Narrow Gauge World - May / June 2010
Double-headed steam for King’s birthday
Adouble-headed steam special from Bangkok to Ayutthaya on December 5 was run to celebrate the birthday of the King of Thailand. The two locomotives used were Pacifics nos 824 (Nippon Sharyo 1524/1949) and 850 (Nippon Sharyo 1547/1950).
Preserved at Ban Phachi Junction is 4-6-0 no 177 (NBL 21759/1919) and at Kabin Buri, not far from the Cambodian border, Brush-built tank loco no 63 (works no. 324/1911) is preserved on the old turntable.
Preserved at Chiang Mai station is Swiss built 340 (SLM 2208/1912), one of 18 of these locos purchased from the Rhatische Bahn in 1926 and 1927 after the RhB was electrified. They were used on the Uttaradit - Chiang Mai line which formerly ran through the hills in the north of the country.
Ko Kha sugar factory, a short distance outside the town, has both preserved and dumped steam locos. On display are a Baguley 0-4-2T+T (from a rare builder at the best of times) and a Vulcan Iron Works 2-4-2T+T preserved on the lawn, plus two more VIWs dumped in a yard
at the side of the factory, nos 6 and 8 (Vulcan Iron Works 4655/1947 and 4654/1947)
Now at Wang Khapi sugar factory, Uttradit, metre-gauge Krauss 2-4-0T (works no 5987/1908) originated at the Paknam suburban line in Bangkok, the country’s first railway. It was used by the factory to work the branch from the state railway. It was reboilered at some stage of its career with the boiler from an
Orenstein & Koppel 75cm gauge 0-6-0T which was used on the internal system. Baguley 0-4-2T (works no 2009/1921), also 75cm gauge, is preserved here too. Above: Nippon Sharyo Pacifics 824 and 850, interestingly rostered back-to-back, head the King’s birthday special. Below: At Ko Kha sugar factory, a 750mm gauge Vulcan Iron Works 2-4-2T+T (VIW 4657/1947) is preserved on the lawn with (just visible on the left) 0-4-2T+T Baguley 2010/1921. Photos: James Waite
Walk recalls lost narrow gauge
Aheritage walk is planned at Pratapnagar near Vadadora, the point where the 2ft 6inch line from Dabhoi met the Bombay – Delhi main line.
The line from Dabhoi to Pratapnagar in Gujarat was reopened as broad gauge last year, and other conversion work on the five lines which radiated from Dabhoi continues. The heritage walk
will include the old narrow gauge steam/diesel shed, the narrow gauge workshop with displays of drawings and rolling stock, including a wagon built to carry the king’s elephant!
A museum will also be developed here, and it is possible that a heritage park will be developed at Dabhoi.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of railways at Vadadora (previously Baroda). Any Narrow Gauge World readers with pictures, documents or remembrances of the Dabhoi system that might be of interest for the museum, or who are considering visiting the site, are asked to contact Mr A K Srivastata at email@example.com n In the USA the 3ft gauge White Pass & Yukon Railroad in Alaska last year began rebuilding its fleet of 11 ‘shovel-nose’ GE Bo-Bo diesels, originally built between 1954 and 1966. The first two were completed by Coast Engine & Equipment Co before that firm closed down, but the work has now restarted, with nos 91 and 99 sent to Global Locomotive at Tenino, Washington. The locos were to be upgraded with Cummins 1,450hp QSK diesels and were due to return in time for the 2010 season.
NARROW GAUGE WORLD – No 69