The other rides such as the Columbus and Dragon train will begin in three to four days.
People are excited to ride the toy train in Cubbon Park after three years. Citizens awaits other facilities to open at Cubbon Park while excitedly boarding the toy train Putani Express at Bal Bhavan on Tuesday.
Putani Express was restored by the Southern-Railways and tracks were repaired as part of the restoration.
Aathya, nine-year-old-girl, accompanied by her father said, “ I am very excited to take the train ride and have been waiting for it from a long time.”
Ravichandra, the train pilot said that on Monday, he gave around 12 to 20 rides that usually increase to 20 rides during summer. On weekends the number can go up to 48 to 50 rides per day.
Shanta, one of the visitors said she felt nostalgic, as she used to bring her children here 20 years back but now, she is bringing her grandson. She added that she hopes the entire park opens soon and they want to ride other rides.
Roopa Reddy, Managing Director of Dazzling Kids School said, “This toy train is the prime attraction for kids in Bangalore as there is nothing much around. We would bring our Lower Kindergarten (LKG) and Upper Kindergarten (UKG) kids here once in six months, It was disheartening when it stopped but now, even I am excited to take a ride in the train with the children.”
Bal Bhavan had shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will remain open on all days due to summer holidays and since it just restarted operations.
Ravichandra said that after the inauguration, there was a gas leak during the test on Sunday. Small repair works were done so that the train could run successfully from Monday.
Putani Express will run with two carriages on a weekday and three carriages during the weekend. The timings for the 1.2 kilometer ride is 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The ticket to enter the Bal Bahavan is priced at Rs. 20 and entry is free for kids till the age of 12. The ticket for the toy train is priced at Rs. 30 for adults and Rs. 15 for children aged four to 12.
Around Rs. 18 lakhs were spent on restoring the train and tracks said a Bal Bhavan official. “The tracks were not repaired from six years and the train also needed a few changes,” said Ravichandra. These restoration works was done by Bal Bhavan.
Bal Bhavan has play grounds with swings slides and other recreational activities for kids. The park also has electric rides that were functioning before COVID-19 but have stopped now.
An official source from the Bal Bhavan said that the electric rides are run privately, needs to have a safety certificate from the authorities (BBMP) to start operations post the pandemic.
He said, all the activities including boating amusement park rides such as the Colombus and Dragon train will begin in another three to four days. While the electric rides are privately-run, the boating area is being developed under the smart city project.
Under the smart city project, the train was painted, new rails and grills were added at the station.
Rs. 12 crores was spent under the smart city project where new park benches, play area equipment and a science park were built. The skating rink was also restored. Upon entering, there is seating space for visitors and LED display boards and many such additions were made.
The science park is a new addition under the smart city project while a 5-dimension theatre and rock climbing will also come up very soon under the smart city said the official source.