Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:58 UK

Indian train makes Cornish visit


Owner and driver Adrian Shooter talks about the 1889 locomotive

A 120-year-old locomotive which worked in India is making a guest appearance at a railway attraction in Cornwall.

The Dharjeeling Himalayan Railways Number 19 engine was built in 1889 and operated in India for about 70 years.

The engine is carrying passengers on the 2ft-wide narrow gauge line at Launceston Steam Railway.

It will be operating on the line for the next month and money raised at a charity stall on the platform will help trackside communities in the Himalayas.

'Familiar' engine

The engine was built by Sharp Stewart & Co in Glasgow to be used on the 128-year-old Indian railway which connects the Indian plains with the town of Darjeeling in West Bengal.

It was taken to an American museum in the 1960s for exhibition and preservation.

She was then imported to England seven years ago by current owner Adrian Shooter, managing director of Chiltern Railways.

Mr Shooter, who also drives the engine, said: "These engines really had to work for their living.

"It would have been hauling trains up 40-odd miles along a railway which was very familiar to generations of English people who served out in India."

During its stay in Cornwall however, the Number 19 will only have to contend with a mere five-mile (8km) round-trip through the Kensey Valley taking about 40 minutes.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in December 1999.

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