Shed was restored as a heritage property in 2010.
The shed also bagged the national tourism award in the category of most innovative tourism product in 2012. It also boasts of an exhibition room displaying a lounge car, as well as a saloon used by King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom.
Once the workshops were in shape, Railways started manufacturing parts of the engines. “We don’t have the original drawings of the steam engines, but we succeeded in making the engines operational,” an official said.
Now, the Railways have brought out a year-long calender for operating steam tourism trains between Delhi and Alwar. There is also a tie-up with the Rajasthan tourism department for a two-day trip, which includes a stay at Sariska. The tickets for the package cost R12,000 per person.
“Steam engine heritage is a niche tourism segment across the world and is very popular in the UK, which has retained around 500 such locomotives. India also has the potential to become a steam engine heritage tourism destination,” said Lohani, who is also the founder of Indian Steam Railway Society, which is organising a conference on steam railways in February next year.
The Railways is also planning to rent out steam loco trains to tourists and expects a good response from foreign tourists. “In Europe, the model is very popular and we are trying to replicate it here,” said an official.