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Indian Railways to hold heritage run of 167-year-old steam engine


The Express EIR 21 locomotive was originally shipped to India from England in 1855

The Railways on Monday will hold a heritage run of a 167-year-old locomotive, the world’s oldest running steam engine, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The oldest steam locomotive-EIR-21-will run from Chennai Egmore at 12 p.m. on August 15, according to a tweet from Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Chennai, Southern Railway.

“The beautiful sound of the whistle will send you back to the times of the steam locomotive from the days gone by,” DRM Chennai wrote.


In 1855, the Express EIR 21 locomotive was brought from England to India. It was kept as a display at Jamalpur workshops in Bihar for almost 101 years after it was retired from service in 1909.

In 2010, the Perambur Loco Works resurrected the engine. It has a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour and a mechanical hand brake, as well as twin air brakes. The braking system, water pump, and train lightings are powered by a diesel generator set mounted on the coach.

The first heritage run was conducted on August 15, 2010, from Chennai Central Railway Station to Avadi with two coaches.

On August 15, 2019, the eighth heritage run was held, with one coach running between Chennai Egmore and Kodambakkam railway stations.


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