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This was the sixth heritage run of the world's oldest working locomotive, the Express EIR 21, which is similar to Fairy Queen in appearance.
Huge crowds thronged all the railway stations en route for a glimpse of the world's oldest steam loco and cherished the experience.
Loco Workshop, Perambur, took the challenge of reviving the 'Express EIR 21' in 2010.
After withdrawal from service in 1909, this loco was exhibited at Jamalpur Workshops and Howrah Station for over 101 years. During this period, the loco was in the sun and rain and many parts were corroded, some were missing, some were broken and some were not fit for use.
After the revival of the loco, the first heritage run of EIR 21 was conducted on August 15, 2010 from Chennai Central to Avadi with two coaches as a part of Independence Day celebrations.
The second heritage run of the EIR 21 was conducted on August 15, 2011 from Chennai Egmore to Guindy, covering a distance of 11km in 35 minutes.
The third heritage run was conducted on January 26, 2012 from Chennai Egmore to Guindy as part of the 63rd Republic Day celebrations. It hauled one coach having 60 seats. It covered 11 kms in a maximum speed of 45 kmph.
The fourth heritage run in commemoration of its 157th anniversary was conducted on February 6, 2012 from Chennai Central to Perambur with one coach having 60 seats covering 5km.
The fifth heritage run was conducted on January 26, 2013 as part of the 64th Republic Day celebrations, from Chennai Egmore to Guindy with one coach having 60 seats covering 11km.
The EIR 21 is also known for effortlessly adapting to modern-day gizmos such as GPS-based speedometer.
Vashishta Johri, general manager, Southern Railway, accompanied by P K Mishra, additional general manager, Southern Railway, R Kuppan, chief mechanical engineer, Naveen Gulati, divisional railway manager, Chennai Division, Elavarasan, chief signal and telecommunication engineer, and other railway officials were present during the run.
This article first appeared on timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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