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Well-travelled loco under overhaul
In 1982 Club 760 - Freunde der Murtalbahn saved JZ 73.019, former Bosnian and Herzegovina state railway 169, and moved it to Austria, where it was kept as a showpiece in the Frojach narrow gauge museum on the Murtalbahn until the winter of 2009.
The loco has now been moved to the CZ workshop in Ceske Velenice, in the Czech Republic. After a general overhaul, the engine will return to Austria to work regular steam trains on the SLB Pinzgauer Lokalbahn from Zell am See to Krimml, beginning in mid-2011.
Between 1907 and 1913 Krauss/Linz and Budapester Lokomotivfabrik built 23 steam locomotives for express train work on the 760 mm network in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then part of the Austrian empire. The locos were built for a maximum speed of 70km/h.
The wheels (foreground) and loco (background) are at the CZ workshops in Ceske Velenice for overhaul ready for a return to the Pinzgauer Lokalbahn in Austria. Photo: Gunter Mackinger
Coal shortage paints bleak future for Sri Lankan rail
The narrow gauge of Sri Lanka portrays a depressing picture at present.Sentinel railcar no. 331 is still operable but there is now less than 100 yards of narrow gauge track left outside Dematagoda shed in Colombo.
Of the steam fleet, 4-6-4T no. 220 is still officially operable but in very poor shape. The last steam working on the island was in August 2008 since when the railway (and apparently the whole island) has run out of coal. Sri Lanka has no coal mines and the country’s foreign exchange position is now poor.
Out of the 24 steam locos located at the shed (both narrow and broad gauge) only a very few are officially preserved. In the workshops (‘shop 26’) to the south of the running shed at Dematagoda several narrow gauge diesels and one of the three Sentinel steam railcars are dumped.
The Sri Lanka German Railway Technical Training Centre at Ratmalana, next to the main works, is home to the only surviving L1 class narrow gauge 0-4-2T and also two Robey steam lorries, apparently comprising one half of all the survivors of the company’s products anywhere in the world.
At the National museum, a dilapidated 2ft gauge Simplex loco from a salt works in the north of the island awaits restoration. Hunslet 727/1901 K1 4-4-0T 106, the oldest narrow gauge loco in Sri Lanka and missing its front bogie, rusts away outside Dematagoda shed in Colombo. Photo: James Waite
Little progress in Vivarais rescue n Efforts to reopen the famed Vivarais line in France are dragging on slowly, held up by court hearings into the bankruptcy of the former operator – until this is settled new operators, of which at least two are waiting in the wings, cannot be considered.
Towns close to the line are desperate for a reopening as they are suffering from a drop in tourist income, while there have been instances of theft of metal, including rail.
There are fears that the mixed gauge section of the route could eventually be lost, which would also deny any future operator the depot at Tournon.
No 69 – NARROW GAUGE WORLD 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