The oldest locomotive in service

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The Fairy Queen is old, it is only 2 years younger than the Indian rail network itself. If you love trains, check out the oldest working locomotive in the world.

Have you ever wondered how old the oldest operational train is? The answer is really old. According to Guinness Book of Recordsthe oldest steam locomotive in the world is the fairy queen in India. the fairy queen is old enough to put vintage trains like those on the Heber Valley Railroad between Heber City and Vivian Park in Provo Cayon, Utah to shame.

Anyone who travels to India today will see how trains are at the heart of India’s transport network and are used by millions of people every year. It is not difficult to see why the fairy queen is a special national treasure for India. India is a country with a very intimate history with trains. Arguably Canada’s greatest locomotive treasure is the historic and beautiful Rocky Mountaineer.


The old story of the fairy queen

The Fairy Queen was built in 1855 and is now in the Rewari Railway Heritage Museum. It occasionally runs between New Delhi and Alwar in India. It’s hard to fathom how far this goes back to the age of rail. 1855 is only two years after the start of railway operation in India.

It’s so old that it even took part in the Indian mutiny (or rebellion) of 1857 when the British nearly lost control of India. In this war, she was used as a troop transport.

In 1972, it received heritage status in India and was declared a national treasure.

The industrial revolution started in the UK, so at that time it was Britain that was the industrial powerhouse of the world. the fairy queen was manufactured in the north of England by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson in the city of Leeds. She was shipped to be one of India’s first locomotives in the same year. It was imported to Kolkata (then Calcutta), India.


  • Built: In Leeds, England

Her first duties were hauling light rail in West Bengal, but she soon found other responsibilities in British India. She was withdrawn from service in 1909 and lay inactive for many years until she had a complete overhaul. She first spent her idle time on a pedestal outside Howrah Railway Station before being transferred to the Chandausi Railway Zonal Training School where she was something of a curiosity for students.

  • Retirement: In 1909
  • Designated: Designated National Treasure in 1972

Later the Fairy Queen was restored by Loco Works Perambur, Chennai in 1996 and resumed commercial operations in 1997. Her first assignment was to complete a 2 day/one night sightseeing tour from Delhi to Alwar stopping for a overnight in Sariska Tiger Reserve.


Related: 10 most scenic train destinations to make you want to travel

The specifics of the fairy queen

She had a broad gauge (5’6″) locomotive, weighs only 26 tons, has a power of 130 horsepower and can reach speeds of up to 40 km/h or 25 mph – much faster than horsepower, the oxen or by alternatives of foot of the day.

  • Road: She leads a tourist route between Delhi and Alwar
  • Accredited: As the oldest working locomotive by the Guinness Book of World Records
  • Name: Officially known (boringly) as East Indian Railway Nr. 22 or East Indian Railways EIR-22
  • Weight: 26 Tons
  • Power : Its power output is only 130 horsepower
  • Maximum speed: It can reach speeds of up to 40 km/h or 25 mph


She is not the only one as there are other similar locomotives that have been preserved which were also built by British manufacturers at this time. These include the Express which is a contender for the oldest working steam locomotive in the world (also in India.) But for the sake of simplicity, we only follow what the Guinness Book of World Records says about it.

  • Express: The sister locomotive that might actually be older

Related: Bernina Express is the best train ride you’ll take in Switzerland

Rewari Railway Heritage Museum

“This place is a goldmine for railway historians. I will try to cover different aspects of the museum. Engines – many engines are in working order but not fired with regularity. However, in season From October to March it is very likely one or more will be fired every fortnight or so. Please call and check.

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His home is the Rewari Railway Heritage Museum in Haryana India (it was formerly called the Rewari Steam Locomotive Shed). The facility itself is historic and was built around 1893 and is the only steam locomotive shed in India.

Location: About 2 hours from New Delhi by road

Today it houses some of India’s last steam locomotives – it is just opposite the entrance to Rewari Railway Station and 80 km from the National Rail Museum of India in New Delhi.

  • Opening days : 7 days a week
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Entrance: free
  • Necessary time : 2 to 3 hours
  • Photography: Authorized free of charge.

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