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THE ROMANTIC FASCINATION OF INDIA REFLECTED IN THE LOCOMOTIVES
LEFT FROM THE DAYS OF THE RAJ

The Gaekwar of Baroda's State Railway, 1988
The 13th century fortress town of Dabhoi forms the hub of a former native state railway, a network of over 300 miles of 2'6" gauge lines in western India,filmed when still 100% steam. The depot was the largest on the Indian narrow gauge, with 34 engines allocated of four different types, including the classic William Bagnall 'W' Class 0-6-2s built in 1912 and doing sterling work on the picturesque Waghai branch.

Broad Gauge Classics, 1970
In West Bengal modernisation completely swept away the former steam stronghold of Calcutta. Before the damage was done, our cameras captured the scene back in 1970, with WP Pacifies hauling the Delhi Mail out of Howrah Terminus while Glasgow-built 0-6-0s dating from 1915 shunted alongside,with CWD and WG types also appearing.

Top of the bill were the HPS Class 4-6-0s, originally used for the Frontier Mail in the twenties.

Bengal Narrow Gauge,1970
The 2'6" gauge line from Santipur to Nabadwip used to be worked by some charming little 2-4-Os built by the Yorkshire Engine Co. in Sheffield, and captured by our cameras rattling across the green flatlands of the Ganges delta.

Patiala State Monorail, 1980
After laying derelict for fifty years, this unique hybrid, half traction engine and half railway locomotive, was taken to Delhi Railway Museum for restoration and now runs with one of its original coaches on a specially laid track.

Metre Guage at Goa, 1988
British-built 2-8-2s steam past a backdrop of tropical palms through the former Portuguese colony of Goa on India's west coast. Featuring a cab ride on the ghat, or hill section, and unique archive film of the shipment of the last batch of engines from Newton-le-Wiilows in 1949.

Rack and Pinion to Ooty, 1988
The Nilgiri Express with an average speed of six and a quarter miles per hour has the distinction of being India's slowest train. The line up to the former colonial hill-station of Ootacamund is also one of India's most scenic with breathtaking vistas of the Blue Mountains opening up to the traveller as his coach is propelled through the tea plantations by the 'Nilgiri Queen', a steam rack locomotive designed in 1914.

 

Duration 52 minutes

Photographs copyright
Anthony Lambert
Lawrence Marshall
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