Lalu gets a taste of the past

Special Correspondent

PATNA: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Saturday undertook a ride in a train pulled by a steam engine taken out of a museum to lay the foundation stone for the second largest diesel locomotive works factory in the country in his parliamentary constituency, Chapra.

It all started off well with people eager to get into an era of the past for a ride into the future. The train unfortunately was not strong enough to keep pace with the enthusiasm of the people. Just past the Kutchery station the element tube of the steam engine burst and there was little the authorities could do.

Engine replaced

The steam engine was replaced with a diesel one and the train left with Mr. Prasad and hundreds of his followers on board for Marhaura. The mega project in Marhaura is estimated to cost Rs. 2,052 crore.

It is almost after 50 years that the country is going in for its second diesel locomotive works factory after the one in Varanasi set up in 1956. Mr. Prasad announced that the work would commence within six months and the production in 2009.

The factory has the capacity to produce 150 diesel engines.

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