To explore the huge tourism potential surrounding the nostalgia of steam locomotives, the Delhi division of the Northern Railways has planned to develop the iconic Rewari steam loco shed as a tourist destination.
According to the plan, a steam loco ferry service from Delhi cantonment to Rewari, Haryana, is on the anvil.
The railways not only want to attract local visitors but are also banking on the foreign tourists. “We plan to rent out steam loco trains to tourists and expect a lot of foreign tourists to rent a steam train. In Europe, this model is very popular and we are trying to replicate the same in,” said Vikas Arya, senior divisional mechanical engineer and in-charge of the Rewari shed.
“We’ll be earning decent revenue by doing that. Renting a train can cost some where around R6 lakh for a run,” added Arya. A coach lounge and salon have come up at the Rewari shed and other facilities are being developed in the area to make it tourist-friendly. A steam loco museum and a small library have been redone to showcase the 117-year history of the shed.
The full package, including food, stay and sightseeing may cost travellers around R10,000 each and one way trip can cost around Rs 5,000.
“The steam loco will run like the ferry queen. Tourists will get food in the train. We plan to make Rewari steam loco shed a picnic spot,” said a railway officer. At present, nine steam locos, along with their miniatures and a stem road roller have been parked at the shed and all of them are in working condition.
“All locos have been redone and given historical names such as Akbar, Azad, Sher-e-Punjab and Anghad. The shed has also become a favourite location for filmmakers,” said Ashwani Lohani, divisional railway manager, Delhi division.