that provides speedy line-haul services on a dedicated bus-lane or reserved bus-way can morph into a feeder vehicle, collecting and distributing customers on local streets. Electric Hybrid Buses with mixed electric catenary feeding and Hydrogen Fuel Cells electricity generation combined with short time super-capacitor storage technology will become the Next Generation Urban Transport People Movers.

LIGHT RAIL TRANSITS (LRT) with LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES (LRV) are worldwide on the agenda technologies for urban and suburban public transport. LRT is a relatively affordable way to bring rail transit to many cities around the globe – also in India – filling the niche between Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit

The Future of URBAN MOBILITY as a SERVICE (MaaS)  has already started in India with integrated and multimodal Transport (IT) Technologies linked through multimodal Hubs and shaped by Digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (IT), Big Data and  Building Information Modelling (BIM).


To learn more, download the series of PDF files.

METRO – 10