The Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen has the distinction of being the second oldest steam locomotive that is in working condition till present day

Fairy Queen Heritage train Fairy Queen chugging away, on one it's journeys from Rewari to New Delhi.Rewari Steam Loco Centre

East Indian Railways' EIR-22, also known affectionately as the Fairy Queen, holds the distinction of being the second oldest, working steam locomotive today. Built in 1855, just two years after the railways started operation in India, it is today more than 160 years old. 

Perhaps the most famous period of Fairy Queen's service is the Indian Rebellion of 1857, during which it was used to haul troop trains.

In 1972, the Indian government presented the Fairy Queen with the heritage status and declared it a national treasure. Today, this remarkable little locomotive runs specials between Delhi and Alwar.

Fairy Queen Fairy Queen at the New Delhi Railway Station.Rewari Steam Loco Centre

EIR 22 is a broad (5'6") gauge locomotive, that was, by later standards, a very simple design. It weighed just 26 tons, had a power output of 130 horsepower and produced a maximum speed of 40km/hr.

Fairy Queen Fairy Queen standing in it the Rewari Heritage Steam Loco Center.Rewari Steam Loco Centre

The locomotive was manufactured by Kitson,Thompson and Hewitson of Leeds, UK. It was then imported in Kolkata, India, the same year.

Initially it was used to haul light mail trains in West Bengal but was later assigned line construction duty in Bihar where it stayed till 1909. It was actively removed from duty for many years after this and was on display across India before returning to work in July 1997.

Take a virtual tour of the 163 year old Fairy Queen, a real national treasure, preserved today at the Rewari Heritage Steam Loco Shed.

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