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Wonder Maharashtra : Shakuntala Railway Still Own By British Company

Hello friends today we come with an interesting information about unseen Maharashtra. In Maharashtra a train still running and that owned by British government. Killick Nixon and Company, a British-owned company still gets an annual royalty of Rs 1.20 crore from the Indian Railways for running a passenger train known as the Shakuntala Express on its narrow gauge route. Shakuntala Express runs in the remote cotton-growing area of Achalpur. The four hour, 189km trip from the towns of Yavatmal to Murtijapur costed Rs 22 several years back.The tracks are still owned by the British company that laid them in the nineteenth century. 
The tracks are still owned by the British company that laid them in the nineteenth century. It's like chugging a century back into the Edwardian era of the British Raj. The Shakuntala Express does just one return journey a day. That is all its operators, the Central Railways, can afford. It is the only transport link for many desperately poor people from the far-flung hamlets of this region. "It connects at least two dozen villages that do not have road links," says DP Nimkar, the young station master at Yavatmal.

Killick, Nixon and Company, set up in 1857, created the Central Provinces Railway Company (CPRC) to act as its agents. The company built this narrow gauge line in 1903 to carry cotton from Yavatmal to the main line to Mumbai from where it was shipped to Manchester in England. A ZD-steam engine, built in 1921 in Manchester, pulled the train for more than 70 long years after being put in service in 1923. It was withdrawn on April 15, 1994, and replaced by a diesel engine that now pulls the carriages.A ZD-steam engine, built in 1921 in Manchester, pulled the train for more than 70 long years after being put in service in 1923.

Old-time passengers talk nostalgically about the steam engine days, when the train stopped virtually anywhere where passengers hailed it. "Authorities might have removed the steam engine because of water scarcity in this region," Hasan Khan, the train's assistant driver says. This is one of only a few operational railway lines in India that remains with private owners and perhaps the only one that belongs to a British firm. Achalpur is the northern terminus of the 762 mm narrow gauge railway line known locally as the Shakuntala railway.

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