9. Occasionally running between New Delhi and Alwar in Rajasthan, but otherwise housed at the Rewari Railway Heritage Museum, the Fairy Queen is a steam locomotive built in 1855 and restored in 1997. In 1998, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest steam locomotive in regular service.
10. The imposing building of Delhi Junction was built in the style of the nearby Red Fort, and opened in 1903. The station itself had been established in 1864, making it one of the oldest in India. Delhi Junction is also one of the busiest railway stations in India in terms of frequency –some 250 trains start, end, or pass through the station daily.
11. Following extensive remodelling in 2013, the Gorakhpur railway station in eastern Uttar Pradesh became the site of the longest railway platform in the world, stretching 1,366.33m (4,483 feet).
Q. It isn’t just Gorakhpur; the three longest railway platforms in the world are in Indian railway stations. Name the other two sites, one in the south and one in the east (which held the world record till 2013).
12. Celebrating the renowned local art style, coaches of the Bihar Sampark Kranti Express were painted over with Madhubani paintings by Maithili women artists in 2018.
13. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is another of the three services that make up the UNESCO-recognised Mountain Railways of India. Its spectacular route affords views of the Himalayas, including that of Mount Kanchenjunga. But one of the highlights of the railway itself is the ingenious Batasia Loop, where the line spirals back on itself. This ingenious method was used to deal with a part of the terrain with too sharp a decline to deal with through a conventional sloping track.
Q. Nestled in the centre of the Batasia Loop is a War Memorial to soldiers of what ethnicity who have been a part of Indian armed forces from pre-Independence times?
14. Few Indian railway stations are named after famous persons, and those that are tend to be named after political figures. So it’s quite a pleasant surprise to come across the Ashapurna Devi railway station, named after a prominent Bengali literary personality, located on the Tamluk–Digha branch line in West Bengal.
Q. After which proponent of right-wing Hindutva ideology was the historic Mughalsarai railway station renamed in 2018?
15. While the Samjhauta Express (#4) ran into political red tape and stopped functioning, its counterpart on India’s eastern border, the Maitree Express, is flourishing. Since it started operations between Kolkata and Dhaka in 2008, it has been running – as of now, five times a week – without hassles.
Q. Launched in 2017, a second cross-border train linking the Bangladeshi city of Khulna with Kolkata is known by what name referring to the ties between the two countries?
16. Howrah Junction, which serves the city of Kolkata, is the oldest railway complex in India, having been in operation since the 1850s. It is also one of the busiest train stations in the world, with more than 1 million passengers travelling daily by the 600-odd trains that pass through the station each day.
Gorakhpur platform: https://erail.in/blog/longest-railway-platforms-of-india/52
Madhubani art on Bihar Sampark Kranti Express: https://www.financialexpress.com/infrastructure/railways/beautiful-indian-railways-arriving-today-bihar-sampark-kranti-express-with-coaches-painted-with-mithila-art/1289139/
Batasia Loop: https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000017.htm
Ashapurna Devi station: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashapurna_Devi_railway_station
Maitree Express: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8hs24tvR_8