Know Your Exhibit: Saloon Prince of Wales
One of the most beautiful and among the oldest of the National Rail Museum exhibits,this elegant saloon was specially built in 1875 for use by the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) during his visit to India for the Royal Durbar in 1876. Today,this is the oldest coach in India. The milky white saloon features a balcony at either end,with a provision to seat four armed guards,two on each balcony. The saloon has sunshades,and crest of the Prince of Wales on either side. The original furniture and internal fittings of the car are intact. The Prince of Wales saloon had been plinthed outside Ajmer station before being moved to the National Rail Museum at New Delhi,where it can be seen even today.
Name: Prince of Wales Saloon
Builder: Agra Workshops of the RMR (Rajputana Malwa Railway)
Year Built: 1875
Wheel Arrangement: 4-wheeler
Unique Features: Entrance from balconies at each end,with place to seat two armed guards on each balcony
Rail Gauge: Metre Gauge
Locomotives in steam-13
Post-War IRS designs (1945-1970)
After World War II,a new 4-6-2 passenger locomotive was designed and its class name was chosen as WP. In the place of X (IRS design) W was chosen for broad gauge. For metre gauge locos this was Y and for narrow gauges Z. To simplify P was chosen for passenger and G for goods locomotives on all gauges. The first batch of 16 prototypes were given class name of WP/P.On the occasion of centenary celebrations of Indian Railways a stamp showing one such WP was issued on April 16,1953 The loco featured is 4-6-2 WP loco manufactured by Baldwin locomotive works,Philadelphia. It was one of the 16 prototypes imported from USA before regular production started in India. One of these locos (WP 7200) still survives today and hauls steam on special occasions.
VIKAS SINGH,RAIL ENTHUSIAST