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OVERSEAS VISIT REPORTS

India November 2012

For details of this year's LCGB tours - go to the Overseas Tours Page


1. Delhi National Railway Museum TJ 643 0-6-0T (WB 2646/42) MG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



2. Delhi National Railway Museum B 26 0-6-0 (SS 2018/70) BG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



3. Delhi National Railway Museum EM 922 4-4-2 (NB 17780/07) BG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



4. Delhi National Railway Museum B 6273 4wVBT (S 6273/26) BG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



5. Delhi National Railway Museum WDM-1 17000 Co-Co (Alco -/57) BG 16/11/12 Chris Campbell



6. Delhi National Railway Museum WDM-2 18040 Co-Co (Alco -/62) BG 16/11/12 Chris Campbell



7. Delhi National Railway Museum N 8 6w VBT (S 8135/29) 2’-6” gauge16/11/12 Howard Forster



8. Delhi National Railway Museum WR 594 0-6-4T (wb2278/25) 2’-6” gauge 16/11/12 Howard Forster



9. Delhi National Railway Museum CS 775 2-4-0T (YE 2321/32) 2’-6” gauge 16/11/12 Howard Forster



10. Delhi National Railway Museum KSR 14 Bo-Bo DRC (AW D39/33) 2’-6” gauge 16/11/12 Chris Campbell



11. Delhi National Railway Museum YDM-1 6002 B-B DH (NB -/55) MG 16/11/12 Chris Campbell



12. Delhi National Railway Museum RD 688 2-6-2 NW(1564/29) 2’-6” gauge 16/11/12 Howard Forster



13. Delhi National Railway Museum N 815 4-8-8-4 (BP 6588/30) BG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



14. Delhi National Railway Museum X-37385 0-8-2RT (SLM 2734/20) MG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



15. Delhi National Railway Museum P-31652 4-6-0 (Ajmer -/23) MG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



16. Delhi National Railway Museum YCG/1 21900 Bo-Bo E (HL 3767/30) MG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



