India’s first solar energy-driven miniature train was inaugurated at the Veli Tourist Village by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The train, which would be an attraction for children especially, and it was part of the government’s projects to elevate more facilities at tourist destinations.
The Chief Minister also dedicated an “Urban Park” and a swimming pool at the eco-friendly Veli tourist village, located on the outskirts of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The miniature rail has all the features of a fully- equipped rail system, including a tunnel, station, and a ticket office.
The train has three bogies that can accommodate around 45 people at a time. “The eco-friendly solar-powered 2.5 km miniature railway will enable visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature. The Rs ten crore project is the first of its kind in the country,” the Chief Minister said in his online address.
Artificial steam spouted by the engine of the train, modeled after the vintage steam locomotive, will stir nostalgic feelings. The station house was also designed in a traditional style. The surplus energy generated by the system will be routed to the Kerala State Electricity Board’s grid, said the Chief Minister.
A tourist facilitation centre convention centre and Art Cafe are also to be opened at Veli soon. The convention centre will have an art gallery, a digital display facility to feature major tourism and cultural centres of the state and an open-air theatre. These world-class facilities will impart a new look to Veli, the Chief Minister said.