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`Ruby Queen' raring to go

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GETTING SPRUCED UP: Ruby Queen that is to make a heritage run on Saturday gets a make over at the Kacheguda station on Friday. PHOTO: P. V. Sivakumar
GETTING SPRUCED UP: Ruby Queen that is to make a heritage run on Saturday gets a make over at the Kacheguda station on Friday. PHOTO: P. V. Sivakumar

Staff Reporter

Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to flag off train on Heritage run

HYDERABAD: Hussainappa joined the railways on April 24, 1976 and a month later he was at the wheel of his first steam engine, part of the No. 7200 WP series of the post-war design that was first manufactured at Baldwin Locomotive Works, USA. The last he drove was in 1992 just before the South Central Railway withdrew steam locomotives.

After 16 years, he will again drive a 1962 model made at the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works in West Bengal. Between October 14 and 18, assisted by fireman Mohd. Ali and B. Gangaiah, he will take passengers on a Heritage Run that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

Three classes

At the coaching shed in Kacheguda, the Ruby Queen and the seven carriages that it will lug are getting the best attention, being given the best overhaul of their lives. There are three types of classes in the train that will carry 333 passengers in all - the 32-seater Ruby A/C coach with an attached saloon, two Ruby first (129-seats) coaches and three Ruby general coaches for 172 travellers.

On Friday afternoon, Hussainappa, Ali and Gangaiah were polishing every square centimetre of brass and steel work in the cabin, from the vacuum combination to the lubricator to the long-handled speed regulator.

C. Sudheer, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer in the Hyderabad division, has been entrusted with the task of getting the Ruby Queen ready for its 21st century run. To run 120 km, the awesome beauty consumes just 15,000 kg of coal and 25,000 litres of water, he said.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad will flag off the awesome beauty on her Heritage run at 5 p.m. from the Bhoiguda-end of the Secunderabad station.


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