17. Delhi National Railway Museum M2 162 4-4-0 (Ajmer -/23) MG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



18. Delhi National Railway Museum F 734 0-6-0 (Ajmer -/96) MG 16/11/12 Howard Forster



19. Shimla Station herd of wild goats 19/11/12 Howard Forster



20. Shimla Station ZDM-3 706 Bo-Bo DHM (Parel -/2011) shunting stock 19/11/12 Howard Forster



21. Shimla Shed ZDM-3 187 Bo-Bo DHM 19/11/12 Chris Campbell



22. Shimla Station ZDM-3 708 Bo-Bo DHM (Parel -/2012) on train 52456 10:30 to Kalka 20/11/12 Howard Forster



23. Kalka Shed ZDM-3 156 Bo-Bo DHM with cow 20/11/12 Howard Forster



24. Kalka Shed ZDM-3 702 Bo-Bo DHM 20/11/12 Howard Forster



25. Kalka Shed ZDM 151? 4wD 20/11/12 Howard Forster



26. Kalka Shed ZDM-3 154 Bo-Bo DHM 20/11/12 Howard Forster



27. Kalka WAP-7 30231 Co-Co BG on train 12925 Mumbai - Kalka 20/11/12 Howard Forster



28. Rewari Shed YG 4252 2-8-2 (Telco 377/59) MG 21/11/12 Chris Campbell



29. Rewari Shed AWE 22907 2-8-2 (BLW 69699/43) BG 21/11/12 Howard Forster



30. Rewari Shed WP/1 7161 4-6-2 (CLW -/65) BG 21/11/12 Howard Forster



31. Rewari Junction WDG-4 12505 Co-Co DE BG on an empty coal train 21/11/12 Chris Campbell



32. Rewari Junction WDM-1 17688 Co-Co DE BG on train 59703 Hisar - Rewari Junction 21/11/12 Chris Campbell



33. Rewari Junction WDS-4D 19627 0-6-0 DH BG on station pilot duties 21/11/12 Chris Campbell



34. Delhi Sarai Rohilla WDP-3A Co-Co 15543 DE BG on train 14321 Bareilly Junction – New Bhuj 21/11/12 Chris Campbell



35. New Delhi Ministry of Railways DHR B 799 0-4-0ST (NB 23292/25) 2’-0” gauge 21/11/12 Howard Forster



36. New Delhi Central Station WAP-7 30307 Co-Co 6350 hp BG 21/11/12 Howard Forster



37. Agra Cantt ZE 53 2-8-2 (Kawasaki 3233/54) 2’-6” gauge 22/11/12 Howard Forster



38. Agra Mughal Sheraton Hotel ZD 553 2-8-2 (Nippon 1757/57) 2’-6” gauge 22/11/12 Howard Forster



39. Jaipur Junction YDM-4 6426 DE MG on train 02085 16:55 Jaipur - Churu 24/11/12 Howard Forster



40. Jaipur Junction YDM-4 6426 DE MG with wild pig 24/11/12 Howard Forster



41. Jaipur Junction WDP-4 20101 DE BG on train 12395 Agra – Ajmer) 24/11/12 Chris Campbell



42. Jaipur Junction OJ 641 4-4-0 (WB 2635/43) MG 24/11/12 Howard Forster



43. Jaipur Rambagh Palace Hotel BK 4 (WB 2009/15) 2’-6” gauge 25/11/12 Howard Forster



44. New Delhi Northern Railway HQ Baroda House MTR 1 0-4-2T (DK-/08) 2’-6” gauge 26/11/12 Howard Forster



45. New Delhi Chhatarpur Mitsubishi metro train BG 27/11/12 Howard Forster





RAJ RAILWAYS 2012 By Howard Forster and Chris Campbell



A visit to India with our wives was made by booking on Great Rail Journey’s Golden Triangle Tour. Following the Mumbai bombings of 2008, security has been visibly imposed by black berry wearing security personnel, dressed like soldiers in kharki uniforms, some of whom are armed. Officially, photography is banned on stations, sheds and marshalling yards. Tourists are not normally troubled on New Delhi Central Station when taking photographs, at other times the technique is to keep cameras out of sight and shoot when there are no security guards around. By being careful we had no problems.

Friday 16th November. The first taste of increased security was on arrival at the Sheraton Hotel New Delhi, where the coach from the airport was stopped at a lowered barrier and allowed to proceed by armed security guards after clearance. To enter the hotel, airport type security was used, with all luggage passing through an x-ray machine and all guests through a metal detector. After checking in, a taxi was taken to the National Railway Museum, a price was negotiated to include waiting time and a return journey.

Although situated on the ring line, it is badly served by suburban trains which only run during the rush hours, and is not near any metro station. Entry to the museum was 25 rupees (£ 0.31), like many museums it is closed on Mondays. A security guard was at the entrance to the museum which has been created by laying roughly parallel tracks of various gauges, amongst the trees, and adding a monorail track and a n.g.circuit on which children could ride behind a steam outline diesel loco. Most of the exhibits were in good condition after having been restored, others awaiting restoration had simply been painted.

On display were:
Broad Gauge
A 48 04/06/2000 Dubs 2787 1891
B 26 0-6-0 SS 2018 1870
B 6273 4wVBT S 6273 1926
CRANE TANK 3 0-6-0CT HL 3538 1923
EM 922 04/04/2002 NB 17780 1907
HG/C 1598 02/08/2000 VF 2461 1909
HPS/2 24467 04/06/2000 VF 5825 1950
N 815 4-8-8-4 BP 6588 1930
PHOENIX 0-4-0WT NW 798 1907
PT 37156 2-6-4T RS 4118 1936
RAMGOTTY 0-4-0T Anjub   1862
ST 707 0-6-2T NB 16132 1904
XG/M 911 02/08/2002 BP 6505 1928
XT/1 36863 0-4-2T Krupp 1531 1935
Y-2 77 2-8-4T NB 18266 1908
Sindri Fertiliser Co 0-4-0F Hen 25630 1953
WAG 1 20710 Bo-Bo Sie Als   1963
WCG-1 4502 C-C SLM 3197 1928
WCP-1 4006 2-A-A-A-1 SLM 3374 1930
WDM-1 17000 Co-Co Alco   1957
WDM-2 18040 Co-Co Alco   1962
WDM-4 18001 Co-Co GM   1962
BB & CI 35 Bo-BoERC CL   1928
Metre Gauge
E 207 0-4-2ST Dubs 1175 1878
F 734 0-6-0 Ajmer   1896
FMA 37302 0-6-0 Dubs 2373 1888
HP 31412 04/06/2002 BLW 74059 1948
M2 162 04/04/2000 Ajmer   1923
P 31652 04/06/2000 Ajmer   1923
TJ 643 0-6-0T WB 2646 1942
X-37385 0-8-2RT SLM 2734 1920
YB/2 429 04/06/2002 NW 1613 1935
YCG/1 21900 Bo-Bo HL 3767 1930
YDM-1 6002 B-B NB   1955
2ft 6ins Gauge
SR 203 0-6-0DM JF 4200029 1949
CS 775 2-4-0T YE 2321 1932
DECAUVILLE MYS 507 2-4-2ST WB 1707 1903
MTR 2 0-4-2T DK   1910
N 8 6wVBT S 8135 1929
RD 688 02/06/2002 NW 1564 1929
WT 594 0-6-4T WB 2278 1925
KSR 12 4w PRC Wickham   1931
KSR 14 Bo-BoDRC AW D39 1933
ZDM1 704 B-B Jung 12108 1955
BETTY TRAMWAYS 0-4-0DM JF 390014 ?
2ft 0ins Gauge
HASANG A 885 0-4-0ST WB 1506 1897
B 777 0-4-0ST SS 3517 1889
MLR 739 0-6-0T OK 2342 1907
MLR899 Bo-2 PRC Grashame   1932
Monorail
MONORAIL 4 0-3-0T OK 3358 1907

