Steam rail locomotive enthusiasts can look forward to this Sunday.
Two working steam locomotives, a miniature one and an exhibition on the machines, will be on display at the National Rail Museum in the Capital. The presentations will help people understand the operations of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which use steam locomotives.
This is being done as a part of the National Steam Congress, held by the Indian Steam Railway Society (ISRS). “Issues and developments relating to steam locomotives in India and overseas will be discussed by steam enthusiasts and experts, people from tourism, railways and heritage fraternities,” said Ashwani Lohani, who has served as a divisional railway manager (NR) in Delhi.
The Northern Railway (NR) is turning its Rewari steam shed into the world’s best. The nine steam locomotives — some of them not even operational — are going through a major overhaul and will be put to use. Fairy Queen, the world’s oldest running steam engine, has already hit the tracks last year.
Society president LK Sinha said, “Steam locomotives are one of the richest industrial heritage and it is our endeavour to ensure that these are kept running in a limited way in the interest of heritage preservation and encouraging steam heritage tourism”.
“It’s the 10th such conference that we hold annually,” he said. Cedric C Lodge, steam locomotive expert from the UK will deliver the keynote address. David Barrie, co-chairman of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society (UK), journalist Mark Tully, writer Bill Aitken and Subhash Goyal, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, will also be addressing the congress.