The fairy Queen holds the unique distinction of being the oldest steam locomotive in the world in working condition. This is a record which has been recognized by Guiness Book of Records.
The Fairy Queen and Express was manufactured by M/S Kitson, Hewitson and Thompson of Leeds UK (Maker no KTH 481 and KTH 480/55) . These were tank type locomotives with 2-2-2 wheel configuration and its weight was 26 tons.
The number of Fairy Queen underwent several changes in its life. The number given to it by the maker was 481. It joined EIR with number EIR22.In 1881 its number was changed to92,which again underwent a change in 1884 when it was changed to101. The name Fairy queen was given to it in 1895.
The locomotive used to haul light mail trains on Howrah -Raniganj section and covered the distance of 121 miles( 195kms.approx.) in 5 hours. After serving for about fifty years the loco was shifted to lighter service and was used on construction sites, where it ended it’s active life in 1909. After it’s retirement Fairy queen was proudly displayed outside Howrah station between1909 and 1943.In 1943 it was shifted to EIR ‘s Zonal training School at Chandausi, where it was used as an aid for teaching. With the opening of The national Rail Museum at New Delhi, the locomotive was shifted for being displayed there with great pride.
In 1990s it was decided to restore the locomotive in working order and use it for heritage s tourist train hauled by steam. It was sent to Perambur workshop for overhaul and restoration. Since 18th October 1997 this is being used for running a Heritage Luxury Tourist train between Delhi and Alwar. The train has also been named The Fairy Queen. Fairy Queen has been featured on the postage stamp issued to commemorate the silver jubilee of national rail Museum issued on 17th October 1996.