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TRIP TO THE NORTH - AHMEDABAD & DELHI - DECEMBER 1999

A collection of photographs of my trip north to Ahmedabad & Delhi in December 1999.
Journeys - BG Gujarat Mail from BCT to ADI. MG A'bad-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express from ADI to DEE. BG Punjab Mail from NDLS to VT.

  • Sightings at Ahmedabad.
  • Metre Gauge journey to Delhi.
  • Royal Orient at Delhi Cantt.
  • Fairy Queen & more....
  • WP's at the NRM.

    Sightings at Ahmedabad



    WDM2 17165 of Vatwa shed heads the Baroda-Gandidham Exp out of A'bad as YDM4 6244 of Sabarmati shed catches up with its 4 coach shuttle to Patan. The location is between A'bad station and the Sabarmati bridge as you head towards Viramgam. For those of you familar with Ahmedabad it is at the Shahi Baug under bridge. The BRC-GIM exp was running 6 hours behind schedule on account of a derailmant that had taken place near Anand earlier that day!


    Rajdhani special WDM2 16836 of Vatwa shed heads the Monday service of the New Delhi Rajdhani. The driver notches up as he passes me, having left a few minutes behind schedule. Note the marker lamps that are on. The Rajdhani's deparure was rescheduled a few days before I came to A'bad and I just about managed to click the shot before sunset!! The WR tradition of Shatabdi power cars continues even on the ADI Rajdhani!


    Abu Road shed WDM2 16828 hauled BOXN train picks up speed as it rounds the curve out of A'bad station. The BOXN cars were empty and the single WDM2 pulled away with them quite effortlessly. Note the colour scheme used by Abu road powers...a carry over of the earlier MG YDM4 livery!


    A different view this time as the Mehasana-ADI passenger heads into its terminus after having crossed the Sabarmati river with SBI YDM4 6316 in charge.


    RAAC 133 - The General Manager, WR's earmarked MG saloon car parked with another carriage at the Ahmedabad platform sidings. ADI today has only 4 MG platforms left out of a total of 12!!

    Metre Gauge journey to Delhi



    Early morning in the Aravali hills as the 9944 DN Sarai Rohilla express negotiates the curves out of Rana Pratapnagar station and passes the Debari Fort enroute...
    The Sarai Rohilla express is a ten coach train which is quite well occupied on the ADI-Udaipur overnight run after which it runs virtually empty all the way to Delhi. In fact on my journey there, the AC sleeper coach was locked up by the attendant after the few passengers got of at Udaipur station the next morning!!
    2 YDM4's can be seen heading our train through the fort. A second loco was attatched to our train at Udaipur and detatched somewhere midway!


    The remains of Rana Pratap Nagar (RPZ) steam loco shed as seen from our train as it pulls into the station. RPZ shed hosted a fine fleet of YP's and YG's for the Ghat workings till about 1996-97.


    Khemli goods yard...a few stations north of Udaipur. The wagon repair depot at Khemli can be seen to the right of the picture. Freight traffic is still quite active around the Udaipur and Chittor area and Khemli is one of the few active freight yards left on the WR Metre Gauge system today. The majority of traffic carried being cement.


    Chittaurgarh Junction as we approach it from the west. The broad gauge line from Kota to Nimach (Neemuch) can be seen on the left near the control cabin. Two pairs of double headed YDM4's wait with their frieght trains for clearance. The scheduled halt at Chittor is for almost an hour and a half!! Food is served during the halt and there is a frenzy of activity in the yard as 2 YDM4's detatch and attatch slip coaches to our train.


    YDM4 6467 of SBI shed rips through a wayside station with the 14 coach Jaipur-Purna express as the Sarai Rohilla express waits on the loop line. The location is about an hours run from Ajmer.


    Khemli yard again as YDM4 6550 (SBI) waits patiently with its load of open box empties as our train overtakes it on the main line.

    Royal Orient at Delhi Cantt



    The Royal Orient steams in to Delhi Cantt station with YG's 3415 & 4252 in charge. Delhi Cantt station is the starting point for the Royal Orient (RO), the Palace on Wheels (POW) and the Fairy Queen (FQ) express. While the RO and POW run once every week during the season, the FQ runs every fortnight.


