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Independence Day 2022: Indian Railways to run world's oldest working steam train EIR-21

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New Delhi, Aug 15: India is celebrating 75 glorious years, and the entire nation is gripped by patriotic fervour. To mark this momentous occasion, a series of events are being organised across the country.

Independence Day 2022: Indian Railways to run worlds oldest working steam train EIR-21

Interestingly, the Southern Railway will put the oldest stream locomotive on track for a heritage run from Chenna Egmore to Kadambakkam. Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railway, took to Twitter to provide the information with respect to the special heritage run on 15th August 2022.

"The oldest steam locomotive, EIR-21, manufactured in 1855, which hauled the first train from Howrah to Delhi in 1866, has been restored by Loco Works, Perambur. A heritage run of EIR-21 with one coach will be organised on 15-08-2022 from Chennai Egmore to Kodambakkam at 1200 hrs," DRM, Chennai mentioned in a tweet.

The history behind EIR 21

It is a 167-year-old express which is similar to the Fairy Queen in appearance. It get its name - EIR 21 Express from its creators Kitson, Thompson & Hewitson of England, who built the locomotive in the year 1855. The loco was shipped to the Indian subcontinent and used to carry people from different walks of life and heavy cargo for over 55 years. Do you know, back in the day, it was a privilege and nothing short of an adventure for passengers to travel in the EIR 21 Express.

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The service of this locomotive was discontinued in 1909. Afterwards, it was used for exhibitions at Jamalpur Workshops and Howrah Station for over a century. After 101 years of serving as an exhibit, the loco endured harsh sun and heavy rains, which corroded several parts. many parts of the loco went missing, while some parts broke and some were deemed unfit for usage.

But to restore the historical significance, Loco Workshop, Perambur, took up the challenge of reviving the Express EIR 21 in 2010. It has now been eternalized like its twin sister loco, Fairy Queen EIR 22, which also won the Guinness Book of World Records Title, 'The World's Oldest Working Steam Loco.'

It is pertinent to note that after the revival work, the loco could attain a maximum speed of 45 kmph and has a mechanical hand brake, besides the addition of twin air brake facilities. The diesel generator set is mounted on the coach for the braking system, water pump, and train lighting.

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