This month the Indian Railways will complete 168 years since it first ran on April 16, 1853. For the first time in these many years, Thane station from where train first arrived, will get a heritage locomotive that will be placed at the station. This has thrilled the railway passengers and their associations based in Thane and around who have welcomed this beautiful steam engine on April 1.
On Wednesday night the Central Railway authorities brought this locomotive all the way to Thane where it has been installed at the parking lot outside the railway station. For all these days, it stood next to other locomotives, wagons, water pipeline and other things of heritage value. “The steam engine was loaded onto a trailer and then carried on road all the way till Thane. It arrived on the night of March 31,” said a Central Railway official.
The steam locomotive was kept at the Heritage Gully in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Over the days, this locomotive was painted in green and black to re-live its look from the British era. Now, it has been placed on a platform created specially for this locomotive near the parking lot outside the station.
“For the past several months we have been demanding the CR authorities to install one such memorabilia as Thane plays an important role in history of Indian Railways. We are glad that this steam locomotive has been installed and it’s like a dream come true,” said Nandkumar Deshmukh, Thane Passenger Association.
Some rail enthusiasts stated that this steam locomotive should have been kept in Bhusawal as a fitting tribute where it used to run on Barsi Light Railway that opened in 1897. British railway engineer Everard Richard Calthrop was a notable promoter and builder of a 2 feet and 6 inches narrow gauge track line in western India.
It was manufactured in 1928 in Manchester, United Kingdom and the locomotive served on this narrow-gauge line on the Barsi Light Railway. It was a 325 km long, having tracks of 762 mm narrow-gauge railway line between Miraj and Latur.