A solar energy-driven miniature train was inaugurated at the Veli Tourist Village in Thiruvananthapuram by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
It was a part of a string of projects worth ₹ 60 crore taken up to elevate the facilities at the panoramic destination to international standards. The train will be especially an attraction for children.
Apart from the miniature train, Vijayan also dedicated an "Urban Park" and a swimming pool at the eco-friendly tourist village. It is situated on the outskirts of the state capital where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea.
The miniature rail has all the features of a fully- equipped rail system, including a tunnel, station, and a ticket office. The train also has three bogies that can accommodate up to 45 passengers.
The project under which the train is inaugurated has been hailed as the first of its kind in the country. The eco-friendly solar-powered 2.5 km miniature railway will enable visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature.
The miniature train which is modelled after the vintage steam locomotive will bring back nostalgic feelings from old times.
Even the station is designed traditionally. "The surplus energy generated by the system will be routed to the Kerala State Electricity Board's grid," said Vijayan as reported by NDTV.
It is expected that a tourist facilitation centre, convention centre, and Art Cafe will also be soon opened at Veli. 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.
The Chief Minister said that these world-class facilities will now give a new look to Veli. The state governments are determined to transform Veli into one of the most attractive destinations for tourists.