Broad Gauge G22 Fairy Queen 2-2-2 KTH (481/1855), which had been damaged by scrap metal thieves last year, had been sent to Chennai for restoration

Saturday 17th November. After passing through a security check, train No. 12011 7.40 Shatabdi Express was taken from New Delhi Central to Kalka. An easy schedule was no problem for WAP-7 30283 Co-Co 6350 H.P. on 16 coaches, as they were designed to haul 26 coaches at 100mph. There was little freight traffic seen; the only significant number of locos were at Ambala Cantt Junction, where seven diesels and two electric locos were noted. Kalka which lies at the foot of the Himalayas, is the terminus of the broad gauge. From there the narrow gauge Kalka – Shimla Railway immediately begins to climb up through the foothills.

The British Raj having found Delhi too hot in the summer moved the seat of government up to Shimla from April – September each year. A practice which commenced in 1864, continued until India became independent in 1947. In the foothills of the Himalayas at 7116 ft above sea level, and almost 5000 feet above Kalka, to connect it by rail presented quite a challenge. Construction began in 1898 and took five years. Originally planned to be 2’– 0”, gauge it was soon changed to 2’- 6”gauge. Today the line climbs 4659 feet in 60 miles from Kalka to Shimla Station, passing through 102 tunnels, over 864 bridges and round 919 curves.

Kalka has the main shed and small workshop, at Shimla, minor servicing can take place under cover. Motive power is provided by ZDM-3 Bo-Bo 700hp diesels fitted with hydro mechanical transmission and geared to a top speed of 20mph. 148-167 & 178-197 were constructed by CLW 1970-82 with a single cab. After Parel workshops commenced diesel locomotive construction in 2005, double cab locomotives fitted with Cummins 700hp engines have been supplied, 700-3 in 2008-9 and 704-8 in 2011-12, with a further six on order. Normally there are 16-20 locomotives on the allocation. 14 locos from the first series and 7 from the second were noted. A 4w diesel which could not be identified, was plinthed at Kalka shed. It bore the identity ZDM 151, which is possibly fictitious.

Train 52455 12:10 was taken to Shimla, where it arrived at 17:20. Five hours on thinly upholstered seats tended to be a little uncomfortable. As expected ZDM-3 162 in deplorable external condition was the Shimla pilot. Wild life was to be found with dogs everywhere, monkeys climbing on the trains and a resident herd of wild goats on the tracks in the station. After two days of sampling the relics of the Raj, and views of the Himalayas we returned to New Delhi.

Tuesday 20th November. Train 52456 10:30 from Shimla was taken. On the descent at Salogha, ZDM-3 162 was passed, working a train up to Shimla after a visit to Kalka for servicing. In the train was KC 520 2-6-2T (NB16819/05) presumably being taken up in order to work back down the line on a charter, as there were several bags of fuel on the footplate.

