News from the NRM -- Winter 1998
This article was originally published by the Indian Steam Railway Society (ISRS) in its newsletter, and is reproduced here by permission, which is gratefully acknowledged. Copyright for the material here rests with the ISRS and the author(s) of the article. The ISRS is the premier organization in India engaged in preservation and efforts to promote awareness of the country's railway heritage.
This article originally appeared in the FNRM Newsletter No. 3/4, Autumn/Winter 1998.
- Fairy Queen is presently making two trips every month on alternate Saturdays upto Feb '99. The two coach train leaves at 10.00 from Delhi Cantt. and arrives at Alwar at 16.00. The guests are then taken to Sariska Palace hotel where they enjoy the traditional Rajasthani hospitality. Sunday morning starts early with a tiger safari in the Sariska tiger sanctuary and by afternoon the guests are back on another enchanting journey aboard the Fairy Queen Express on the way back to arrive at Delhi at 19.00. There are five stoppages for water and refueling en route so that you get to admire the locomotive and the local scenery on and off the train. The passenger coach now has a complete glass panel upfront so that the less enthusiastic can enjoy the locomotive working without getting dirty in the process. The response to the first two trips in November has been highly encouraging. The all inclusive package price for this two day journey is Rs 8,000.
- XE 3634 (formerly 22541) arrived at NRM from Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board's Coal Transportation Division at Korba in September. It was cosmetically restored by the former steam loco shed staff of Bhillai. This locomotive is in full working order and was seen at work at Korba till late 1997. XE 22541 2-8-2 was built by William Beardmore in 1930(Maker's No. 422). XE class locomotives were the largest unarticulated steam locomotives used in India and used to weigh upto 200 tons in working order. It is reported that the CTD at Korba has two more XE class locomotives, two AWE class locomotives and one HSM class locomotive.
- The exhibits in the outdoor gallery wear a new look through the massive repair and painting work recently undertaken upon them.
- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is putting up its display in the indoor gallery. A new working model of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway will also be placed in the indoor gallery shortly.
- The air-conditioning work of the indoor gallery has been completed, much to the relief of the visitors to the museum in the summers.
- WP 7015/161 have been equipped with air brakes by the Loco Workshop, Charbagh, Lucknow and are now ready to work on the mainline. It is proposed to start a tourist special hauled by these locos to Agra/ Khajuraho - a project which is awaiting approval and also exploring possible tie-ups with hotels/tour operators.
- A 15" gauge steam toy train which is lying unused at Chittranjan is being requested for the museum to replace the present petrol engine toy train. In order to use the existing 18" gauge coaches, which are better than those with the Chittranjan locomotive, an option of using a third rail for the loco is being explored.
- An application has been put up to UNESCO for inclusion of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Bombay VT Station as 'World Heritage Sites.' A team from UNESCO visited these places and their response was very encouraging. A WHS status will ensure a bright future of these 'monuments to the excellent works of Indian railway engineers' and will also bring in much needed international funding for their restoration and upkeep.