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The trial run of the Nilgiri Mountain Rail (NMR) tain with the coal-powered Swedish engine failed apparently due to the insufficient steam pressure on Monday.
The trial run with a single coach was planned for a distance of 7.46 km. i.e. up to Kallar station from Mettupalayam. However, the train stopped just two km away from the Mettupalayam station, sources said.
The 117-year-old coal-powered steam engine of the NMR announced as World Heritage by the UNESCO retired a year ago and was kept at Coonoor Rail Shed. It was brought to Mettupalayam 10 days ago and was tested for its steam pressure, leakage if any found in the steam boiler and pulling power in steep gradient.
The sources said that the railways wanted to maintain the heritage value of the NMR and hence decided to operate the train again with the coal-powered steam engine.
The engine number 37384, a X-Class locomotive, built at the Swiss Locomotives and Machine Works factory in Switzerland, was pressed into service by the NMR between 1917 and 1925. Officials were tight-lipped about details of the trial run that took place on Monday.
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