Sunday, January 27, 2013

World’s oldest steam locomotive chugs again

27th January 2013 07:59 AM
The world’s oldest working steam locomotive chugged out of the Egmore railway station, marking its consecutive heritage run for the fourth year in a row on Saturday. Southern Railway had organised the heritage run on the occasion of Republic Day.
Christened EIR 21 Express by its creators Kitson Thompson and Hewitson of England, the steam locomotive was shipped to the Indian sub-continent in 1855. It swayed carrying loads of people and cargos for 55 years, blowing the whistle to the wonderment of the passengers.
After withdrawal from service in 1909, the loco was exhibited at Jamalpur Workshops and Howrah station for over 101 years. After hibernating for a little more than a century at Jamalpur Workshops, the Loco Works, Perumbur in Chennai took the challenge of reviving the 158-year-old steam loco in April 2010. The loco had its first heritage run between Chennai Central and Avadi on August 15, 2010.
On Saturday, the train headed for its heritage run to Guindy with a coach, carrying senior railway officials. Elated to operate, loco pilot C M Henry Williams said that he took training for three days for running the steam loco. The train commenced its journey at 11 am and reached Guindy station in 45 minutes, covering 11 km. It had a break at Kodambakkam, where people thronged the station to have a glimpse of the steam loco.
Earlier, Sakthivel, a professor from a private engineering college, suggested that the railway authorities could have made arrangements for attaching two additional coaches to the steam locomotive.


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