Nearest airport : Coimbatore
Coimbatore is the closest city to Mettupalayam. It's located about an hour south, and has an airport that receives flights from all over India.
The daily 12671 Nilagiri (Blue Mountain) Express train from Chennai arrives in Mettupalayam at 6.15 a.m. and connects with the toy train's morning departure. (It also connects with the toy train's evening arrival in Mettupalayam on the return journey). The Nilagiri Express stops in Coimbatore at 5 a.m. on the way, so it's possible to take this train from there to Mettupalayam. Alternatively, a taxi will cost about 1,200 rupees.
Frequent buses run from Coimbatore to Mettupalayam, starting from 5 a.m. There are also regular passenger trains between the two places during the day.
You'll find a few decent budget hotels in Mettupalayam if you want to stay there overnight to catch the toy train the next morning. However, better accommodations are available in Coimbatore.
Regular Train Services and Fares
One toy train service operates on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Mettupalayam to Ooty per day. There are seven stations along the route. The timetable is as follows:
• The 56136/Mettupalayam-Ooty MG Passenger train leaves Mettupalayam at 7.10 a.m, and arrives in Ooty at noon .
• Coming back, the 56137/Ooty-Mettupalayam MG Passenger train leaves Ooty at 2 p.m. and reaches Mettupalayam at 5.35 p.m. Both first class and second class seating are offered on the toy train. The main difference between the two is that first class has cushions and less seats.
If you're concerned about comfort, it's worth buying a first class ticket to have a more peaceful and less cramped journey away from the crowds. A small number of unreserved tickets is also made available for purchase at the ticket counter before departure. However, they usually sell out within minutes. A fourth carriage was added to the train in 2016, due to rapidly growing demand. The train still books up quickly though, especially in summer.The adult train fare is 30 rupees in second class and 205 rupees in first class, one way. The unreserved general fare is 15 rupees one way.Do note that the area receives rain from both the south-west and north-east monsoons, and this commonly disrupts services.