After overhauling, one of the last surviving steam locomotives of the country will travel to the national Capital for its journey to Alwar to ferry tourists for tiger-sighting at Sariska.
Christened ‘Akbar’ after the great Mughal emperor, the 47-year-old locomotive is now at the workshop here for repair. It is scheduled to reach Delhi Cantonment in November.
“We don’t have the original drawings of the steam engine. But still we have succeeded in making the engine operational in seven weeks,” said Samrendra Kumar, Chief Works Manager of the Amritsar Rail Workshop.
“Akbar, the 103-tonne steam engine, will haul the popular tourist train to Alwar for a tiger safari at Sariska during the tourist season between November and April,” he said.
The workshop itself is very old. The Railways took it over from the Punjab government in 1956. At present, it is the only one in the Northern Railways which has the capacity to repair steam locomotives.
While ‘Akbar’ is almost ready, the workshop is currently engaged in repairing the 1907 built steam-run monorail for the National Rail Museum (NRM).
“The mono rail is heritage property and has come here for a periodic overhaul,” said Mr. Kumar, adding that it would be dispatched to the rail museum shortly.
Besides periodic overhauling of steam locomotives, the workshop is engaged in manufacturing stainless steel wagons and brake vans.
Equipped with the latest machinery like plasma under-water cutting machine and grinding machine, the workshop also manufactures bogies for AC and non-AC coaches.
Efforts are on to acquire state-of-the-art machinery and upgrade the skill of the staff to meet new challenges, Mr. Kumar said.
Keywords: Sariska tourism