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Blog Entry# 3459053
Posted: May 28 (00:46)

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May 28 (00:46)   World’s oldest steam locomotive back on Chennai tracks

Jayashree ❖ Amita*^   41459 news posts
Entry# 3459053   News Entry# 338523         Tags   Past Edits
About a 100 years after it retired from service, what is possibly the world’s oldest working steam locomotive, Express, pulled a commercial train again on Sunday. The small 30-minute operation between Chennai Egmore station to Kodambakkam ran with a specially designed coach, with a 30-seat capacity, to drive home the point that working steam locomotives need to be preserved as heritage assets.
Express, named EIR-21, is a twin of what is officially the world’s oldest running steam locomotive, the Fairy Queen, which is called EIR-22. The two locomotives were manufactured together and came as a pair. However, since Express bears the number 21, there is a raging debate among the railway community across the world whether it is, in fact, older.
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it was resurrected in 2010, Express had conducted trial runs for shows, mainly photo-ops, carrying railway officials. This was the first commercial-run locomotive with special tariffs of Rs 650 for adult and Rs 500 for children. The rates will remain the same and several runs have been planned for the next couple of Sundays along the same route.
Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani ordered that the steam locomotives, which are in working condition after their restoration, be used for commercial runs for public awareness on railway heritage.
The Railway Ministry, on the other hand, has allocated Rs 6.5 crore for restoration of steam locos for this kind of commercial runs. Lohani has even altered a policy to give local Divisional Railway Managers authority to decide how and when these commercial runs need to be operated for the public.
The next in line to join the club will be the heavy duty Bayer Garrat locomotive, which is being restored in Kharagpur in South Eastern Railway. The locomotive was imported from East Manchester-based manufacturer Beyer, Peacock and Company in 1929 by the then Bengal Nagpur Railway. It was in service until 1969.

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