Approaching Kalka the brakes were applied in an emergency stop, a cow had decided to cross in front of the train. A visit to Kalka shed organised by the local Indian guide was available for anyone who was interested; ten people took up the offer, there were 14 ZDM-3s and one WAP-1 Co-Co electric present as well as a cow. Train 12012 17.45 Shatabdi Express was taken to New Delhi

Wednesday 21st November. Rewari Steam Loco Shed which was formerly a large metre gauge depot, after rebuilding to accommodate broad gauge locos, reopened on 9th October 2010 as a heritage site. Two of the four metre gauge tracks were removed from the shed and replaced by a broad gauge one, another BG track was laid adjacent to the building. It is open daily from 8:00 to 17:00 and there is no entry fee.

Trying to book train tickets on the internet turned out to be very frustrating. After going through all the stages, before the booking could be completed an Indian mobile phone number had to be given. A further search on the internet showed that this has led to worldwide frustration. After contacting Great Rail Journeys they then made the booking, and had the tickets waiting for us on arrival at the New Delhi Hotel.

Train 22742 7:05 Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Bikaner Junc hauled by WDM-2 16610 Bo-Bo DE, was taken on what are now broad gauge tracks to Rewari Junction, conversion having been completed in 2010. Access to the shed, which is not visible from the station, was by a path from platform one. Entry is free, and after the visit, Senior Section Engineer Shyam Bihari, invited us into his office for a cup of tea.

Locos present were: Broad Gauge AWE 22907 2-8-2 BLW 69699 1943 Complete WP/P 7200 4-6-2 BLW 73408 1947 Smokebox repairs WP/1 7161 4-6-2 CLW 1965 Complete XE 3634 2-8-2 WBC 422 1930 Complete Metre Gauge YG 4252 2-8-2 Telco 377 1959 Complete YG 3438 2-8-2 Telco 719 1962 Complete YP 2151 4-6-2 Telco 131 1955 Being Restored YG 3415 2-8-2 Telco 696 1962 Complete YG 3724 2-8-2 Telco 505 1960 Derelict, no wheels.

Now that Rewari Junction is completely broad gauge, the metre gauge locos are isolated in the shed. Broad Gauge WL 15005, 4-6-2 (VF 6193/55) was not present. From November 2012 – March 2013, on one weekend per month on both Saturday and Sunday, steam specials were scheduled between Delhi Cantt and Alwar. For the 286km round trip the fare was 500R = £6.25.

On 24/25 November WP/1 7161 was to be used. Rewari Junction station was fairly busy, with coal trains passing through the centre roads between the platform roads mainly hauled by GM 4000hp WDG-4s and WDP-4s. Train 12216 Mumbai-Delhi hauled by WDM-2 16397 Co-Co DE was taken to Delhi Sarai Rohilla. Delhi has a Metro System which was opened on 24th December 2002. Phase 1 consisting of blue, red and yellow lines is broad gauge, with stock designed by Mitsubishi.

Phase 2 is standard gauge, which has the airport, green and violet lines. Stock on these lines has been supplied by Mitsubishi, Bombardier and Caf. All lines are electrified at 25 kV, with 25% subsurface and the majority of the remainder carried on elevated sections above the city. Ticketing is by either token or an Oyster type card; an all day tourist card cost £1.25. Entry to all stations is through metal detectors with x-ray machines for baggage. These were controlled by members of CISF (Central Industrial Security Force), 3500 of whom are employed on the metro. Photography on the Metro is prohibited.

Whenever possible using the metro, even for partial journeys was the quickest way to travel, as road traffic can be quite chaotic. The Metro was used to travel from Shastri Nagar, the nearest station to Serai Rohilla to Chandni Chowk which gives access to Delhi Junction Station. At the west end was a diesel standage on which three locos were noted. At the east end was a small electric shed which could be viewed from a convenient footpath across the tracks. There was only one problem, a security guard complete with rifle was sitting at the best photography location. As expected, permission to photograph was refused, so we pressed on and found rather surprisingly that there was an open entry into the depot.

The shed foreman was very pleasant, gave permission to photograph and invited us to stay for a cup of tea. On shed were: 2 x WAG-7, 2 x WAM-4, 2 x WAP-4 and 1 x WAP-7. After a short trip on the metro to Central Secretariat, it was only 100yds further along the road to The Ministry of Railways. Outside the main entrance, in immaculate condition, was DHR B799 0-4-0ST (NB 23292/25) 2’-0” gauge.

