Foreign tourists were given a heritage ride on the world’s oldest locomotive steam engine in Chennai on Saturday, December 14, between Egmore and Kodambakkam Railway Stations. As many as 70 tourists rode in a number of carriages coupled together and pulled by a 164-year-old steam engine.
The 164-year-old steam engine 'Express EIR21' was originally shipped from England in 1855 and was the centre of attention at the Steam Heritage Run at Chennai Egmore Railway station. After 1909, it was withdrawn from service. The steam engine was kept as an exhibit at Jabalpur Workshops and Howrah Station for more than 101 years.
During this period, several parts of the train got corroded and rusted while some parts were missing and some were not fit for use. Southern Railways Loco Works at Perambur reconstructed and revived the locomotive train in 2010 after which it was used in exhibits and heritage runs.
The event was flagged off by Rajesh Agarwal, the Railway Board Rolling Stock member. The attendees included the General Manager John Thomas and top Southern Railway officials.
The cost of a ticket for a one-way trip from Chennai Egmore to Kodambakkam was Rs 500, which is a distance of about 10 km, while a to-and-fro ticket cost Rs 1,000.
A press release notified that 70 foreign tourists, who were on a trip to Tamil Nadu, boarded the train along with some officials, who all travelled together.
The Steam Heritage runs are conducted to exhibit the historical and rich heritage of the Indian Railways. According to the press release, this was the ninth such heritage run till date that has been operated by Southern Railway in Chennai Division. The press release also added that heritage special runs have also been conducted in Salem, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram divisions.
(With Inputs from PTI)