Belated wisdom; The Statesman


India – Mountain Railways of India

 

It is a case of better late than never, yet with a happy ending. Faced with the prospect of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway losing its Unesco World Heritage status, the parent organisation (the Northeast Frontier Railway) has entered into an arrangement under which the public sector Heavy Engineering Corporation will manufacture components necessary to revive the fleet of vintage steam engines that have traditionally hauled the quaint train from the plains to the hills. In recent years most of the steam locomotives acquired from the UK between 1927 and 1982 had fallen into disuse, replaced by diesel engines, and the grand old “Puffer Billys” made only limited trips to cater to tourists and “steam buffs”.

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