Steam locomotive to run in Mumbai

In what will be a visual delight for Mumbaikars, Western Railway (WR) is all set to have a ceremonial run of a steam engine to Mumbai Central anytime between January and February 2014. The steam engine will travel around 1, 400 km from India's only surviving steam locomotive shed in Rewari, Haryana to Mumbai Central to mark the 150th year of WR, earlier known as Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB & CI) Railway. Rewari Steam Loco Shed which falls under Northern Railways was re-opened on October 9, 2010 to restore  and revive heritage locomotives that date back to British India.  

According to a railway officers, the decision was taken during a heritage committee meeting of WR earlier this month while discussing the 150 year celebrations.

Requesting anonymity, a senior railway official said, "WR plans to run a steam engine to mark the historic year. Since no other railway has a steam engine, there are plans to ask Rewari Steam Loco Shed to provide a steam engine that can be run to Mumbai Central early next year."

While an exact plan is yet to be finalized, the officer said a steam engine along with three coaches is likely to have a ceremonial run in Mumbai. 

Follwoing a huge demand of cotton in Britain, BB & CI Railway was set up to establish a second line in Mumbai to connect the west coast to cotton producing states like Gujarat. The first train, comprising of 30 carriages, hauled by a steam locomotive ran from Uttran in Gujarat to Grant Road station in Mumbai, then Bombay on November 28 1864.

As a part of its celebrations, WR is organizing a two day exhibition at Churchgate station on November 28 and 29 for public. General Manager Hemant Kumar will be releasing a suburban information brochure at Churchgate station Thursday morning. The exhibition will showcase rare black and white photographs of BB & CI and also highlight growth of WR, especially the Mumbai suburban system. 

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