World’s Oldest Functional Steam Engine Chugs Away Again

The 162-year-old ‘Fairy Queen’ will haul a train from Delhi to Rewari in Haryana for a single trip.

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Car and Bike
2 min read
The Fairy Queen locomotive in Gurgaon. (Photo: PIB)

‘The Fairy Queen’ is a steam engine which enjoys the Guinness Book of Records title of being the world’s oldest steam locomitive in regular operation. The title was given to the locomotive in 1998.

The engine will haul a heritage train after five years on 11 February from Delhi to Rewari in Haryana. It will, however, only run for a single trip.

Fairy Queen locomotive. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/ravi.gulia.336">Ravi Gulia</a>)
Fairy Queen locomotive. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Ravi Gulia)

The engine was constructed in Leeds, England, by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson in 1855. When it reached Kolkata the same year it was given the number ‘22’ by the East Indian Railway Company.

The Fairy Queen locomotive. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/ravi.gulia.336">Ravi Gulia</a>)
The Fairy Queen locomotive. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Ravi Gulia)

The engine was not given its name ‘Fairy Queen’ until 1895. The locomotive measures 5 feet 6 inches or 1,676 mm and was initially used for mail trains in West Bengal. However, during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, it hauled troop trains.

The Fairy Queen locomotive in Gurgaon. (Photo: PIB)
The Fairy Queen locomotive in Gurgaon. (Photo: PIB)

The Fairy Queen was restored and placed at the National Rail Museum in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, which was opened to public on 1 February 1977.

The Fairy Queen locomotive. (Photo: PIB)
The Fairy Queen locomotive. (Photo: PIB)

The locomotive’s first mainline journey after its resoration came in 1997 when it returned to commercial service after 88 years.

(With inputs from PIB.)

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