The Fairy Queen is an eminent train that boasts of the world's oldest steam locomotive. In 1855, the royal Fairy Queen let out steam for the first time under the supervision of the erstwhile East Indian Railway. Initially, Fairy Queen dragged light mail trains between Howrah and Ranigunj, in no time; it was assigned to handle the construction duty in Bihar. By the year 1909, the locomotive was sent to grace a pedestal outside the Howrah Railway Station near Calcutta.
After 34 year of showcasing, the locomotive was transferred to the
Railway Zonal Training School at Chandausi in 1943. Here, it became the
object of curiosity for many students. In 1972, the Government of India
depicted the engine as a national treasure and bestowed heritage status
to it. The locomotive was groomed up and allocated a special place in
the National Rail Museum at Delhi. With the arrival of Palace on Wheels
in 1997, Indian Government thought to add one more lavish wonder to the
luxury trains of India.
The locomotive was done up to bring it in working condition for its
first mainline journey in 88 years. This initiative brought 'Fairy
Queen' on the pages of Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest
working locomotive. In the present day, this world's oldest steam
locomotive is plying regularly on the tracks between New Delhi to Alwar.
Fairy Queen takes on a two-day excursion from New Delhi heading for
Alwar and ultimately to Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Generally, this locomotive works on the 2nd and the 4th Saturday
between the months of October and March. The train has only one AC coach
that can embrace up to 50 passengers at a time. To the privileged
passengers, catering services are provided on the board by the pantry
car. The coach also boasts of a striking lounge in the obverse of the
coach that too offers a picturesque vista of the landscape. A trip along
with 'Fairy Queen' is undoubtedly a pleasant experience to explore
nature and heritage in the company of extravagance.