August 25, 2006
by Vikas Singh
Took a taxi to the Tindharia workshop reaching there at 1000 hrs. Saw six carriages undergoing POH there-FCZ 109, FCZ117, FCZ105 and FCZ 28. LR 147 is being converted to SLR and so is another unnumbered LR.B-782 was undergoing POH too. Five boilers could be seen in the workshop all condemned. These are number 14/L, 23/L, and B/No-8/l.The fourth belongs to 783B while the fifth had no markings. A water tank wagon with 1000 gallons capacity and manufactured at the workshop in 1944 along with 1944 built four wheeled covered goods wagon (C-583) could be seen in the workshop. The under frame of 793 B was in the shed freshly painted. The boiler of this loco is at the Tindharia loco shed. The foreman said that the under frame is in very bad shape and is beyond restoration. But he suggested that the loco could be restored for the purpose of plinthing. A B class loco 783 has recently been restored and sent to Regional rail museum, Perambur. The two storied wooden building near the gate which once housed the WS's office has been declared condemned. Sadly it is only a mater of time before this heritage building is lost forever.
By now it had started raining heavily. We spent some time at hotel Pradhan nearby. The proprietor P. Pradhan, an ardent DHR fan, shared with us some excellent photographs. His brother a keen modeler now showed us some B class loco models he had recently built. Both were disappointed that despite publishing that the commemorative run was till Tindharia the run was later truncated at Rangtong only. 1D crossed us at 1345 hrs with four-coach rake, one and a half hours behind schedule.
I had planned to meet some retired workshop employees and the workshop foreman was kind enough to depute a person to take us to their homes. But since it was raining very heavily now and most of these people lived in houses not accessible by motor able road we ditched the idea. Instead we spent some more time with Mr. Pradhan listening to his anecdotes over steaming momos and chai. We finally left Tindharia for Siliguri at 1400 hrs.
Today was my last day in Siliguri and with this an excellent six days of rail fanning trip comes to an end. Will be leaving for Delhi by the Rajdhani tomorrow.