2nd December, 2002
Ministry of Railways


STEAM LOCOS ON HILL RAILWAYS TO BOOST TOURISM – BANDARU DATTATRAYA

NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON STEAM HERITAGE TOURISM INAUGURATED


Ministry of Railways has decided to introduce steam locomotives on all hill railways and on various tourism circuits with the support of Ministry of Tourism, to give further fillip to rail tourism, said Minister of state for Railways Shri Bhandaru Dattatraya here today. Addressing the one-day National Conference on Steam Heritage Tourism organized here by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) with the support of Department of Tourism and Ministry of Railways, Shri Dattatraya said that steam heritage tourism has tremendous potential to attract both domestic and international tourists. Stating that Ministry of Railways is very keen on preserving the rich heritage of steam locos, the Minister said that recently Indian Railways has dedicated to the Nation a heritage steam locomotive shed at Rewari, Haryana. The shed will preserve working steam locos for heritage and tourism.

Elaborating on the initiatives taken by Indian Railways to step up tourism especially steam heritage tourism, the Minister of State for Railways stated that launching of Fairy Queen Express in 1997 has been a major achievement in this field. Built in 1955, Fairy Queen is the oldest working steam loco in the world, he added. National Rail Museum, the focus of India’s rail heritage is constantly engaged in preserving and propagating the rich steam heritage of Indian Railways, the Minister said. Calling upon the Ministry of Tourism in packaging and promoting steam trains, Shri Bandaru said that the unique charm of steam locos will give the right fillip to tourism in our country.

Earlier, addressing the Conference, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Shri Vinod Khanna opined that the steam heritage tourism, to be promoted in a big way jointly by his Ministry and Railways will be attracting a lot of tourists from within the country and abroad. A three-day Photo Exhibition on steam locos has also been inaugurated as part of the Conference.

Welcoming the participants, Chairman cum Managing Director, ITDC Shri Ashwani Lohani said that the aim of the Conference is to create awareness about its unique high potential tourism segment. Stating that United Kingdom is the undisputed leader in Steam Heritage Tourism, Shri Lohani opined that India has a vast potential in this area. Shri Dasarathy, Member Mechanical, Railway Board who also spoke on the inaugural session said that efforts are on to manufacture steam locos using oil as fuel in place of coal.

 
   
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