Fairy Queen was first designed in the UK in 1855 by three inventors, Hewitson, Thompson, and Kitson. This train wasn’t always known to be a luxury train initially. Its shipment was done to the Kolkata port for transferring troops from Raniganj to Howrah and vice versa when the rebellion for independence took place from 1857 to 1909. This locomotive got decommissioned later and was send to the Howrah station to remain as a showpiece.
After spending about 34 years outside the Howrah station, it was transferred to the National Museum in Delhi. In the year 2012, the train was restored and reintroduced as the oldest running steam train, as per the Guinness Book of World Records.
Some Interesting Facts
When the Fairy Queen was being restored for turning into a running locomotive, many of the movable and valuable parts were found to be stolen. At the time when the locomotive was transferred to the Perambur workshop, it was nothing more than a metal casing. This called for a massive project that involved the tracking of the companies that supplied the missing parts originally. In certain situations, the missing parts were also rebuilt from scratch within the workshop itself.
The Indian Railways has a number of trains working under the system. The Fairy Queen, unlike other trains, is a luxury train. For booking a ticket, you need to login to the IRCTC website, and for its confirmation, you can check the PNR status of the Indian Railway.
The route followed by the Fairy Queen is the perfect display of nature. You will get to see the Siliserh mountain range as the locomotive keeps puffing steam all the way to Alwar from Delhi Cantonment. The train consists of two bodies, one of them contains luxury chairs where passengers can relax and recline while witnessing the mesmerizing countryside view. The bogie also consists of glass windows allowing the passengers a luxury feel. The guests get to travel in style with some delicious food onboard.
Fairy Queen is quite a delicate locomotive as it requires quite a lot of effort in maintaining it daily. It needs to be fed with coal and water on a regular basis. It also needs a good amount of cleaning to keep it attractive and appealing.
The Fairy Queen reaches its destination by the afternoon. The guests are later taken to their hotels after which music performances and cultural dance take place in the evening. The next morning guests are taken to a wildlife safari where they can spot animals like the Wild Boar, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Blue Bull species, and Peacocks. If lucky, it is even possible to spot a tiger.
The guests are also taken to the city museum of Alwar, built by the Maharaja Vinay Singh in the 17th century. It exhibits some of the most outstanding art pieces and manuscripts belonging to that time.
The train runs twice two times in a week, beginning the journey on a Saturday morning and ending on the following Sunday night.