Images from the trip to India (Nov 2001)

by Mark Bristow

In November 2001, Vic Lines and I spent two weeks travelling around southern India chasing the DLW-built Alco power.

Here are a few images from the trip:

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Freshly painted WDM2 18334 of Krishnarajapuram (KJM) shed is seen at Pandavapura, between Bangalore and Mysore. She was being used to power a works train after a recent derailment of a freight.

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WDM2CA 14080 pauses at Chengannur with 2626 New Delhi - Trivandrum Central Kerala Express. This loco was based at Erode shed and a mere seven months old.

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The WDS6 is a heavy shunting engine. This particular example, seen at Ernakulam Jn. station, has had a new cab in place of the regular short "nose", possibly due to collision damage. The work was probably done at the Golden Rock workshops at Tiruchchirapalli.

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17474 in standard Erode shed livery at Kanniyakumari, the southern tip of India. This engine's next working was to return north on none other than 6317 13.00 Kanniyakumari - Jammu Tawi Himsagar Express. Jammu Tawi is the most northerly station on the IR network. The train had a 3,800km plus journey, but the WDM2 wouldn't take it that far.

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At Kanniyakumari looking north towards Nagercoil Jn. WDP2 15533 dumps some excess air as it waits with 6122 16.00 Kanniyakumari - Chennai Egmore Express. A number of these 3,100hp passenger engines are based in the south and work trains out of Chennai Egmore to various points on the main line south to Kanniyakumari. The train was loaded to twenty coaches and was full and standing after the first station. By the time we alighted at Madurai it could only be described as crush loading!

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We had one day based at Madurai. Until this point we had neglected the metre-gauge network, so it was time to ride some YDM4s. We opted to do the Bodinayakkanur branch. It turned out to be a real backwater line and running mostly straight and level apart from a short climb towards the end. A YDM4 and 6 bogies were provided and 6241 is seen at Usilampatti with train 713.

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YDM4 6241 providing a typical six-cylinder 251 exhaust.

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Semaphores, weeds and not a lot else. Bodinayakkanur station is on the outskirts of the town and had few facilities, although the ever-present Railway Protection Force had an office on the station. 6241 runs round for the return to Madurai.

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Metre gauge coupler.

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YDM4 6207 is seen at Madurai Jn. This view is looking towards Chennai, with the broad gauge platforms on the far right.

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After returning from Bodinayakkanur, Vic went off to buy a carpet while I took another YDM4 to Dindigul Jn. My return power turned out to be WDM2C 14055, from Erode shed. She is seen having just combined portions of train 715 from Erode and Thanjavur and will shortly head for Tirunelveli Jn.

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Driving position of a later-build WDM2. This is 16275 of KJM shed.

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Late afternoon sunlight catches the flanks of WAM4 21241 working the 2007 Mysore - Chennai Central Shatabdi past Krishnarajapuram station.

Pune shed

Pune shed... We paid a visit to Pune diesel shed and found around 40 locos; WDM2s and WDG2s. Most engines were Pune machines, although some "foreign" power from KJM and Guntakal were seen.

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WDM2 "Jumbo" 17872R is seen just outside the running shed. This loco is unusual as it has been rebuilt by Diesel Component Works at Patiala (hence the "R" suffix) and retained its cab with the nose. Presently, such engines are rebuilt with conventional high short hoods.

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WDG2 14565 receives some attention at its home shed.

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A selection of turbochargers as used on Alco 251-16 engines. ABB, Alco and GE products are represented here. Unfortunately my notes do not adequately identify each make. Can anyone identify them?... The GEs are preferred but are too expensive.

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...and here is one by Napier. The roundel gives the game away for the one on the right.

Back To Mumbai

Our final journey was to return to Mumbai on the Udyan Express. KJM WDM2C 14047 worked under the wires, obviating a change to electric traction at Pune.

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Descending the Bhore ghat. The ruling gradient is 1-in-35, but the run-off beyond the trap points on the adjacent line is 1-in-9! Descending trains are restricted to 50 kmh and have to make three compulsory stops. Three lines wind their way down the hill, popping in and out of numerous tunnels and going uphill, many trains are banked.

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Sunset over the hills, descending the Bhore ghat. This was the end of the trip and our final daylight view of India.


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