Coverage of Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen is plying in between the Indian capital of New Delhi and Alwar in Rajasthan.
Award Received by Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as being the world's oldest one in regular operation after being restored to haul a luxury train in order to boost tourism in Rajasthan. Fairy Queen runs on the same basis as the Palace on Wheels, the tourist train launched in 1982, and in 1999 was awarded a National Tourism Award.
History of Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen is about 5 ft 6 in Indian gauge locomotive. It was built in England in 1855, and has a two-cylinder engine with a power output of 130 horsepower (97 kW), producing a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph). Fairy Queen was placed in service by the British East Indian Railway Company in West Bengal, where it hauled troop trains during the Revolt of 1857, and was withdrawn from service in 1909 and displayed on a pedestal in Howrah Station until 1943. It was given heritage status that was accorded in 1972 and the locomotive was restored as an exhibit at the National Rail Museum in Delhi. Fairy Queen was restored to full working order, in 1997 and Fairy Queen returned to commercial service for the first time in 88 years. In 2011, it was discovered that rare locomotive parts that had been looted. After a substantial rebuild, Fairy Queen was returned to working order in December 2012.
Construction of Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen was constructed by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson at Leeds, in England, in 1855, and reached Kolkata in the same year. On arrival, it was given fleet number "22" by its owner, the British East Indian Railway Company, not receiving a name until 1895. Initially, the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge locomotive was used to haul light mail trains in West Bengal, operating between Howrah and Raniganj, and during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 hauled troop trains. It was later consigned to line construction duty in Bihar, where it served until 1909.
Exhibition of Fairy Queen
Fairy Queen was exhibited for 34 years on a pedestal outside Howrah station. In 1943, the locomotive was moved to the Railway Zonal Training School at Chandausi, in Uttar Pradesh, where it served as a curiosity object for many of the students based there.
Technicalities of Fairy Queen
The coal-fired engine is powered by two outside cylinders measuring 12 by 22 inches (300 mm X 560 mm), and has a power output of 130 horsepower, producing a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph). It carries 3,000 litres of water in an under slung water tank. The locomotive weighs 26 tonnes, and the coal tender 2 tonnes (2.0 long tons; 2.2 short tons). Built for the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) Indian gauge, it has a 2-2-2 wheel arrangement, developed by Robert Stephenson and Company in 1833, with a driving wheel measuring 1,829 millimetres (72.0 in) in diameter.
Restoration of Fairy Queen
Indian government of Independent India bestowed the heritage status on the Fairy Queen in 1972, rendering it a national treasure. It was restored and given a special spot in the newly built National Rail Museum at Chanakyapuri, in New Delhi.
Fairy Queen as a Luxury Train
After the successful approach of Palace on Wheels, Fairy Queen was restored to full working order in 1997, in preparation for its first mainline journey in 88 years and its return to commercial service on 18th July. The two-day excursion saw Fairy Queen plying the 143 kilometres from New Delhi to Alwar in Rajasthan, with passengers spending an overnight stay at the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Fairy Queen was hauled with a carriage capable of carrying 60 passengers at a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour with a service car holding a generator, compressor and pantry. The operation of Fairy Queen was repeated between December and February in the following years. It was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the world's oldest steam locomotive in regular operation. The following year, Fairy Queen received a National Tourism Award for the most innovative and unique tourism project from the Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Luxury trains of India