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Monday, February 14, 2011

A steamy affair

The 12th February conference on steam locomotives turned out to be a steamy affair. The AV presentation on the resurrection touched the hearts of all those who have a heart for these black beauties. How a ugly crow turns into a swan is what the lovers of steam witnessed during those gripping 45 minutes. The power point presentation by Laurie Marshall that followed the AV proved to be the icing on the cake.

The presence of the member mechanical railway board, the additional secretary tourism, govt of India, the representative of UNESCO and renowned steam buffs from the UK, underlined the importance of the event as well as the steam locomotives that have left a mark on world's history by heralding in the industrial revolution in the late 18th century.

Laurie Marshall's book on BG steam locomotives, that was released during the conference was a major highlight of the event. Sayinathan's book of 100 poems on steam locomotives that was also released during the event showed to everyone present the tremendous attraction that a steam locomotive can command. And the latest issue of the souvenir of the society underlined the continued commitment displayed by the mandarins of the society.

The conference ended with a short run of a steam train hauled by the legendary WP 7200. The run was short, but the expectations it fuelled were great. This was an event fuelled by the passion of a few committed individuals led by Mr Sethi, the "full of life" president of the steam railway society.

But let not anyone be in doubt that attempts to thwart such noble efforts by detractors would also continue. One can only hope that after the great destruction that steam locomotives witnessed in India in the eighties and the nineties, success in the form of a limited number of steam trains for tourist services would someday see the light of the day. God Willing!

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