Amritsar: After overhauling, one of the last surviving steam locomotives of the country is all set to travel to the national capital for its journey towards Alwar carrying tourists for tiger sighting at Sariska.
Christened `Akbar` after the great Mughal emperor, the 47-year-old steam locomotive is currently at the rail workshop here for repair. It is scheduled to reach Delhi Cantonment in November.
"We don`t have the original drawings of the steam engine. But still we have succeeded in making the engine operational in seven weeks...," said Samrendra Kumar, Chief Works Manager of Amritsar Rail Workshop.
"Akbar, the 103-tonne steam engine, will haul the popular tourist train to Alwar for tiger safari at Sariska during the tourist season between November and April," he said.
The rail workshop itself is very old. Railways took over the workshop from Punjab government in 1956. At present, it is the only workshop in the Northern Railway which has capacity of repairing steam locomotives.
While `Akbar` is almost ready, the workshop is currently engaged in repairing the 1907 built steam-run monorail for the National Rail Museum (NRM).
"The mono rail is a heritage property and it has come here for periodic overhaul," said Kumar, adding that it will be dispatched to the rail museum shortly.
Beside periodic overhaul of steam locomotives, the workshop is engaged in manufacturing stainless steel wagons and brake vans.
Equipped with latest machinery like plazma under water cutting machine and grinding machine, the workshop also manufactures bogies for AC and non-AC coaches.
Efforts are on to acquire state-of-the-art machinery and upgrade the skill of the staff to meet new challenges, Kumar said.