M A I N   N E W S

Raj days relived on train
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 9
Nostalgic memories of the Raj were relived today as the KC 520 steam locomotive chugged off from Shimla railway station, hauling a special heritage train on a commemorative 24-km run to Kathlighat.

As the century-old smoke billowing steam locomotive chugged off from the railway station on the heritage run, the voice of Hindi commentator Jasdev Singh welcomed the special guests on board. Among the guests was Sir Mark Tully. Adding colour to the moment, every passenger was issued a symbolic heritage ticket having the details of the coach and the seat number.

Sir Mark Tully said, “It is indeed a treat for the eyes to see the rebirth of the steam locomotives. It is a tribute to the rich history of the railways when there was no other means of mass transportation on this stretch”.

Such was the attraction for the occasion that many old timers, who had relished faded memories of the toy train whistling through the hills, ensured to be present at the flagging-off Ceremony by the Railways Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar.

It was celebration time for members of the Indian Steam Railway Society as its founder member, Ashwani Lohani, Chief Motive Power Engineer (diesel), Northern Railway, and Mr P.J. Singh, secretary of the society, also joined the celebrations.

The train painted in red with streaks of golden passed out of Shimla with special staff to serve the guests on board.

Throughout the route schoolchildren, members of Scouts and Guides, and residents living along the route welcomed the puffing train with the Tricolour.

The Railway Minister also agreed to a proposal by the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister for a collaboration between the Himachal Tourism and Indian Railways Tourism and Catering Corporation. The Railways is also contemplating to extend the steam heritage run to Barog.

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