Railways' heritage tourism plans get some steam
The steam-hauled tourist trains train would be operated on short distance tourist circuits such as Delhi to Alwar. “These would be uber posh trains on the lines of Palace on Wheels and Maharajas’ Express. We hope they would be a delight for foreign tourists as there are very few places in the world where these trains are being run,” said a senior Railways official.
At present, Railways has around six working steam locomotives at its Rewari steam locomotives shed. The biggest draw for foreign tourists is ‘The Fairy Queen’, which was built in 1855 and holds the Guinness world record of being the oldest working locomotive. The engine is currently being restored at a workshop in Chennai.
“Steam heritage is a niche tourism segment across the world and is very popular in the UK. Indian Railways can give a boost to its image internationally by bringing steam locomotives back on track as it will attract tourists from across the world,” said Ashwani Lohani of the Indian Steam Railway Society (ISRS).
To discuss the issues related to the revival of steam engines, ISRS is organising a National Steam Congress in which steam rail experts from UK are also participating.
“Last year, the Delhi division of Indian