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India Luxury Train » The Fairy Queen » History of Fairy Queen in India
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History of Fairy Queen in India

The petite engine worked from Howrah to Ranigunj (121 miles) on its maiden journey in 1885. Till 1908, it was a faithful servant to its masters, hauling trains, chugging distances, when it was considered for retirement. The years 1908 to 1971 were spent in oblivion, but it survived the ravages of time. In 1971, it became an exhibit of the National Rail Museum as many fossilised items do.

But, in its chequered history, destiny had written many great things. Life changed for the fairy queen dramatically in 1997 when after a complete over haul in Perambur Workshop of the Southern Railway, it panted back to life. It pulled its first tourist load on October 18, 1997, and graduated to the Guinness Book of Records as the World's Oldest Working Locomotive in January 1998. It is wonderful to be part of history, to re-live the lost world. And what is precisely what one does on the Fairy Queen tours.

Down The Memory Lane
The queen was all gloss and shine. A bronze chimney was spewing out thick smoke from its crown into the air, which thinned to a misty vapour as the engine warmed. There was a metal windsock consisting of four cups fixed on a pole, for the wind to be playful. Steam gushed out in spurts from various crevices, until the driver decides to let it out in a rush. Some show of strength that can impress anyone around! The fairy queen in its effort of building up steam, had caged the power of vapour so studiously.

Finally, the journey starts with a sweet long whistle, then the train heaves and haws, and puffs, and coughs, and pants purposefully to Alwar, some 145-km away. It keeps on guzzling coal and water till it deposits the passengers in a medieval setting at Alwar.

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