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Shimla Steam Locomotive

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Published on Feb 17, 2013

The British era steam engine, KC-520, chugged on the Shimla-Kalka heritage track on Friday. The only narrow gauge steam engine, which dates back to 1903, KC-520 towed four chartered coaches, carrying around 48 passengers, successfully between Shimla and Kathlighat.Railway officials at the Shimla railway station cordoned off the track when the engine set off on its journey around 11.40am.The one-way 22-km journey between the two stations, which are located on the Shimla-Kalka rail line that figures in UNESCO World Heritage site list, takes more than one hour.The steam engine-hauled train, being handled by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a wing of the Indian Railways, will now run daily to and fro between the two stations, said a railway official.IRCTC officials said under the plan, any company or individual can hire a steam train comprising three coaches with a capacity to accommodate up to 50 people. Food is provided on board.The steam engine was last booked by foreigners in May 2007. The vintage engine was recently repaired and restored in Amritsar in Punjab. The railways conducted a test run in December last year.The Kalka-Shimla rail track was built by the British in 1903.

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