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09 Dec 2023, Edition - 3070, Saturday

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Excitement high in Nilgiris as new steam engine reaches Mettupalayam

Radhakrishnan D


Udhagamandalam: The new coal-fired steam locomotive, manufactured by Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchchirappalli for use in Nilgiri Mountain Railway, reached Mettupalayam on Sunday,according to a press note issued by the Salem Division of the Southern Railway.

This has taken excitement, particularly among NMR enthusiasts ,in the Blue Mountains,to a new level. As it is,they are eagerly looking forward to the resumption of train services on the mountain line on Monday (September 6) after a gap of over four months.

This is the first time that the Golden Rock Railway Workshop has manufactured a coal-fired steam locomotive.

This ‘X’ Class steam locomotive also has the distinction of being the first coal-fired steam locomotive manufactured in the country.

The press release added that the new coal-fired steam engine was flagged off by Shri John Thomas, General Manager of Southern Railway at Golden Rock Railway Workshop, Tiruchchirappalli on 25.08.2021. Subsequently, this engine was dispatched by the Golden Rock Railway Workshop, by road, to Mettupalayam on 02.09.2021.

This new engine, X-37400, is 10.38 metres long and weighs 50 tonnes. It has a capacity to hold 3.8 tonnes of coal and its water tank can.contain 4500 litres of water. This engine has been fitted with rack and pinion arrangements to chug in the hilly terrain of Nilgiri Mountains. This coal-fired steam engine will undergo extensive trial runs in the NMR stretch before being inducted into service.

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