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Wankaner Image


Palace
A view of the Maharajahs palace at Wankaner.
The month of July 1998, saw me (Bharat), a colleague from work, Jaysin and my school librarian, Mr.Indrajit Laurence Panjabi (both of whom were dragged along) go up to Gujarat one weekend in the monsoons! The mission was to catch some working steam in action on the branch lines west of Ahmedabad. I had been down to Wankaner twice before in 91' and 92' but never with a camera and never with the purpose of shooting steam. So here I was, with time running out on me and steam....in Wankaner! We arrived there on a Saturday morning by the Saurashtra Mail from Bombay and left on Sunday evening by the same train. Needless to say Wankaner was pure bliss for any steam enthusiast! Here are a collection of a few of my snaps taken during that weekend.
Map

The map above shows the area around Wankaner and the branch line network there. Yellow dots mark the junction stations and the flat lines mark the terminii. The Morbi-Ghantila section which is now redundant was once a feeder Narrow Gauge line to the Wankaner MG branch and shut down in the early eighties. Relics of its terminii remain today at Morbi and it is still referred to as Morbi Jn.!! The Dahinsara-Navlakhi branch is purely a salt carrying line. However this line was terminated at Lavanpur (short of Navlakhi) when we had gone there as a result of the typhoon that had struck the west coast earlier that monsoon. The Viramgam-Rajkot and Viramgam-Gandhidham are both Broad Gauge Single Line sections and meet the MG network at Wankaner and Maliya Miyana Junction stations respectively. Wankaner is also the salt transhipment point for BG-MG.
Evening Image <
Sunset at Wankaner....as YP 2150 departs with the late evening passenger to Vavaniya.
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Steam in action....YP's and YG's of Wankaner (WKR) steam shed line up outside their home. WKR was home to about 40 steam locos in its heyday and today is left with a mere 10-12 live steamers. About 10 steamers await the cutters in the yard behind the shed!
Shed
On the way... <
On the way from WKR to Morbi....
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An aerial view of the steam shed at WKR. To the left of the picture is the BG-MG transhipment yard with a BCN wagon almost visible! At the bottom of the picture is the old turntable which is no longer functional and was flooded with rain water when we had visited WKR!!. They were short of funds to repair the turntable with the result that lot of steam workings are tender foremost!!!
Shed view
Loco on top >
One of the better maintained powers at WKR shed..YG 3360 awaits its turn outside the shed!
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A freshly overhauled YP 2805 stands on a BG flat at WKR yard waiting to be rolled on to its own gauge!!
Loco in shed
Footplating >
To be seen to be believed......YG 3437 triple heads YP 2211 and YG 3430 out of the shed area as evening sets in on WKR shed.
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Driver Chander Singh of WKR looks out into the fields as he negotiates the incline out of Morbi towards WKR....
Triple header
Steam train >
Head on shot of 2 YP's in the inspection lines of their home sheds.
< YG 3437 awaits the station bell at Morbi Junction station with the early afternoon return service to Wankaner.
Outside Shed
Frieght train >
A typical station en route from Wankaner to Morbi. Note the signal control box to the right of the picture......most signals however dont work or are not operated at all on this section!
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Steam hauled and banked frieght service in 1998!! YG 3360, pulling and YG 3430 banking a salt working from Maliya Miyana to WKR pass Morbi station as a YP waits on the platform line!!
Station
Steam loco >
The big and the small...WDM2 18427, Ratlam shed brings in a special working of the freshly overhauled YP 2805 on BG flats from Rajkot. The same YP had worked its way on MG from Ajmer to Rajkot!
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YP 2150 waits with the through working from Maliya Miyana at Morbi Junction platform one!
WDM2 + YP
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Early morning scene at WKR steam shed....

Early morning

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