As part of the XIII National Steam Congress, a special run by a steam hauled train from Delhi to Rewari was organised by ISRS on the 22nd of November 2015, a day after the formal session of the Congress. The intention was to give delegates and any other member of the public an opportunity to travel on a steam hauled train and also to see Rewari steam shed.
The special train with Locomotive No. 6171 WP/1 at its head steamed out of Delhi Cantt. station a little after 10.30 in the morning of a pleasant sunny day. Apart from the delegates of the Congress, it was good to see the Member Mechanical of the Indian Railways Board, Mr. Hemant Kumar, on the train. While a number of delegates spent some time on the locomotive footplate, Mr. Alexander Karnes and Mr. Phil Christopher, live steam buffs from the USA, rode on the locomotive for the entire route. Locomotive 6171 can be seen in all its glory in the picture below outside Gurgaon station en route to Rewari.
The train ran through all stations at a good speed, touching 60 kmph a few times but keeping to 45-50 kmph most of the time. First stop was a brief halt at Patuadi Road followed by another at Khalilpur where precedence was given to a regular train. The train pulled into Platform No. 3 of Rewari station a little after 1.00 p.m.
Without losing any time, delegates walked across the yard to the steam shed a little distance away. In the shed, they were greeted by the Fairy Queen in all its steaming glory. The locomotive ran up and down the BG line inside the shed not worried about the 160 years since its commissioning. While most delegates used the steaming Queen as a good photo opportunity our two American friends used the time on the locomotive. Although no other locomotive was in steam, they had been laid out for display.
A film produced and directed by Vikas Arya on the renovation of Rewari shed was shown. Souvenirs of the National Rail Museum were also available for sale and it was noted that a large number were sold. After spending about two hours and a half in the shed, delegates came back to the special coach for lunch. The return journey (unfortunately by diesel) started at 4.00 p.m. The saving grace was that the trailing window of the special coach gave a panoramic view of all stations as they sped past the speeding train. The setting sun only added to the spectacle.