New Delhi: "Akbar", one of the the oldest steam locomotives of railways, will haul a heritage train from Safdarjung and Old Delhi stations this month to commemorate 150 years of train services in the Delhi region.
The steam locomotive, named after the great Mughal Emperor, is a Chittranjan Locomotive Works-built engine, which was inducted into active service in 1965. The locomotive was based at Saharanpur shed and gave distinguished service to the Indian Railway before being 'retired' from active service.
"A steam locomotive will haul the train with schoolchildren and other guests to celebrate 150 years of rail operation in the section," a senior official of the Delhi Railway Division said.
The official said the date of the heritage journey will be decided after the mourning period for former President A P J Abdul Kalam gets over.
The heritage train will start its journey from Safdarjung station towards Old Delhi station touching Lajpatnagar, Nizamuddin and the New Delhi station on its way.
The first train had arrived in Delhi from Howrah on August 1, 1864 through Ghaziabad. So, the year 2015, marks the sesquicentennial celebration year -- 150 years of dedicated service to the nation by the Delhi Division.
Delhi Division has planned a series of events and initiatives during the year in the areas of passenger amenities, safety, environment, staff welfare and showcasing the Railway heritage. The Division shall also release a calendar of events to mark these celebrations formally.
Welcoming the move, Ashwani Lohani, one of the founders of the Indian Steam Railway Society, which promotes the preservation of steam locomotives, said "It is the most industrial heritage of mankind. We have to conserve some steam locos in working order for posterity. In our march towards progress, such events that connect us with our history act as a driving force for the future.
"Recently, a special cover depicting the journey and growth of Delhi Division during these 150 years was released by the Department of Posts to commemorate the occasion.
Akbar is a prized possession of Rewari Steam Loco shed, with great historic significance and deserves its rightful place in the rich heritage of Indian Railway, he said.