Raising a toast to steam railways

In an age of high-speed trains that help you reach your destination in double-quick time within the confines of air-conditioned luxury, there are still very many who believe that these modern contraptions can never match the romance of the steam engine trains. If you are one of them, then head towards the National Rail Museum this Saturday for the 9th National Steam Congress organised by the Indian Steam Railway Society.

The congress is being conducted to celebrate the transformation of the Rewari Steam Shed from a dilapidated structure with decaying engines into one of the finest steam locomotive sheds of the world.

“This event will give a fillip to the preservation of steam locomotives and also propel the growth of the niche Steam Heritage Tourism section in the country,” said Indian Steam Railway Society president Romesh Chandra Sethi.

In 1997, the Indian Railways revived the Fairy Queen which then entered the Guinness World Record for the oldest locomotive engine in the world, which brought steam locomotives into the limelight in India.

BBC’s Sir Mark Tully will be delivering the key-note address and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society (U.K.) vice-chairman Paul Whittle will be making a presentation on the steam engine scene in the U.K.

Luminaries from various fields like the Archaeological Survey of India, British Council, INTACH, Aga Khan Trust, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Railways are expected to participate.

A presentation by the Indian Steam Railway Society on the recent “resurrection of steam locomotives” will be then be made at the Rewari Steam Centre and nMOU will be signed between the Indian Steam Railway Society and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society (U.K.).


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