Its a journey worth albums- a short trip for a long-lasting memory. The ‘Fairy Queen’, the oldest surviving functional steam engine in the world is once again ready in this season to haul a heritage train from National Capital Delhi to Rewari, Haryana after a gap of 5 years. This train, which is a great attraction among steam engine lovers across the globe, will run between Delhi Cantt. Station and Rewari from tomorrow i.e. 11th February 2017 for a single day trip. Train will leave Delhi Cantt. railway station at 10.30 in the morning and reach Rewari at 1.00 pm. And on the return journey it will leave Rewari at 4.15 pm and reach Delhi Cantt. at 6.15 in the evening.
The locomotive was constructed by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson at Leeds, in England, in 1855, and reached Kolkata, then known as Calcutta, 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, the 5 ft 6 in (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.
It was restored and given a special spot in the newly built National Rail Museum at Chanakyapuri, in New Delhi which was opened to public 40 years back on 1st February, 1977. 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 18 July. 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 Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister of India.
The Trip: There will be three exclusive journeys. First one is tomorrow 11th February and next two on 11th March and then 8th April this year. Ticket price for complete two way journey on the day trip is 6480 Rs per adult passenger (3240 Rs for child below 12 yrs) and for one way trip (either way Delhi-Rewari or Rewari-Delhi) is 3240 Rs per adult passenger (1620 Rs for child below 12 yrs). Journey includes the trip and the visit to Heritage Steam Shed at Rewari. What else, there you will get chance to see another two of Indian railways’ heritage steam engines- Azad and Akbar.
Coaches: The Steam Express has a capacity of 60 seated air-conditioned chair car. Specially designed rail car has large glass windows for better viewing and also a long area in the front to give you a scenic view of the countryside. Whole trip is worth the price indeed.