New Delhi Central Station was only five minute ride on the Metro. As this is the biggest station, there were queues to pass through the two security scanners. A servicing shed for visiting electric locos was adjacent to the north end. From a broad footpath linking most of the tracks, the majority of the locos could be noted. It was not very good for photography as they were packed close together. An attempt at a visit was abandoned when we came across security men at the office entrance. Noted were: 1 x WAG-7, 6 x WAP-4, 1 x WAP-5 and 3 x WAP-7. A metro was taken to Malviya Nagar, from where a three wheel tuk-tuk was hired for the trip to the hotel. The other members of the party had a coach tour of Delhi and a pedal rickshaw ride.

Thursday 22 November. Train 12002 the Bhopal Shatabdi Express, (New Delhi Central-Bhopal), was joined at 6:00 for the journey to Agra Cantt. This is the fastest scheduled train in India with intermediate speeds in the open country often approaching 100mph. Slightly surprisingly it was scheduled to be hauled by a WAP-5 which at 5440 hp is less powerful than a WAP-7 of 6350hp After a ten minutes late departure, WAP-5 30016 Bo-Bo headed our train of 18 coaches slowly out of New Delhi. After a brisk run at times touching 100mph, time had been regained by Sholaka, 77.2 kms from New Delhi Central.

Following the Yamuna river the line is fairly level through a largely agricultural area. A number of freight trains were passed, the majority of which carrying coal, were hauled by pairs of WAG-5s. One of the problems encountered on the Northern India River Plain, is air pollution, there was a yellow haze in Delhi, in Agra, there was even more haze, fortunately the air quality improved during the day. Agra Cantt. Plinthed in the gardens outside the station was ZE 53 2-8-2 (Kawasaki 3233/54) 2’-6” gauge. Breakfast taken at the Mughal Sheritan Hotel was enhanced by a view of ZD 553 2-8-2 (Nippon 1757/57) 2’-6” gauge, plinthed in the garden. Visits were made to the Red Fort and Taj Mahal.

Friday 23rd November A coach transferred us to Jaipur, stopping on the way at Fatepur Sikri. This was constructed of red sandstone in the 16th century by Akbar as a new capital of the Mughal Empire to replace Agra. Unfortunately he got it wrong, mainly due to an insufficient water supply; as a result it was abandoned only a few years after it was completed. Due to the gentle climate of the area, after 400 years it still remains a perfectly preserved ghost town.

Saturday 24th November. After a visit had been made to the City Palace, we went to Jaipur Junction Station which was within walking distance of the hotel. Metre gauge trains as well as standard gauge can be seen. YDM4 6649/743 were standing on stock in the carriage sidings, while YDM-4 6426 with 14 coaches, was waiting to depart at 16:55 on train 02085 to Churu. A wild pig was happily rooting around the sleepers next to the loco.

The cost of travelling in one of the 12 unreserved general coaches for the 198km journey was £0.35. On the broad gauge most of the passenger trains were hauled by WDM-2 Co-Co DEs. Plinthed in the garden outside the main entrance to the station was outside framed metre gauge OJ 641 4-4-0 (WB 2635/43). A pedal rickshaw was sampled for the journey back to the hotel.

The first phase of Jaipur Metro was due to open in January 2013. The majority of the tracks on the two lines planned were to be carried on elevated sections over the city. At the time of our visit one of the two contractors engaged to construct the elevated sections had its contract terminated as construction was seriously behind schedule. It was proposed to award the whole contract to the other contractor.

It was evident that only two months after our visit that it would have been impossible to have to have initiated services, as there was no evidence of work being carried out on several of the sites which we passed, and many of the columns to carry the elevated sections were less than 50% complete.

Sunday 25th November. An elephant ride was included on a visit to the Amber Fort, Jaipur, after which we visited another hotel, Rambagh Palace, where BK 4 0-6-4T (WB 2009/15) 2’-6” gauge, together with three coaches were plinthed in the garden.
Monday 26th November. A transfer back to New Delhi by coach enabled us to make a quick visit to The Northern Railway HQ, Baroda House, where MTR 1 0-4-2T (DK-/08) 2’-6” gauge was plinthed. Great Train Journeys proved to be an excellent vehicle from which to sample the railways and see the majority of the tourist sites in the area. With fine weather and temperatures of about 80F, conditions were very pleasant.

The only downside was the price of alcoholic drinks; a bottle of ordinary wine which would cost £5 in a UK supermarket was £60 in the hotels. Apart from that small point, it was a most enjoyable visit.