Steam Update -- Spring 1998
This article was originally published by the Indian Steam Railway Society (ISRS) in its newsletter, and is reproduced here by permission, which is gratefully acknowledged. Copyright for the material here rests with the ISRS and the author(s) of the article. The ISRS is the premier organization in India engaged in preservation and efforts to promote awareness of the country's railway heritage.
This article originally appeared in the FNRM Newsletter No. 1, Spring 1998.
Pulgaon-Arvi section closed to steam services in April '97. The last locomotive to be used was ZP 2. This was the last 26" gauge in India to work steam and it closed without anyone noticing...well almost!! The shed may still be housing as many as three ZPs.
RanaPratap Nagar shed has been closed completely w.e.f. 26.08.97. After the closure of passenger services on steam in Dec. '96 the shed was providing shunting locomotives at Udaipur City and Chittorgarh.
Sabarmati Shed is closed at present because of shortage of water hut it houses 5 locos in running condition. Steam powered services of 919 Up / 920 Dn on the Vijapur-Ambliyasan loop are unlikely to be restored.
WP 7161 and 7015 of erstwhile Moradabad loco shed which were last seen at Haridwar station on 31.03.97 in a dilapidated condition have been sent to Charbagh, Lucknow workshop for overhaul.
Wankaner shed (26.10.97 upto 20.12.97) is fully operational and this is the only remaining steam exclusive section on the IR apart from the mountain railways. This shed has an allocation of 9 working steam locos (seven YGs and two YPs) which carry all the passenger and freight traffic on the Wankaner-Morbi-Maliya Miyana- Navlakhi metre gauge network.
Jetalsar & Junagarh sheds (27.10.97) have 3 YP's left among them after YP 2813 & 2683 were transfered to Wankaner. Dhola station has an interesting architecture and also has a turntable which is used regularly. Rajkot Division control office informed that these sheds would be closed by March '98.
Mhow shed (02.03.97 upto 26.01.98) has an allocation of 10 locos. They are being shuffled regularly with diesels at present for running 73/ 74 & 89/90 upto Ratlam, Mhow-Indore Locals and banking duties on Patalpani ghat. On 26.01.98 the last steam service between Ratlam - Chittorgarh was flagged off from Ratlam and it returned on the following day. It was becoming increasingly difficult to manage the time keeping with the steam traction on this section because of the steep gradients and poor maintenance of locos due to shortage of spares.