    Cab detail of YG 3415 of Rewari shed, NR. There are 3 YG's homed at Rewari shed, out of which only two operate at any one time. The third loco no.3438 was spotted by me at Ajmer yard the previous night on my way to Delhi!! 3438 had just been readied by the Ajmer shops and was being steamed up at the time I saw it. It was to replace 4252 which was due for its repair schedule. Ajmer shops has stopped POH of all steam locos and only Schedule IV repairs are carried out to these YG powers.


    The Metre gauge rake of the Royal Orient at Delhi Cantt. The rake is a 16 coach formation, out of which 12 cars are airconditioned. These cars are the sleeper and lounge cars classed WPCTAC. There are 2 power cars and 2 service cars which are non airconditioned. Each sleeper/lounge car carries the name of a state or principality. The rake homes to the Ajmer workshop of the Western Railway and is maintained at the Delhi Sarai Rohilla carriage depot during the season.


    YG 3415 recieves last minute attention from the crew as a group of tourism officials does some last minute checking at the far end of the platform!! There were more officials on the platform than tourists!!


    Side view of 3415 as both locos get watered before the start of the journey. Note the decorations on the smoke stack and the wind wane. 3415 looked in much better shape then 4252 and one could almost tell that 4252 needed urgent attention at the shops!!


    Another view of YG 3415 with patriotism being the main focus here!!! The government of India has managed to get this insignia onto almost all kinds of rolling stock on the IR!


    Full length view of YG 3415 as watering continues with a man perched on the tender! The RO left more than half an hour late on that occasion and to my suprise had a YDM4, courtesy Sabarmati shed providing pushing power from the rear!!

    Fairy Queen & more....



    East Indian Railway (EIR) no.22, makers no.481,
    "Fairy Queen" stands in its siding at Delhi Cantt.
    The Fairy Queen was scheduled to have run on this day, the 25th of December but on account of low bookings due to Christmas was cancelled...much to my dissapointment!!


    Another view of the FQ in its enclosure at Delhi Cantt. The enclosure has actually been built at the end of the parcel loading sidings at Delhi Cantt and some parcel vans can be seen around it. The Broad Gauge and Metre Gauge platforms are to the right of the picture.


    Side view of the FQ with the EIR number plate and a new plate from Perambur works on SR where refurbishment was carried out on it in October 1999. The original manufacturers plate of Kitson Thompson & Hewistson of Leeds seems to have been done away with!!


    The 2 coach formation of the Fairy Queen Express at the sidings. The area covered by the mesh is actually a large glass observation window for tourists to look out from and see the steam loco in action! The coaches have been given a fresh paint job and new livery recently. The original colours were an off white on top with a navy blue band below.


    Diesel traction this time as WDG2 14765 of Abu Rd shed coupled with Lucknow shed WDM2 double head a BCN load past Delhi Cantt station. Note the wrong MU-ing of the two locos with the first one long hood leading and the second one short hood leading!!


    Phulera shed YDM4's nos.6485 & 6420 of WR wait with an 8-wheeler box train for the line to clear at Delhi Cantt station.

    WP's at the NRM



    WP 7200 of CR at the NRM grounds, New Delhi. This loco was the first WP to arrive at the museum some years back and just recently 2 more WP's have been assigned to the NRM. 7200 was built by Baldwin and retired from service in 1987.


    Rear and side view of WP no.7015 of Northern Railway, Saharanpur shed with a man perched precariously on the tender!! This loco is one of two WP's from Saharanpur shed that were recently overhauled by the Charbagh workshops at Lucknow and sent to the NRM. They both travelled to the NRM on their own steam from Saharanpur! Note the vacuum and air brake pipes that have been fitted to the loco!
       Picture on left-
    Side view of the same WP no.7015 attatched to a power car from the "Palace on Wheels" (POW) rake. The railways had plans to run the POW on steam for a certain part of the route but this plan has not yet materialised!

    Picture on right-
    Close up shot of the same WP clearly showing the Palace on Wheels board above its buffer beams.

    7015 was the one of two WP's sent to the NRM. I scouted the museum yards for the other one, no.7161 and also made enquiries about it, but just could not locate it at the museum!! Got back home to Bombay by the end of the month only to learn that the second one that was missing in action at the NRM was actually sitting in our very own Bandra yard!!!


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