Steam update -- Winter 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. 3/4, Autumn/Winter 1998.
Wankaner This meter gauge section still remains completely dependent on YP and YG class steam locomotives for motive power as we inch closer towards the twenty first century! With the gauge conversion project taking backseat here, it is tough to say how much longer steam can be expected to last.
A storm in the Arabian Sea in July devastated much of the coastal area on this side and railways were also affected. The service to Navlakhi now terminates at Dahinsara In. itself though Maliya Miyana service continues with its daily load of water tankers for this area which is acutely short of potable water. Salt workings were also reported to be in place.
Jetalsar & Junagarh sheds A visitor passing through Jetalsar reported activity in the shed and locos being steamed up as late as the New Year Eve. It is known that the boiler certificates of the locomotives based here were expiring in Jan '99. Can any traveler throw light on this subject please?
Mhow shed now uses just two YG steam powers for the banking services on the Patalpani-Kalakund ghat section and shunting duties at Mhow. The steam hauled 89/90 between Mhow and Ratlam finished in May this year. The fate of nearly a dozen condemned locomotives parked in the old shed remains uncertain.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway works with its allocation of 14 'B' class locomotives for the three daily part-section services. Currently they run between Siliguri In. to Tindharia, Kurseong to Darjeeling and the tourist special between Darjeeling and Ghoom though the timetable is very erratic. This year's unprecedented rainfall and subsequent landslides at many places had caused total disruption of all services for months which are now limping towards normalcy. However the damage at upper and lower 'Pagla Jhora' has been much more severe and it may be months before the track here can be fully restored and the services to be operational between Tindharia and Kurseong.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway utilises the services of diesel YDM-4s on parts of the NMR however the rack section between Mettupalaiyam and Coonoor remains in the able hands of four 'X' class compound locomotives.
Any organisation that may be interested in providing a new home for the condemned locomotives, which are otherwise certain to meet the fate of their long departed brethren, should contact us.