Chennai, Dec 14 (PTI): Foreign tourists had a joy ride on Saturday in a rake pulled by a 164-year-old steam engine, said to be the world's oldest working locomotive, as it chugged between Egmore and Kodambakkam Railway Stations here. 'Express EIR21' was the cynosure of all eyes with Railway Board Rolling Stock member Rajesh Agarwal flagging off the Steam Heritage Run at Chennai Egmore Railway station in the presence of top Southern Railway officials including its General Manager John Thomas.
A press release said 70 foreign tourists, who were on a trip to the state, boarded the train. Some officials also travelled along with them. The cost of a ticket for one-way trip (Chennai Egmore to Kodambakkam, a distance of about 10 km) was Rs 500 while for a to-and-fro ticket, it was Rs 1,000.
Watch Video of The World's Oldest Locomotive Running:
World's oldest working Steam locomotive, EIR-21 chugs its way from Chennai Egmore to Kodambakkam hauling a specially designed 40-seater coach. pic.twitter.com/hfDTGC7aOR
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) December 15, 2019
The Express EIR21 locomotive was originally shipped to India from England in 1855. After withdrawal from service in 1909, it was kept as an exhibit at Jabalpur Workshops and Howrah Station for over 101 years. During this period, several parts of the train corroded while some were missing and some were not fit for use. Neral-Matheran Toy Train Coach to be Renewed With Glass Ceiling.
Southern Railways Loco Works at Perambur revived the locomotive in 2010.
The Steam Heritage runs are operated to showcase the heritage value of Indian Railways. According to the release, till date nine such heritage runs have been operated by Southern Railway in Chennai Division. Heritage special runs have also been conducted in Salem, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram divisions, the release added.