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Posted at: Feb 11, 2017, 12:42 AM; last updated: Feb 11, 2017, 12:42 AM (IST)

‘Fairy Queen’, world’s oldest steam engine, back in action

To haul heritage train from Delhi to Rewari today
‘Fairy Queen’, world’s oldest steam engine, back in action
‘Fairy Queen’ was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the world’s oldest steam locomotive in regular operation

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10

The “Fairy Queen”, the oldest surviving functional steam engine in the world, is once again ready to haul a heritage train from Delhi to Rewari, Haryana, after five years.

The train, a great attraction among steam engine lovers across the globe, will run between Delhi Cantonment Station and Rewari on Saturday for a single-day trip, an official statement said.

The train hauled by steam locomotive will begin its journey from Delhi Cantonment at 10.30 am and is expected to reach at Rewari at 1 pm. It will start its return journey at 4.15 pm and is expected to reach Delhi Cantonment at 6.15 pm. 

The locomotive was constructed by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson at Leeds, in England, in 1855, and reached Kolkata in the same year. On arrival, it was given fleet number “22” by its owner, the East Indian Railway Company, not receiving a name until 1895. Initially, 1,676 mm gauge locomotive was used to haul light mail trains in West Bengal, operating between Howrah and Raniganj, and during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 hauled troop trains. It was later consigned to line construction duty in Bihar, where it served until 1909, the statement said.

It was restored and given a special spot in the newly built National Rail Museum at Pancharipuri, which was opened to public 40 years ago.

The locomotive was restored to full working order in 1997, in preparation for its first mainline journey in 88 years and its return to commercial service on July 18. It was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the world’s oldest steam locomotive in regular operation. The following year, the train received a National Tourism Award for the most innovative and unique tourism project from the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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