I.S.A.'s  Indian Railway Titbits

by: S.SHANKAR

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d. c. electrics and a dog on board!!
This section contains some pictures of d.c. electric locomotives. Unfortunately, most of these machines are gone now, or on their way out, due to ac conversion of the dc lines around Bombay.

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WCM/5:

Considering the sheer number of WCM/5s on the Central Railway, prior to their withdrawal in 1999, its amazing that there are only two pictures of these locomotives in this section. The first Indian built d.c. electric engine (circa 1962) was a WCM/5, and she was named 'LOKAMANYA'. ISA's love for this class of locomotives is abundantly brought out by his email id: isawcm5@yahoo.com

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1. A WCM/5 in 'Shatabdi' livery at Dapodi, near Poona.
2. This picture, shot from the cab of a WCM/5 at Karjat shows several bankers awaiting their call of duties: seen are WCG/2 electrics, WDM/2 diesels, as well as a WDS/4 shunting locomotive. Rly13_small.jpg (2369 bytes)

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WCM/6:

ISA was the first to capture the elusive WCM/6 locomotives on film. Only two were built, of which one was destroyed by fire. The sole remnant has not ventured to cross the ghat lines yet (2002), and is used for one off jobs between Bombay VT and Kalyan. The solitary WCM/6 generally runs permanently coupled to a WCG/2.

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3. The elusive WCM/6 at a suburban station in Bombay.
4. A side view of the elusive beast. Note striking resemblance to her a.c. sister the WAG/5. Unfortunately, compared to the reliability and ruggedness of the WAG/5, the dc adaptation (WCM/6) proved to be a total disaster.

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5. No, this is not a WCM/6: this is an old goods engine, the WCG/2, to which the WCM/6 is usually permanently coupled. Recently, the WCM/6s have been venturing out alone on secondary jobs.

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WCG/2:

The slow, trundling and noisy WCG/2 goods engine definitely deserves a second look. Not very popular due to the sheer noise the beasts made, these engines, with a maximum speed of only 80 kmph, were nonetheless used liberally on express workings. A version with slightly modified gearing for banking duties was classed WCG/2A, and a still modified version was to be classed WCG/3, unfortunately, the WCG/3 design remained on the drawing board and never saw the light of the day. Here are some of ISA's pics of the WCG/2.

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6. A WCG/2 and WCAM/3 at Poona (Pune) shed: Jan. 1998.
7. Cleared for the 'Nagnath' line on Monkey Hill, on the Bhore Ghats in July 1998. You need to look very sharp: the signal on the left (for the WCG/2) is amber, the one on the right is red.

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8. Immaculate WCG/2 followed by a WCM/6 at Bombay in July 2002.
9. Triple WCG/2 combo at Kasara on the Igatpuri line in July 2000. This consist will be used for banking trains on the arduous Thull Ghats.

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10. Thought triple was a litte too much? Think again: here are five WCG/2s in a row at Kasara in August 2000.
11. A WCM/5 trails behind a WCG/2 at Poona (Pune) shed in January 1998.

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12. Awaiting the call of banking duties is a triple WCG/2 combo. Note interesting military train on the next track. This pic was taken from the cab of a WCAM/3 engine which ISA was footplating.
13. Awaiting the call of banking duties. This pic was taken from the cab of a WCAM/3 locomotive.

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14. A WCG/2 approaches heading an unidentified express train. This pic was shot by ISA from the cab of a WCM/5 locomotive which he was footplating.
15. A WCAM/3 lurks behind a WCG/2 at Dadar station. Both engines will leave with their respective trains. This picture was shot from the cab of a WCM/5 locomotive.

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16. WCG/2 electrics and WDM/2 diesels await the call of banking duties at Karjat. This picture was taken from the cab of a WCM/5 locomotive: the loco's bonnet (nose) is just visible in the bottom left corner.
17. WCG/2 engines await the call of banking duties. This pic was shot from the cab of a WCAM/3 locomotive.

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18. A WCG/2 with (surprisingly!) a WCAM/3 awaits the call of banking duty.

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YCG/1:

Apart from the one at the National Rail Museum, New Delhi, another YCG/1 mg dc electric is placed on a pedestal outside the Tambaram car shed in Madras. Here are two pictures of that locomotive, captured by ISA.

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19. Side view of the silver/navy YCG/1 at the Tambaram Car shed offices, Madras.
20. A more angular view of the same locomotive. Face portions of old emu trainsets had been embedded into the shed walls: these were removed at the time of remodelling of the shed, only to be replaced by this locomotive in 1992.

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dog on board!!!

In his inimitable,style, ISA befriended drivers and other IR staff to such a level of comaradery that they had no qualms over taking him on board, even when they were accompanied by their pets! One particular driver friend took his dog along for a ride in his dc electric locomotive, and ISA joined the man and beast pair. Here are some views from that ride. While it is difficult enough to hitch a ride in a locomotive when the driver is alone, going on board with a driver's dog is really something! The canine, named Patchy, is unfortunately no more.

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21. The dog is dwarfed by the controls of the mighty locomotive.
22. ISA poses with proudly with his canine friend.

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23. The driver allows the dog to play with the master controller.
24. The canine is pretty content to look out of the cab door.

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